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February 1508:30 AM

As I have participated in and observed education over the past 25 years, my opinion on student cheating has evolved.  Originally, I believed that cheating in school was a sign of dishonesty and weak character. And with college and post-secondary students, I still lean that direction. But with K-12 students I don’t think that is generally the case. I think with children and adolescents it’s more a function of trying to please adults and/or meet expectations without adequate resources. view article arw

The Dallas Project on Education Pathways has followed 407 low-income, African-American and Hispanic children since they were 2½ years old and examined the factors that affect their development of self-regulation skills, school readiness and academic achievement. A paper published last year tied the students’ self-control abilities to academic success. A project conducted by researchers at The University of Texas at Dallas has entered its third round of funding in determining how various factors combine to influence the development of school readiness and success of urban minorities. view article arw

The Greehey Foundation has committed to a $1.5 million donation over three years to the San Antonio Independent School District to expand dual-credit offerings. The grant will create the Greehey Scholars Program for about 2,000 high school students beginning in the fall and ending in 2022. The funding allows SAISD to almost double its number of high school students taking courses for college credit. view article arw

Attracted by the prospect of more autonomy and better state funding under a new law that occasionally has led to controversy, principals of as many as 10 campuses in the San Antonio Independent School District are considering partnerships with outside organizations. view article arw

The House Public Education Committee met twice last week to hear from the Legislative Budget Board, the Texas Education Agency, and members of the Public School Finance Commission, and to put down some markers on what they'd like to see in this session's highly anticipated school finance reform push. Full-day pre-K has emerged with bipartisan support as a viable solution for the state's dismal childhood literacy rates; only about 41% of Texas third-graders are reading at grade level, and even fewer low-income students and English-language learners. view article arw

During a presentation to business leaders Wednesday, San Antonio Independent School District Superintendent Pedro Martinez made a point to respond to critics and praise the district’s board of trustees. “I am convinced that we have the best school board in the entire nation,” he said, “and so I just want to acknowledge our board.  We have made some tough decisions, and they have stuck with us.” view article arw

Since the late 1980s, the Abilene Independent School District has had a loose agreement with Alliance for Women and Children for after-school care at several elementary schools. Trustees, though, took the next step in formalizing the agreement with a vote, 5-0, Monday night. Alliance will have first chance to become the district's official program facilitator at all but three of the elementary schools. view article arw

Before Sarah Fitzhugh presented the 2017-18 Texas Academic Performance Report (TAPR) to the Lewisville ISD Board of Trustees on Monday, she began with a qualifier. “We are way more than what is in this report,” said Fitzhugh, LISD's director of assessment. “We really take it seriously measuring and evaluating holistically things that happen in our schools, and a lot of this is based on the STAAR test.” view article arw

On the eve of the girls' high school basketball playoffs, there's an unfamiliar air of uncertainty surrounding at state powerhouse Duncanville. The UIL, the state's governing body for high school sports has ordered Duncanville ISD to investigate possible recruiting violations surrounding a player that transferred into the district to play basketball under head coach Kathy Self-Morgan. view article arw


February 1208:30 AM

Time for a little crazy talk. I was recently on a campus that is struggling to meet state accountability requirements.  The campus is not struggling because of weak leadership, poor instruction or unmotivated students. Leadership is engaged, teachers are working, and students are trying. The campus is struggling because the test is rigorous, and the students are not beneficiaries of enriched and enhanced life experiences. Which means that the path to state testing success requires more teaching, more exposure to content and more time on task. view article arw

Austin ISD trustees will discuss a draft of the district’s consolidation process and a plan for effectively using its campuses at a workshop Feb. 11. According to the agenda for the board workshop, the board is scheduled to discuss boundary changes, consolidations, aging facilities and program offerings throughout the district. No action will be taken at the meeting. District leadership is considering closing and consolidation of schools due to shortfalls in the district budget. Consolidation as a means to save costs and better utilize campus space was recommended by district staff in December and the district’s Budget Stabilization Taskforce in January. view article arw

Officials with the Texas Association of School Boards discussed a pay study they conducted for Cleburne ISD with the board of trustees during Tuesday night’s work session. Ann Patton, TASB managing compensation consultant, said overall CISD officials do a good job in ensuring their staff members are paid well in their respective positions. The Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex is one of the most dynamic areas for school districts in the entire state, Patton said, with a variety of both large and small districts around the same geographic area. When comparing compensation for staff members, she said they look at not only surrounding districts but also similar jobs in the private sector and the market value of the job.  view article arw


February 1108:30 AM

If you are not following @LYSNation on Twitter, then you missed the Top 10 LYS tweets from the past week when they were first posted.  And if you are on Twitter, you might want to check out the Tweeters who made this week’s list. view article arw

The Plano ISD school board discussed changing its honors distinction for fine arts courses, Tuesday night. Several parents spoke against the suggested policy change that would take honor credits from band, choir and orchestra courses starting with the eighth grade class of 2023. Last June, PISD trustees unanimously voted to eliminate a class rank systems based on GPA, and instead opted for a two-tiered system that includes an accumulated GPA on their official transcript and an internal ranking GPA that’s solely used to calculate the top 10 percent, a requirement by state law. view article arw

The Lewisville ISD Board of Trustees will hold a hearing for public discussion of the 2017–18 Texas Academic Performance Report (TAPR) at its regular board meeting, 7 p.m.  view article arw

The Senate Education Committee met today for the first time this session and got a primer on the state of public education from the Texas Education Agency and Commissioner Mike Morath.  Morath went over some of the statistics on Texas students. The good news is that most achievement benchmarks are “at or near all time highs,” including a 90 percent graduation rate, which he said is ranked fifth in the nation. Also on the rise is college readiness, although Morath noted that the fastest increases have been for middle-income kids, with low-income students growing in college readiness at a much lower rate. view article arw

I want to share the good news. Your positive impact with me and on our campus has continued. I want to inform you that our STAAR End of Course scores rose by 5% in both English I and II for the 17/18 school year. Our 2018 Fall Semester District Benchmark scores increased over the prior year. And, our 9-weeks checkpoint data continues to show increases.  view article arw

Here at Lead Your School, we love instruction and we $@#%&*! hate cancer. This love/hate dynamic manifests itself with our annual March For A Cure Challenge. During March, for every completed PowerWalks Classroom Observation, we donate 5¢ to cancer research. It may not sound like much, but thanks to all the PowerWalk campuses across the nation, the donation grows quickly. view article arw

Part of being a parent is worrying about your kids when they're away. Among those worries, their school environment is always near the top of the list. That's why compiled a list of the top 25 schools with the highest "discipline populations" in Houston ISD for the 2017-18 school year, the most recent year the data was available. view article arw

With a view toward trying to take a more holistic approach to planning, various Ector County Independent School District officials are looking at five-year trends and taking into account items in addition to state testing data. The result is a comprehensive needs assessment. “I don’t think that there’s any district out there anymore that doesn’t look at state assessment data because it’s such a big factor in Texas, but if we’re not careful, we look at that data and forget everything else,” Deputy Superintendent Stephanie Howard said. view article arw

Part of “Standing for Houston” is spotlighting opportunities that can bring a positive change to your life. The Texas Education Agency launched a free program for former students who entered the ninth grade before the 2011-2012 school year and didn’t graduate due to failing the TAKS, TAAS, or TEAMS test. view article arw

During his annual State of the District speech, Georgetown ISD Superintendent Fred Brent said the district is looking to better prepare its students for a quickly evolving future. “Right now, we’re focusing on how we launch your children into success and how we focus on meeting their needs so they have an idea of who they are and where they’re going when they leave us,” Brent said. The State of the District was held in conjunction with the ribbon cutting of the new Hammerlun Center for Leadership and Learning on Feb. 5.  view article arw

Ten San Antonio-area high schools recorded perfect graduation rates in 2017, the most recent year for which data is available, according to data from the Texas Education Agency. Schools in Fort Sam Houston ISD, Judson ISD, North East ISD, Northside ISD, Randolph Field ISD and San Antonio ISD, as well as multiple charter schools all had graduation rates of 100 percent, the TEA data shows. view article arw

Plano ISD trustees are reevaluating the criteria for the district’s new class ranking practice, which under its current proposal could remove honors designations for certain fine arts courses for students graduating in 2023 and beyond. Trustees heard from multiple speakers at their Feb. 5 meeting who voiced concern about the weighting of future high school courses for this year’s eighth graders. Some of the fine arts courses that could be affected by the policy revision include orchestra and band. Trustees ultimately voted to table the policy revision until their April 9 board meeting. The revision comes comes as part of the district’s broader new class ranking practice, which trustees approved in June.   view article arw

The Humble ISD Board of Trustees will hold its Annual Performance Report public meeting next week. The presentation will take place at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 12, in the Humble ISD Administration Building, located at 20200 Eastway Village Dr., in Humble. The annual report includes items such as the district's Texas Academic Performance Report (TAPR) and information from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. view article arw

Reading, writing and reciprocating engines are all on the lesson plan at McKinney High School, where the school’s aviation program teaches kids about the science behind taking flight. Students are making mini versions of an aircraft engine out of soda cans, learning more about how the technology works and how it keeps planes in the air. Thomas Zimmerly, a student at the school, said he couldn’t wait to sign up. "I’m very interested in planes, and my uncle is a pilot, and that’s what I wanted to do for a while," Zimmerly said. view article arw

Last week Mumford ISD was awarded an A accreditation rating from the Texas Education Agency. Nationally the district has been recognized as a Blue Ribbon district twice in the last ten years. view article arw

Beaumont ISD is holding community meetings about the recent board-approved charter school partnerships for low-performing schools. The meetings will start at 6 p.m. at each school. Smith Middle School's meeting is on Feb. 4, Jones-Clark Elementary School's is on Feb. 6, and Fehl-Price's Elementary School's meeting is on Feb. 7.  view article arw

There are those that don’t understand the power of reflective observation.  They mistakenly believe that there is nothing to learn after a few cursory visits to a classroom.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  In fact, the most important key to building insight and deeper understanding about teaching and learning is to engage in a steady volume of daily classroom observation. What we have learned over the past ten years is that after about every 300 classroom observations, the observer will notice, discern, and/or learn something new… something that was previously hidden. It is the “Eureka” moment, and there is nothing else like it in instructional leadership. view article arw

Bryan school administrators have proposed a tuition-based full-day pre-kindergarten program to give families an option that goes beyond the state-funded half-day program. The proposed program would begin at four elementary schools: Bonham, Bowen, Houston and Mitchell. All four campuses have the after-school AlphaBEST Extended Day program. Students who are 4 years old “on or before Sept. 1” of the school year are eligible for the pre-kindergarten program if they meet one of the following criteria: unable to speak and comprehend English; qualifies for the national free and reduced lunch program; is homeless; is the child of an active-duty member of the U.S. military; is a child of a U.S. military member who was injured or killed on active duty; is in foster care; or is the child of a peace officer, firefighter or emergency medical first responder. view article arw

The Texas Education Agency is reviewing a complaint against Spring Hill ISD and two school board members regarding allegations related to the district’s purchase of a football stadium scoreboard in 2017. TEA spokeswoman DeEtta Culbertson confirmed the review but declined to discuss the nature of the complaint, who made it or when the review might be completed. However, a letter from the education agency to the district, a copy of which has been obtained by the News-Journal, says Spring Hill ISD is the subject of a TEA special accreditation investigation on allegations of fiduciary violations against at least two school trustees. The probe relates to the district’s $490,526 purchase of a scoreboardfor the football stadium in April 2017. view article arw

The old cliche says kids grow up way too fast, but here's a question when it comes to college, "Is that such a bad thing? Two words - Dual credit. As in college credit. For high school students. “I think so, take accountability, rigorous curriculum," Floresville student Maddy Castro said. "Not a mess around class.” view article arw

Texas Education Agency (TEA) Commissioner Mike Morath announced the release of TEA’s 2018 Annual Report on Texas public schools with the intention to share the success stories of schools that are meeting the needs of their students with highly effective and efficient approaches to education. Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ISD’s Early Childhood program was one of the first mentioned during his report highlight podcast earlier today. During the podcast he mentioned how all over Texas, educators are engaged in practices to improve the quality of Kinder through 3rd grade, both in literacy and mathematics instruction, but also to include quality and access to Pre-K. In Pre-K, in particular, he mentioned how so many innovative practices already exist in districts around the state. view article arw

KSAT 12 is showcasing people in San Antonio who are doing great things in the black community in honor of Black History Month. A San Antonio Independent School District bus driver is creating black history in San Antonio by making it her personal mission to get the students who ride her bus excited about reading. view article arw

More than 38,000 students transferred out of Houston ISD during the 2017-18 year, with the overwhelming majority flocking to charter schools in the Houston area, according to data from the Texas Education Agency. Despite HISD losing 38,532 students to other districts, only 3,097 students transferred into the district that year, according to the data. The district is the largest in the state with a total enrollment of about 214,000, but it lost a significantly higher percentage of students who transferred out of the district compared to the Cypress-Fairbanks ISD, the state's third-largest district. view article arw