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 […]

News on retiree health care, TEA recapture relief, and new laws effective Sept. 1

Retiree health-care costs on TRS Board agenda:  On September 1 the trustees of the state Teacher Retirement System will confirm the new rates and benefit structures for the TRS-Care health plan for school retirees for calendar years 2018-2019. The revised rates and benefits will reflect the infusion of $212 million in state funds by the Legislature […]

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 […]

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 […]

Key Lawsuit Win on Teacher Evaluations; News on Vouchers, School Nurses and Retiree Health Care

Nurse-Staffing Notification, Community Schools, Employee Decision-Making, Accountability Bills Gain Ground:  HB 1847 by Rep. Garnet Coleman (D-Houston), a good bill requiring parents to be notified when their child’s school does not have a school nurse available throughout the school day, won quick, unanimous approval in the House Public Education Committee yesterday. Strong testimony by school […]

Texas AFT reaches lawsuit settlement with TEA Commissioner Mike Morath on teacher evaluation requirements

Now, as part of a negotiated settlement to the Texas AFT lawsuit, the commissioner has agreed to strike from state rules any reference to specific measures of student performance, including so-called “value-added data based on student state assessment results.”

Special Education survey reveals yet another example of how Texas is underfunding services to our most vulnerable children.

A Texas AFT statewide survey of Texas educators and parents highlights the barriers to Special Education services that many schoolchildren confront because school districts often lack the resources for evaluating and providing these students with the necessary educational services to which they are entitled by law.