House to hold hearings on hurricane issues; State submits plan to feds; Voter Registration Day!

Texas House to Hold Hearings on Hurricane-Impact Issues:  Three Texas House committees are expected to conduct hearings soon on issues arising from Hurricane Harvey and its aftermath. On October 2 in Houston, the Appropriations Committee will meet to take stock of federal and state funding available for relief and recovery. On October 4, also in Houston, […]

TEA portal designed to give parents and educators tools for STAAR results, but Texas AFT president reminds us to look at the bigger picture

The Texas Education Agency encourages educators to have a look at what parents see when they log on to the TEA portal giving parents access to student, campus, and district test results. We encourage you to take TEA up on the invitation. The site offers links to a series of pages and videos offering more detail on […]

TEA offers to waive required service days for hurricane-hit districts; House speaker looks to “prevent unintended punitive consequences” of accountability system

TEA offers to waive required service days for hurricane-hit districts, but no change in exam schedule or test-based ratings:   Texas Commissioner of Education Mike Morath has delivered good news and bad news to hurricane-impacted school districts and their teachers this week. On Tuesday in a formal letter to superintendents Morath announced that waivers of the 187-day […]

A Look at TEA’s Plans for Compliance with Every Student Succeeds Act

Come hell or high water, the process of mapping out the state’s implementation of federal requirements that replaced the No Child Left Behind Act goes on. Because of the disruptions caused by Hurricane Harvey, however, federal officials gave the Texas Education Agency some extra time to submit the state plan required by the successor federal […]

School district ratings reveal continuing trend of charters underperforming traditional public schools

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 15, 2017 CONTACT:  Rob D’Amico, 512-627-1343 Texas AFT President Louis Malfaro commented today on the release of school accountability ratings by the Texas Education Agency:   We’re pleased to see a decline in the number of districts rated as “Improvement Required,” but it’s also clear that charter schools continue to underperform […]

Governor Calls Special Session Starting July 18 With Up to 20 Wish-List Items

  Gov. Greg Abbott announced Tuesday afternoon that he is calling the Texas Legislature back into session on July 18, first and foremost to enact what he termed a must-pass “sunset” bill continuing the existence of the state medical board, but after that to consider 19 other disparate items on his legislative wish list. A […]

State 2018-19 Budget Bill Represents a Missed Opportunity; Accountability News

The 2018-19 state budget was approved Saturday by votes of 30 to 1 in the Texas Senate and 135 to 14 in the House. It amounts to a missed opportunity to improve funding for public schools as well as other vital public services. The bill, SB 1, keeps per-pupil funding at the current level but […]

End Game: Final Decisions on Budget, Accountability, and More This Weekend

The Texas House and Senate have been busy today naming conference committees to iron out differences on important education issues while beginning a series of key votes on the state budget. Accountability and testing are the subjects of negotiations on two major House bills, HB 22 by Rep. Dan Huberty (R-Houston) and HB 515 by […]

State House and Senate Differ on Changes Needed in A-F Rating System for Schools

After 2 a.m. Thursday morning the Texas Senate produced a bill tweaking but not fundamentally fixing the A-F  rating system for public schools slated for its first real use in the coming school year. The A-F grades for schools have been highly controversial in the minority of states where they have been adopted, and the […]

Federal court ruling deals another mammoth blow to the misuse of standardized testing

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 5, 2017 CONTACT:  Rob D’Amico, 512-627-1343 Houston ISD’s use of ‘black box’ system for evaluating teachers compared to a ‘house of cards’ Decision follows another legal action nixing state rules on using test scores for teacher evaluations A Thursday ruling in the federal lawsuit filed by the Houston Federation of Teachers […]