Houston ISD leaders have about three and a half months to decide whether to temporarily surrender control over four long-struggling campuses in exchange for a reprieve from potentially major sanctions tied to low academic performance, according to timelines recently established by the Texas Education Agency. The TEA has set a deadline of Feb. 4, 2019, for school districts to submit applications for public-private partnerships under a state law known as SB 1882. view article arw

Texas students perform poorly on ACT

October 1808:40 AM

Texas scored dead last on the ACT among 23 states where less than 45 percent of high school graduates took the test, according to the nonprofit that administers the college-preparedness assessments.  Students in the Lone Star state earned an average composite score of 20.6, compared to the national average of 20.8. The highest score someone can earn on the test is a 36. Massachusetts had the highest average scores of any state, with the 25 percent of their graduates who took the test earning an average composite score of 25.5. view article arw

Of the four primary school performance drivers (Segregation, Life Experience, Instruction, Motivation) none is more over-relied on and misattributed than life experience.  All things being equal a student with more enriched life experiences will outperform the student with less enriched life experiences. This has nothing to do with aptitude.  It is simply a result of additional and more varied life experiences that allow the student to create meaning and context more rapidly. view article arw

A total of 37 Lake Travis High School seniors were recognized by the 2019 National Merit Scholarship Program. The Lake Travis ISD board of trustees congratulated many of the students at Wednesday’s meeting. The students were chosen from more than 1.5 million program entrants and represent less than one percent of each state’s high school seniors, LTISD Director of Communications Marco Alvarado said to the board. view article arw

Uproar over an alleged grading scandal at Krum High School continued this week as school officials announced plans for an independent investigation. In a letter from the Krum school board, the district said it has asked the Region 11 Education Services Center to investigate claims that class ranks were bumped up for students related to school administrators. Education Services Centers act as an intermediary between school districts and the state. view article arw

GRAYSON COUNTY, Texas -- There's a battle brewing between the Texas Education Agency and local school districts. The TEA wants individual districts to pay for the ACT and SAT exams for students who took Algebra 1 or English 1 and English 2 end-of-course exams before entering high school. view article arw

The Stephenville Independent School District has received a perfect score of 100 on the Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas (FIRST) from the Texas Education Agency. The news was announced during Monday’s meeting of the SISD board of trustees. Matt Underwood indicated that it was a notable achievement, marking only the second time the SISD reached the 100 percent FIRST score during his 16 years as the superintendent. “You don’t usually get that,” Underwood said, recalling that the last time the SISD got a 100 percent score was “2016, maybe.” view article arw

Over the last two years, I have sat on a panel advising Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath on how to weight various metrics in the ranking of our state's schools under the new A-F rating system. Now that the rankings are in place and contain enough benchmarks to fairly evaluate districts, it's time we take advantage of the information. The "we" includes educators as well as superintendents and school trustees. Their job, after all, is to ensure students are acquiring the knowledge and skills they need for a lifetime of meaning, purpose and mobility. view article arw

The newest batch of ACT scores shows troubling long-term declines in performance, with students’ math achievement reaching a 20-year low, according to results released Wednesday. view article arw

From the first school bell ring to afternoon dismissal, Veronica De Los Santos’ special education students were engaged and interested in their lessons.  One brief hiccup happened during morning reading time, when Elias, 8, refused to come and take his place on the carpet. view article arw

DeSoto Independent School District Superintendent, Dr. D’Andre Weaver invites parents and community members, at 6:30 pm tonight, Monday, Oct. 15, 2018, at the Disciple Central Community Church located at 901 N Polk St #101, DeSoto, TX 75115. Weaver will lead tonight’s town hall discussion aimed at covering a number of topics including moving the state of the district’s academic performance forward and other concerns from the City of DeSoto and DeSoto ISD communities. Tonight’s event is an opportunity to further introduce Dr. Weaver to the community following his official start date on September 17, 2018. view article arw

The Krum ISD Board of Trustees have asked the Region 11 Education Service Center to investigate grading allegations made against district employees. Parents in Krum first raised the issue at last week’s school board meeting. Complaints over the way some students class rank rose, while others fell. In 2017, Krum ISD changed the way it tabulates class rankings. The changes took effect with students entering their junior year in the 2017-2018 school year. Those students are now seniors. The change combined dual credit courses and AP courses into the same category. view article arw

As readers know, I’m prone to lamenting that so much school reform represents a triumph of wishful thinking over common sense. As Mike McShane and I put it recently: Education suffers from a curious malady. It is a field marked by passionate commitment, urgency, and high hopes. These are wonderful things. But they have also left many policymakers, reformers, philanthropists, and system leaders inclined to look always forward, confident that the next program or reform will be the one that delivers for kids. This assurance is an admirable quality, a healthy and wholly American optimism. But it can leave us lacking in perspective . . . As a result, we tend to do a poor job of learning from the missteps and miscalculations that have gone before. view article arw

RIO GRANDE CITY – A Rio Grande Valley school district is making due this year with millions of dollars less in their budget. Rio Grande City CISD is facing a $10 million deficit, which means less money to work with.  The RGC CISD Chief Financial Officer, Diana Robles-Mendez, says they've narrowed it down.  "We have four main expenditures that we think are the main cause of the deficit. We start to the first one which goes back to the year 2014-2015," she explains.  That's when salaries were raised. Since then, a cost of $7.9 million carries into every budget. view article arw

Longview ISD will administer a test used to identify students for its gifted and talented program districtwide in an effort to “level the playing field” and increase participation, officials say. The Iowa Test of Basic Skills will be given across the district “to help gather data on all of our students,” spokeswoman Elizabeth Ross said. view article arw

DAMON —The "Brazosport Facts" is reporting that, Damon ISD Board of Trustees voted to dissolve its ninth- and 10th-grade classes because of a lack of certified teachers, and is also officially without a permanent superintendent, according to meeting documents. At the Oct. 4 meeting, the board decided to give 11th and 12th grades the option to remain at Damon High School, while ninth- and 10th-grade students will be transferred to neighboring districts, the meeting minutes state. read more arw

Houston ISD trustees on Monday offered a public apology to students, parents and teachers for their behavior the past 10 months, particularly the chaotic meeting last week when a faction of the board surprised their colleagues and the audience by replacing the interim superintendent.Trustees said they hoped the apology and pledge to work better with each other is the first step toward quelling infighting on the board, restoring the public’s trust and showing the Texas Education Agency that HISD is capable of governing itself. view article arw

Students and parents gathered before Krum High School's football game Friday, not to support the team but to denounce the school’s administration after a beloved assistant principal was let go under mysterious circumstances. Krum High School administrator Bernard Lightfoot was asked to resign by Monday — and threatened with firing if he didn't — after he confronted administrators whose relatives saw sudden and unprecedented improvement in their class rankings, students and parents say. view article arw

South Texas College President Shirley A. Reed says dual credit is transforming the Rio Grande Valley. Dual credit refers to students completing a single course to earn academic credits that are recognized by two or more institutions. Reed spoke about the challenges that public school districts and higher education institutions face when they work together to give students a dual enrollment experience  at the start of the 5th Annual College for All Conference hosted by Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ISD.  view article arw

An Interesting article - js     Imagine a community in which every child owns books by the dozens, reads all summer long, and personally chooses   very book in his or her home library.  That’s the vision that drives Ginger Young and the Durham group she runs, Book Harvest.  “Every child should have the littered landscape of books in their home that my kids and I had,” said Young, Book Harvest’s executive director. She imagines the book-filled home “in terms of empathy and connections and a sense of the world bigger than the world you live in – which everybody needs.” view article arw

The Tidehaven School Board monthly meeting held Oct. 8, took care of several items in addition to the student recognition. The board also went over the assessment for the first six-week results and data of the Targeted Improvement Plan. The results were what was anticipated for the first six weeks and the schools, teachers and administrators have a plan moving forward to help all their students succeed. This topic was discussed at length and in detail about several subjects and teachers. New ideas to help students by approaching the learning material from a different instructional method across all subject matter were discussed for classes; the School Board understood the implications and plan moving forward.  view article arw

Longview ISD will administer a test used to identify students for its gifted and talented program districtwide in an effort to “level the playing field” and increase participation, officials say. The Iowa Test of Basic Skills will be given across the district “to help gather data on all of our students,” spokeswoman Elizabeth Ross said. view article arw

Krum ISD officials said they are launching an audit of school policies after allegations of grade changing surfaced at the high school campus and one whistle-blower administrator reportedly was forced to step down. Rumors started swirling around town when students returned to school this year and found their class ranks — which can affect college admissions and scholarship money — had shifted significantly. Students near the top of the class said they had dropped down in rank while students related to the high school principal, Michelle Pieniazek, went up by double-digits. view article arw

Texas is a prosperous state, but lawmakers are failing to adequately finance public education, and communities and students are suffering the academic, physical and economic consequences. The upcoming legislative session provides a unique opportunity for our state’s elected leaders to right past wrongs, but a preliminary budget request from the Texas Education Agency projects a $3.5 billion decline in state funding over the next few years. view article arw

Nearly 1,500 high school seniors from throughout the local school district spent Wednesday morning learning various aspects for their transition to college, from personal finances to guidance to the numerous degrees available in the region. The McAllen school district held the district-wide event on Wednesday for seniors as the rest of their classmates took the Pre-SAT testing. view article arw

Lewisville ISD is deciding how far it wants to go with bringing in academies, as well as where programs are more appropriate. Tuesday the LISD Board of Trustees received a presentation on possible options for academies at the high school and elementary school levels. The district already has a Collegiate Academy at The Colony High School, as well as a STEM Academy at Donald Elementary. STEM Academies at Polser and Valley Ridge elementary schools are planned within the next two years. There are also STEM classes and clubs at various campuses. view article arw

For the third time in as many years the National Center for Urban School Transformation has recognized the Brownsville Independent School District for educational excellence. The NCUST announced at its annual America’s Best Urban Schools Symposium in San Diego, Calif., that Yturria Elementary School won the gold award and Ortiz Elementary the silver in this year’s National Excellence in Education Awards. view article arw

TEA and local districts statewide are at odds over who should pay for certain standardized tests for some high school students in order to comply with new federal regulations. The new proposal, would require local districts to administer either the SAT or ACT test to high school students who had previously completed the Algebra I, English I or English II portion of the STAAR test while in 8th grade. The reason is to comply with federal law that requires high school students’ progress be measured via standardized test. There are roughly 109,000 students across the state of Texas who fall into this camp. view article arw

Focusing student accountability and streamlining teaching methods are two ways Hays CISD is aiming to take Tom Green Elementary out of its current Improvement Required (IR) status. Those methods are part of the district’s Targeted Improvement Plan (TIP) for Tom Green, which was approved Sept. 24 by the Hays CISD Board of Trustees. The TIP outlines ways educators at the campus can improve reading and writing, math and science scores by the end of the academic year. view article arw

Officials with the San Antonio Independent School District and Centers for Applied Science and Technology Schools announced Wednesday that CAST Med High School will open in August 2019. view article arw

More than 20 students in the Caddo Mills Independent School District were selected for the Duke University Talent Identification Program, an effort that seeks out talented students and connects them to educational resources. The district was notified in September that 24 middle school students were selected for the program, which requires participants to have performed 95 percent or better on the State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness, or “STAAR” test. view article arw

Before the end of the fall semester, all Coppell High School students will take the state implemented course on police interaction — “Flashing Lights: Creating Safe Interactions between Citizens and Law Enforcement.” The course, which was created by Senate Bill 30 during the 85th Texas Legislature in 2017, focuses on how to properly interact with law enforcement during traffic stops. Each high school will offer the one-time course differently, but every student will watch a 16-minute course video.  view article arw

Last June, the New York Times published a gushing piece about the success of a segregated charter school in Minneapolis. The author, Conor Williams of the New America Foundation, worried that Betsy DeVos’s fervent advocacy for charter schools might persuade liberals and progressives that charter schools are simply another form of privatization (which is true). His goal was to persuade progressives that segregated, non-union charter schools are doing a great job on behalf of poor and minority students. His example was Hiawatha Academy in Minneapolis. Williams claimed that the “math and literacy proficiency rates for students learning English are more than double the statewide averages for that group.” view article arw

Our district is following the steps of the Fundamental 5 (love it!) but I have a question about Framing the Lesson in Kindergarten. We are self-contained, so we teach ALL content, Language Arts, Math, Social Studies and Science.  Do the objective statements have to be specifically stated starting “I Will…” or would using “I Can….” statements be “kid friendly” and usable in place of that?  Any advice is welcomed! view article arw

An emphasis in Pasadena ISD on encouraging students to take Advanced Placement exams resulted in more than 7,000 tests administered last year — a record for the district. Even after supporting grant funding ran out some years ago. Pasadena ISD has continued its practice of paying a $100 incentive to students who earn qualifying scores on AP exams. The push is worth it, say district officials, who see AP classes as better preparing students for post-high school education, including college or trade studies. view article arw