Claycomb Associates, Architects

After completing a  weekend of state-mandated training for its board of trustees, Dallas ISD has received tentative approval from the Texas Education Agency on turnaround plans for nine of its lowest-performing campuses. But that doesn't mean that DISD is done with its work. Far from it.  On Saturday, trustees will begin paring down and reshaping six board goals they set at the start of 2016, after being told by the state that their list was too long, not specific and not measurable.  The purpose of the training — which Dallas ISD completed with a few other districts over winter break — was to help school boards pinpoint their efforts on improving student achievement.  The TEA reserved the right to seize control of those campuses if trustees failed to implement what was taught during the training, according to a letter sent from the TEA to DISD earlier this month. view article arw

This week, Bonham ISD added its name to the list of a group of several dozen north Texas districts uniting to promote a legislative agenda that would repeal that plan.   view article arw

Denton ISD school board members unanimously approved its final “District of Innovation” plan in a special meeting earlier this week. view article arw

In a meeting held Wednesday night the Alpine ISD Board of Trustees chose to adopt resolution opposing the A-F school rating system. The rating system, passed in 2015 assigns school districts and campuses a letter grade ranging from A through F in five different areas, as well as an overall grade. For the 2015-2016 school year Alpine ISD received letter grades ranging from B-D, with Alpine High School being the only campus to receive B letter grades. view article arw

Following the release of preliminary accountability ratings from the Texas Education Agency, Alvin and Friendswood ISDs have each passed resolutions to be submitted to the state legislature urging the repeal of the new A-F accountability rating system. view article arw

Is thiis an accountability rating consideration? - js - WACO - More than 3, 900 Baylor University students were named to the Dean's Academic Honor Roll for the 2016 fall semester.  To be named to the Dean's List, a student must be an undergraduate with a minimum grade-point average of 3.7, while enrolled in a minimum of 12 semester hours.  Local students on the list include:  Hailey Elizabeth Slone of Harleton, Robbins College of Health and Human Sciences. view article arw

Georgetown ISD has taken another step toward becoming a district of innovation, or DOI. view article arw

Lewisville ISD Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kevin Rogers calls on parents and community members to reject recently released school ratings, based on invalid and unreliable accountability testing system view article arw

Tonight, just for fun, I asked my youngest daughter (4th grade) if she had to give her school a grade what would she give it.   “An A+!” she said enthusiastically!!  When I asked her why, she said, “The teachers are awesome and we get to do lots of cool stuff!”  Then I told her some people think her school is an F!  “Those people are dumb. Have they even been there?” she replied.  Unfortunately, the answer is probably not. view article arw

Less than 1 percent of all ACT test takers earn a perfect score, but in Katy ISD, you have seven. Seven Katy ISD high school students earned the highest possible ACT composite score of 36. Four of the students attend Seven Lakes HS: Luis Alfonso Pabon Madrid, Dora Cecilia Gurfinkel, Clio Sun, and Justin Zhang. view article arw

In the two years since Texas lawmakers created the district of innovation, or DOI, system that allows school districts to exempt themselves from portions of the Texas Education Code, more than 60 districts have approved DOI plans. view article arw

Weatherford Independent School District trustees gave a strong rebuke to the state’s future A-F rating system Monday night at the monthly board of trustees meeting. view article arw

The Greenville Independent School District is seeking to become a District of Innovation. The Greenville Board of Trustees plans to begin the process Tuesday by conducting a public hearing, voting on a resolution to create a District of Innovation and form a District of Innovation Planning Team. view article arw

Rosy outlook for San Benito schools

January 1708:32 AM

The school district has been under review.  view article arw

 David Cox, Hart ISD superintendent, told the Hart School Board during its January meeting that the new A through F grades levied on school districts by the Texas Education Agency needs a lot of work. view article arw

Public school districts in the region scored mostly C’s on a recently released preliminary report of the state’s soon-to-be-rolled-out, new accountability system. The more than 35 districts in the Wichita Falls region scored 50 C’s, 38 B’s, 29 D’s, 11 F’s and 13 A’s.  Districts such as Prairie Valley in Montague County performed well, receiving three A’s and one B. Windthorst ISD fared well, too, landing one A, two B’s and a C on the preliminary report. view article arw

Of the state’s roughly 1,200 school districts, just two districts in Texas received straight As under the state’s preliminary A-F accountability report, which measures performance in four areas. The preliminary report was released to the public Jan. 6, based on data from the 2015-16 academic year. view article arw

Interesting article - js - On January 12th Diane Ravitch posted an article written by Mineral Wells Texas School Superintendent John Kuhn. John proceeds to blast the newly released “A-F” letter grades for schools in the State of Texas. As part of his article John also noted that Education Week had just released their state-by-state “A-F” grades for each state.  Just to humor myself I decided to look at the grades given to each state and compare them to the political parties that are currently in office. view article arw

State legislatures have more impact on the future of education than any form of government, and school leaders, teachers, and parents of Texas public schools are gravely concerned about the impact that the new A-F Rating System will have on schools and for good reason.  This archaic form of deeming subjective proficiency served it’s purpose in the 20th century by rating and sorting students, and much evidence proves it does not accurately represent what one person, let alone an entire school, can do.    A letter grade is ambiguous.  It doesn’t tell the whole story about a student or a school, and it is a potentially reckless judgment that in the end will permanently damage more schools and communities than it will help.   view article arw

When the Texas Education Agency released its Texas school accountability ratings in August, a majority of the Spring ISD campuses Met Standard -- the highest standard under that system. However, that achievement was not reflected when the TEA recently released the finds of its new legislatively mandated grading system.  It is a "work-in-progress" A through F grading system, which breaks the campus' overall ratings into letter grades based on performance in four domains. This new system, under House Bill 2804 passed in the 84th state Legislature, will be further developed before its implementation in August 2018. view article arw

AUSTIN – The Texas Education Agency today announced the nomination of 26 Texas public schools for national 2017 Blue Ribbon Schools recognition.  Founded in 1982, Blue Ribbon Schools is a U.S. Department of Education program that recognizes public and private elementary, middle and high schools where students perform at very high levels. The nominated schools in Texas include the following:   view article arw

Near the corner of Old Pearsall Road and Ray Ellison Boulevard stands the skeleton of a new charter elementary school. In front of large construction equipment and an unfinished structure, a sign invites pre-K, first- and sixth-grade students to apply. Set to open in August, IDEA Brackenridge’s campus is directly adjacent to Shepard Middle School and almost a stone’s throw from the administration building for South San Antonio Independent School District. In the face of competition at its doorstep, South San ISD has initiated the process of becoming a “district of innovation,” a concept passed by the Texas Legislature in 2015 that grants traditional independent school districts many of the flexibilities afforded to open enrollment charter schools. view article arw

“Look to your left. Look to your right. Look behind you. One of you won’t be here in four years.” view article arw

School districts in Anahuac and Crosby have joined the growing group of districts that oppose the A-F grading system. Last week, a group of eight superintendents, which included Anahuac ISD Superintendent James Hopper, crafted a statement to the Texas Education Agency calling the letter grades assigned on the new A-F rating system flawed, mainly because it is based on the State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness assessments. In addition to Hopper, superintendents from Cleveland ISD, Dayton ISD, Devers ISD, Hardin ISD, Hull-Daisetta ISD, Liberty ISD and Tarkington ISD all signed the letter addressed to the TEA.  view article arw

Two local school districts were cited among the eight school districts and five early childhood facilities across Texas as finalists for the H-E-B 2017 Excellence in Education Awards program on Friday, Media Coordinator Jill Reynolds said in a news release. The grocery chain also selected five Texas school boards that display strong leadership in their districts. H-E-B’s 2017 school district, early childhood facility and school board finalists are: view article arw

A-F in a graphic

January 1605:30 AM

Hand this personally to your #txlege member. Tell him/her to quit punishing our poor kids. God's kids! Thx @johnkuhntx read more arw

Standardized test scores will no longer be used to determine which students in grades 3, 4, 6 and 7 will be held back after the Houston ISD Board of Education voted 7-2 to permanently suspend the scores' use in such decisions. The state mandates retention and promotion decisions for students in fifth and eighth grades be based on their STAAR scores, but Houston was among the only Texas school districts to use the scores to determine who will be held back in other grades.  The board was originally going to vote to suspend the use of test scores in retention decisions just for this school year, but Trustee Rhonda Skillern-Jones proposed making the change permanent. view article arw

Crestview Elementary School in the Judson Independent School District and Travis Early College High School in the San Antonio Independent School District are among 26 statewide nominated for the National Blue Ribbon Honors. view article arw

A local school is nominated for the 2017 National Blue Ribbon Honors. view article arw

Stanton Smith Elementary School in Whitehouse has been nominated for recognition as a Blue Ribbon School. The Whitehouse ISD school is one of only 26 in the state to be nominated for the honor. Whitehouse's Cain Elementary took the honor in 2016. The U.S. Department of Education founded the Blue Ribbon Schools program in 1982 to recognize high performing public and private grade schools. Schools nominated for the 2017 honored were selected as high performing as measured by state assessments, according to a news release from the Texas Education Agency. view article arw

As a preemptive strike before Friday’s release of the “work in progress” A-F letter grade accountability report from the Texas Education Agency to the Texas Legislature, both the Fort Bend ISD and the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB) issued statements decrying fairness of the grading system. view article arw

Report cards are in - and as many superintendents feared - most local districts aren't making the honor roll. view article arw

School districts across the state have been voicing opinions against the new accountability system over the past couple of weeks, including Cleburne ISD. view article arw

On Friday, January 6, 2017, the Texas Education Agency released preliminary or ‘What if” grades for districts and campuses. In order for me to get a clearer picture, I decided to break down some of the data to a manageable size. I decided to focus on the districts in my region, the districts serviced by Educational Service Center 4 or Region 4.  In Region 4 there are fifty school districts including Houston ISD and Cypress-Fairbanks. view article arw