Topic: TEA

Mixed Bag: Pending TEA Rules for Charter Applicants

A new set of proposed rules for charter-school applicants is a mixed bag, as Texas AFT commented this week at a special hearing on the issue at the Texas Education Agency. Under the latest proposed revision of the commissioner’s rules on charters, says TEA, the agency would among other things “specifically define the mitigating factors to be considered when the...

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Local Districts Stuck With the Tab for Do-Overs on State Test

Potentially hundreds of thousands of Texas students will be in summer school this year because they failed one of the new state end-of-course exams and must retake the test before the summer is out. This year’s ninth-graders, the first cohort to undergo the supposedly more rigorous State Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR), had particular difficulty with the writing test, administered...

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Low Passing Rate on New End-of-Course Writing Exam: What Does It Signify?

The Texas Education Agency on June 8 released the results for ninth-graders on the new state end-of-course achievement tests, and on the writing exam—the first of its kind given to Texas students in the ninth grade—the results were not so good. Or so at least it appeared, as just 55 percent of test-takers attained a passing score on the exam....

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TEA Sunset Review: Improvements Needed

The Texas Education Agency’s continued existence is not really in doubt as it comes under so-called “sunset review” leading up to the 2013 legislative session. But TEA’s capacity to carry out its mission effectively is in question. The agency has a big job, overseeing the elementary and secondary education system of Texas, which encompasses five million students, more than a...

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Texas Education Agency Under Sunset Scrutiny

The Texas Education Agency is up for so-called "sunset review" to determine how the agency might operate better. The Texas Sunset Advisory Commission staff currently is soliciting comments on TEA's mission, structure, and performance. Public comments received by the end of this month will factor into the staff's report to the commission, and the commission's recommendations in turn will be...

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State Commissioner of Education Robert Scott Announces Resignation

Robert Scott, the Rick Perry appointee who has presided over the Texas Education Agency and has administered state pre-K/12 education policy for the past five years, on Tuesday announced his resignation, effective July 2. There's no word yet from Gov. Perry on a successor. Commissioner Scott has been a loyal lieutenant of the governor, but lately he has made headlines...

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Testing, Pension Issues and More Addressed at Agency Meetings in April

At the April meeting of the State Board of Education in Austin,  SBOE members and Commissioner of Education Robert Scott focused attention once again on the ills of standardized testing in Texas.  This time SBOE member George Clayton and others, including Commissioner Scott, looked at the impact of time lost to excessive test preparation for the high-stakes state exams. Clayton...

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Changes in the Works for State’s Teacher Evaluation System

Since the 1990s, the state’s recommended model for teacher evaluation has been the Professional Development and Appraisal System (PDAS), developed by the Texas Education Agency in accordance with state law. Districts are free to work with their teachers to develop local appraisal models that vary from the state-recommended system, as long as their local option meets basic criteria—for example, including...

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TEA Rule on Financial Exigency Delayed

The Texas Education Agency has issued a notice that it needs more time to come up with a final version of its proposed standards for district declarations of financial exigency. A school district, by declaring such a financial emergency and citing it as the reason for terminations, can break its contractual commitment to teachers and other educators, fire them in...

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Districts Adopt Resolution Against High-Stakes Testing

Texas Commissioner of Education Robert Scott recently caused a commotion by describing the state's current over-emphasis on standardized testing as "a perversion of its original intent." Now some 46 local school boards have expanded on his theme by passing a resolution mounting a broad critique of the state's current standardized-testing regime. Their resolution's operative language calls on the state legislature...

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Something’s Broken: Hearing on Charter Schools

Last Friday’s hearing on charter schools before the Texas House Public Education Committee produced a mixed result for the promoters of charter schools in Texas. Judging by comments from members of the committee, legislative infatuation with charter schools has noticeably ebbed after 17 years of mostly lackluster or negative educational outcomes. Excellent student performance at Texas charter schools is by...

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Strategic Retreat: End-of-Course Exams Won’t Have to Count This Year as Part of Final Course Grades

Texas Commissioner of Education Robert Scott on Friday announced the state will not require school districts to comply this year with a state mandate to count scores on the state’s new standardized end-of-course exams as 15 percent of a student’s final course grade in the subject tested. However, a cumulative passing score on the end-of-course exams will still be a...

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