Texas finished 36th in a new public education study from the website 24/7 Wall St. that examines such measures as high school graduation rates, per-pupil funding and preschool participation.  In the analysis, which is modeled after the Quality Counts study created by the publication Education Week, Texas was found to have a 12th-grade graduation rate of 89.7 percent, education spending amounting to $9,375 per student and a preschool participation rate among 3- and 4-year-olds of 38.7 percent.  Those obtaining bachelor’s degrees in the state represented 30.3 percent of the adult population. view article arw

FBI conducting 'court authorized law enforcement activity' at HISD's headquarters A later media statement from HISD indicated "the district is fully cooperating" but did not offer any additional information. view article arw

Texas Reads One Book is a unique opportunity for families across the state to read “The Lemonade Crime” together!  The kickoff was Monday, Feb. 10, when students viewed a videotaped reading of the first chapter of “The Lemonade Crime” by Jacqueline Davies. view article arw

SAN ANTONIO (CN) – A Houston teachers union, making claims of racial discrimination, asked a federal judge Tuesday to block the Texas Education Agency from replacing their school district’s elected board of trustees with a handpicked board of managers.   The Houston Federation of Teachers and Texas Federation of Teachers brought the federal complaint in San Antonio against the Texas Education Agency and its Commissioner Mike Morath on Tuesday.  The lawsuit stems from Morath’s Nov. 6 announcement the Texas Education Agency would take over the Houston Independent School District’s board because of the dismal academic performance of Wheatley High School. view article arw

The next six days are pivotal for the Democratic presidential hopefuls as they jockey for position ahead of Saturday’s South Carolina primary and Super Tuesday three days later. Though education hasn’t necessarily been front and center on the debate stage and on the campaign trail, it is a constant undercurrent in the minds of the candidates — and voters. Kevin Mahnken digs into the education landscape in South Carolina,  view article arw

EL PASO, Texas (KFOX14) — The findings of an audit show that more than two dozen Socorro Independent School District students were mistakenly graduated during the last school year.  Socorro ISD board trustees Paul Garcia, David O. Morales and Eddie Mena claim there were students who graduated in May 2019 that did not meet the criteria. view article arw

Leander ISD will hold registration for its 2020-21 full-day pre-K program from 7:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m. April 14-15 at two locations: Grandview Hills Elementary, 12024 Vista Parke Drive, Austin, and Pleasant Hill Elementary, 1800 Horizon Park Blvd., Leander.  The free program is open to children who live within district boundaries and are 4 years old on or before Sept. 1, 2020, according to LISD. They must also meet at least one eligibility requirement:   view article arw

ROUND ROCK, TX — Community Education is an opportunity for students and adults to gain access to year-round enrichment classes including after school classes during the school year and summer days camps for K-12 grade students within Round Rock ISD. High School and Family Parent Seminars are also offered on evenings and weekends through Community Education. view article arw

Klein ISD will begin offering free full-day prekindergarten for qualifying children starting this fall semester, a mandatory service for local school districts to provide after the Texas Legislature passed House Bill 3 in 2019.  The program will begin with the 2020-2021 school year. Students who cannot speak English, are educationally disadvantaged, are homeless, are the child of an active or deceased member of the armed forces, are the child of a deceased or injured law enforcement officer or are in foster care are eligible for the program. view article arw

The Eanes ISD board of trustees in conjunction with The District Leadership Team discussed a resolution regarding amendments to the district’s plan for innovation.  EISD is an approved district of innovation, a system passed in 2017 that provides traditional independent school districts with additional flexibilities, which are given to open-enrollment charter schools, according to the Texas Association of School Boards. view article arw

The Lake Woebegone Effect: Everyone is above average.  When assessing staff, most principals suffer from the Lake Woebegone effect.  They rate all the staff is above average. They are not. Half of the staff is above average. The other half is below average. Don’t lie to yourself, recognize this. Your job is not to make all your staff above average. Your job is to make all your staff better. You do this through training and system implementation. view article arw

The Longview ISD school board will consider approving a land swap deal today with the Longview Economic Development Corp., while the East Texas Advanced Academies board could OK a partnership with an organization called Empower Schools.  Both boards are set to meet at noon today at different locations.  The Longview ISD board will meet at the Longview High School meat lab, 201 E. Tomlinson Parkway, while the ETAA board will gather in the library at J.L. Everhart Elementary School, 2919 Tryon Road. view article arw

The College Board singled out the Los Fresnos Consolidated Independent School District as the 2020 Advanced Placement District of the Year among medium-sized school districts.  Los Fresnos and the College Board celebrated the distinction during an assembly at Los Fresnos High School on Tuesday. The district was recognized as the national leader among districts having between 8,000 and 50,000 students. Each year the award is given to a large, medium and small district that expands access to AP Program courses while simultaneously improving AP Exam performance, particularly among traditionally underrepresented minority students. view article arw

AUSTIN, Texas — Editor's note: The above video is from KVUE's most recent report related to AISD's proposed closures. Tune in at 10 p.m. tonight for this report!  Austin ISD broke a lot of hearts when they voted to close four schools this year. Brooke, Metz, Sims and Pease Elementary schools won't exist after May, forcing kids to start over in new schools. view article arw

McALLEN — McAllen schools announced a tuition-free pre-kinder opportunity in a statement Monday.  Under the Universal Pre-K system, 198 students can be included for free on a first come, first serve basis, the release stated. The program will be offered at Castañeda, Rayburn, Hendricks, Bonham and Fields Elementary schools. view article arw

The dual language program at Caldwell Elementary will continue into the 2020-21 school year, according to McKinney ISD superintendent Rick McDaniel.  The program, which combines native English speakers and native Spanish speakers in a two-way immersion class for grades K-5, will enter its 10th year at Caldwell in the coming school year, according to a Feb. 21 press release. It is the only program of its kind in McKinney ISD.   A number of community members spoke in support of the program at a Feb. 25 school board meeting after discussions had surfaced about the possibility of the program being discontinued. Some parents offered their time to assist the program, and two eighth grade students spoke to the board in Spanish, using skills they learned at Caldwell. view article arw

WICHITA FALLS, Texas (TNN) - This is the second time the students with the Wichita Falls ISD Career Education Center are building a home entirely on their own.  Students at the CEC say these are the biggest projects they have tackled, so far.  Like the first home, this home will go to auction soon after completion. The first house was marketed and sold in 2019. view article arw

LAREDO, TX (KGNS) - Laredo ISD will be celebrating Read Across America Week beginning Tuesday through Friday.  Every year in celebration of Read Across America, LISD students join the National Education Association in promoting reading activities.  LISD will hold various events during the week to promote literacy using the theme "Reading is Magical." view article arw

Families with children in the Greenville Independent School District will have an opportunity Thursday, March 5, to learn more about how to leap into college life.  With nearly 75 percent of the district’s students being identified as economically disadvantaged, Greenville ISD’s College Night will largely focus on how to acquire financial aid.  One of the programs that will be highlighted is Texas A&M University’s Pledge program, which pays the remaining balance for qualifying students if their tuition isn’t fully covered by other means of financial assistance.  To take advantage of the university’s Pledge program, a student must: view article arw

Clear Creek ISD’s board of trustees approved $2 million in state funding to provide resources for students in a variety of English Language Arts and dual-language classrooms at the Feb. 24 regular meeting.  Several subject area subcommittees completed the process of reviewing and selecting instructional resources. The subcommittees were made up of teachers—including representatives from English as a Second Language, special education, and technology—and a parent or community representative per committee. Resources were selected for English Language Arts and Reading, grades 9 to 12; English Language Arts Electives; English Learners Language Arts, seventh and eighth grades; and English I and II for Speakers of Other Languages. view article arw

ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) — Earlier in the school year KTAB/KRBC told you about a few Abilene schools that received failing grades from the state.  One of those was Reagan Elementary, and now the district is making big moves to rise above it.  Dr. Dan Dukes with Abilene Independent School District (AISD) leads the change over at the school, working with his team to come up with a turn around plan.   (02/26) view article arw

Montgomery ISD officials are preparing to roll out additional reading and writing instructional training for teachers and principals—a state-mandated task that requires the district to look at available funds, resources and time commitments.  As required by House Bill 3, which was passed by the 86th Texas Legislature in June 2019, all teachers and principals who serve kindergarten through third-grade students must begin Texas Reading Academies training before the 2022-23 school year. The Texas Reading Academies are authorized by the Texas Education Agency, a state agency that oversees primary and secondary public education. view article arw

Top LYS Tweets – February 24, 2020

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f 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.  Here’s the secret to building relationships: Actually like kids. That’s it. No fancy handshakes, no dancing and singing like a fool every morning. That stuff is for show and kids know it. Just like kids. It’s easy. And if you don’t, find something else to do. (By @ModestTeacher) view article arw

CLARKSVILLE — With a higher percentage than should be of Clarksville ISD students reading below grade level, Superintendent Kermit Ward wanted to know why. He separated the district into quadrants to study, and he’s taken what he’s learned to the district’s trustees so they may address the problem. view article arw

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — College classes for High School students in Flour Bluff are coming back after a new partnership.  Del Mar College will be partnering with Flour Bluff Independent School District for the new Viking Academy.  Viking Academy will allow high school students to take dual-credit classes from Del Mar College, allowing them to graduate with both a high school diploma and associate's degree. view article arw

February 21, 2020 — Midland ISD is considering transforming Sam Houston Collegiate Preparatory Elementary into an in-district partner school. This move comes as part of the district’s effort to comply with the requirements of HB 1842.  In 2018, Houston Elementary transformed into Sam Houston Collegiate Preparatory Elementary, with a focus on Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) strategies. While progress in campus culture is evident, the transformation has not yielded the academic turnaround desired, as demonstrated by scores on the state-mandated STAAR test and the district’s more comprehensive School Performance Framework measurements. view article arw

PASADENA, Texas — In partnership with Good Reason Houston, San Jacinto College has launched the Harris County Promise at San Jacinto College, a program for local high school seniors to earn a tuition-free higher education credential.  Harris County Promise is a partnership between local independent school districts, higher education institutions, and Good Reason Houston aimed at increasing college credential and degree attainment for the region. Data shows that 65 percent of today’s jobs require more than a high school education, but only 21 percent of students in Harris County earn a postsecondary credential. view article arw

Dovalina Elementary School in Laredo overlooks the waters of the Rio Grande and, with it, the border that separates Texas from Mexico. Enveloping the campus is a neighborhood where close to half the population over the age of 25 has less than a high school education. Nearly 94 percent of its families speak Spanish at home. Roughly half of the neighborhood’s residents fall below the federal poverty line.  At Dovalina, about three-quarters of the students are still learning English and nearly 100 percent are considered economically disadvantaged. Several of the students are what Principal Karla Peña calls “raw beginners,” children who have no experience in a school setting.  “These are kids that were in Mexico, but because of the violence or whatever it was, they were never sent to school,” Peña said.   (02/24) view article arw

A packed house heard the superintendent share the hurdles the district has overcome, those they still face and his hopes for the district's future.  Beyonce's “I Was Here” set the atmosphere for the superintendent’s address, with the theme of “Transforming Dallas ISD.”  “We're on quite a journey and it’s because of the support that we're getting from all of you,” Hinojosa said.  He discussed district success stories, like improved academic programs. He pointed out Titche Elementary, for fifteen years academically unacceptable, is now bringing home good grades. view article arw

Garland ISD is kicking off the new decade with new opportunities focused on preparing students for the world of tomorrow. In 2020-21, students will have access to greater fine arts, athletics and specialized academic programs.  To create a streamlined path, the district will introduce mariachi and orchestra classes at three schools in the fall. Austin Academy for Excellence and North Garland High School will debut mariachi courses, while Naaman Forest High School will launch an orchestra program. Currently, Jackson Technology Center for Math and Science as well as Garland High School house both orchestra and mariachi classes, while Austin Academy for Excellence, Webb Middle School and North Garland High School offer orchestra courses. view article arw

CLEVELAND, Feb. 22, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, the U.S. Census Bureau hosted an event to highlight efforts to ensure all young children are counted in the 2020 Census. Children under five years old are among population groups historically undercounted in the census. The Census Bureau is making a concerted effort to address this issue by creating community partnerships, educational programs, awareness campaigns and operational innovations with the goal of raising awareness of the importance of counting young children. view article arw

MARLIN, Texas — Days after getting a notice from the Texas Education Agency that its accreditation has been revoked, Marlin Independent School District continues its search for a new superintendent.  Parents got the chance to ask the interim superintendent questions on Thursday about how to make the district better for their students while giving their input on what they wanted in new leadership. view article arw

The way grades are structured in Cleburne ISD campuses could possibly change in the future. The CISD board of trustees discussed proposed grade configurations during Tuesday night’s meeting.  Administrators are proposing to have pre-kindergarten through fourth grade at the district’s seven elementary schools, fifth- and sixth-graders at Smith Middle School — which would be renamed Smith Intermediate School — seventh- and eighth-graders at Wheat Middle School and ninth- through 12th-grade at Cleburne High School.   With 200 more students in the district compared to last year, CISD Curriculum & Instruction Assistant Superintendent Kristi Rhone said the proposed configuration could potentially keep the elementary schools from going over capacity.  view article arw

KATY, Texas — An area high school is providing its students with a learning environment that will help them soar past the competition.  A manufacturing and engineering competition.  Students in Katy are getting the hands-on training NASA scientists dream about. And, it's all free.  "It’s like a robotics class on steroids," Monica Raumaker said. view article arw

BURKBURNETT (KFDX/KJTL) — Five Burkburnett ISD students chose aprons over cleats and they’re proving small programs can make it big.  They placed fifth in culinary out of 18 teams in the Texas Prostart Invitational competition.  They’ve grown up together and now they’re dominating the kitchen as a well-oiled machine.  “I couldn’t ask for a better team, I could not, I love every one of them,” Culinary Academy student Tristan Forrester said.  For the five seniors, the kitchen is their field and cooking is their sport. view article arw