At Kashmere High School, Houston ISD administrators and community members touted the school’s profound turnaround—earning a passing grade on the state’s rating system for the first time in almost a decade. “With the right support, we have changed the narrative,” interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan told the audience Aug. 15. Despite the fanfare, one underperforming school and a Texas Education Agency investigation could shake up the district’s elected board of trustees, who do not make the day-to-day decisions of the district but are held responsible for its oversight. The state has the option to appoint a board of managers to replace the trustees, a move that has divided elected officials, community groups and parents. view article arw

Students in Katy ISD no longer will be able to earn Ds on their report cards after the board of trustees voted last month to change the district’s grading policies. Rather than a D, students who score between 70 percent and 74 percent in a class now will receive a C-. view article arw

The following tables reveal test results from the 2018-19 State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, or STAAR Exam,  view article arw

In a board meeting last month, Katy ISD approved changes to its class ranking and district policy, which includes removing the "D" letter grade from its grading system. The district says students who began the 2019-2020 school year as juniors, sophomores or freshmen will see a modification to the class rank reporting practice. view article arw

Days before Clear Creek ISD students returned to class for the 2019-20 school year, the Texas Education Agency released the 2018-19 accountability ratings, and CCISD learned its score had dropped three points to receive an 89, or a B. District officials said CCISD would have received a 91 if it weren’t for a new rule that caps a district at a B grade if any of its campuses receive a D or an F rating. Clear View High School received a D this year. Before, the cap applied only to districts with an F-scoring campus, said Steven Ebell, deputy superintendent of curriculum and instruction. view article arw


September 0308:30 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

Lubbock area schools’ enrollment continues trending upward — early numbers show Frenship and Lubbock-Cooper ISD’s student population still growing, and Lubbock ISD’s decreasing slightly, yet still high. School districts will report final enrollment numbers to the Texas Education Agency near the end of October, so current enrollment numbers aren’t final. Unofficial numbers provided by the districts last week show Lubbock-Cooper ISD increasing its enrollment by about 385 students this year, and Frenship ISD increased about 280 students. Cooper’s enrollment across the entire district sits at about 6,950 students, and Frenship’s is a little over 10,100. view article arw

More than 7 million students missed 15 or more days of school in the 2015-16 school year, according to the U.S. Department of Education, which is 16% of the student population. Lamar County Superintendent Tess Smith said anytime missed is hard to replace. "There are just so many things that a teacher can do in that initial lesson, hands on, discussion with other students, that they just can’t get when they return to campus,” said Smith. view article arw

Vidor ISD officials say a recent report showing they’re one of 10 Texas districts with the highest rate of in-school suspensions for preschoolers doesn’t reflect how discipline is handled differently across grade levels. Traditional in-school suspensions across the state generally redirect a student to a specific classroom where he or she does not have much interaction with other students or participate in recess or other enrichment activities. view article arw

Jasper ISD topped the list of districts issuing out-of-school suspensions to preschoolers, despite a law virtually banning that punishment for children so young, a new study released Wednesday shows. Texas schools issued more than 7,600 out-of-school suspensions to early elementary students, including 566 to preschoolers, the study said. view article arw

Center ISD and its campuses came out on the positive end of numbers and data released this month by the Texas Education Agency as a report card on how the state's public education system stacks up. “We're pleased with where we are and how we're trending,” said Center ISD Supt. James Hockenberry. “The biggest take-away is how closely aligned our campuses are to one another. I think that speaks to the strengths of our district.” When the state released its accountability rankings earlier this month reams of data on each of the state's district's and campuses were a part of the information. From rating improvement on socially disadvantaged groups to STARR tests performance and graduation rates, there was lots of data for educators and administrators to absorb. view article arw

Denton ISD had over 2,000 students more on the first day of school this year than it did last year. First day enrollment on Aug. 14 was 29,195 students, according to a news release from the district. DISD had 27,045 students in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade on the first day of 2018-19 school year and ended the past school year with 29,586. view article arw

A South Texas school district is among the 10 districts across the state with the highest pre-K in-school suspension rates, a new report shows. A report from the nonprofit Texans Care for Children released this week shows the Kingsville Independent School District suspended 5.09 percent of pre-K students — 14 students out of 275 — in 2017-18. The state average is 0.92 percent. view article arw

Administrators at Premont Independent School District have had several milestones in the last few years. After almost closing down, Premont’s Texas Education Agency (TEA) ratings have been a a “B” for two years, teachers are getting raises and student enrollment is at an increase. The hard work that administrators and teachers at Premont ISD hasn’t gone unnoticed.  view article arw

A nonprofit that advocates for children says the rate of student suspensions has fallen by nearly a third since the state implemented a law barring suspensions except in extreme circumstances. view article arw

Interventions in which students are “nudged” with text messages to do things that are thought to be good for them have yielded another disappointing result. In a newly released study, Kelli A. Bird, Benjamin L. Castleman, Jeffrey T. Denning, Joshua Goodman, Cait Lamberton, and Kelly Ochs Rosinger report: view article arw

In an average summer, the Nacogdoches Independent School District (NISD) oversees about 10 significant capital improvement projects. This year, the district’s plant services department is wrapping up 33 projects. They’re all possible after the passage of an almost $79-million bond issue freed up funding dollars. view article arw

The new school year just started, but the grades are already in, at least for the staff. State education leaders are grading schools individually this year, and that can have a district-wide effect. The TEA dropped Hidalgo ISD from an "A" grade down to a "B", but the district says they're appealing that score because it wasn't calculated fairly. view article arw

In 2017, Texas lawmakers passed a bill barring school districts across the state from placing their youngest students in out-of-school suspension. But the following year, a handful of North Texas schools continued suspending those students, according to a new report from Texans Care for Children, a nonpartisan policy organization. view article arw

Killeen Independent School District accounted for 44% of the state’s pre-K in-school suspensions for the 2017-2018 school year, according to a statewide report released Wednesday from Texans Care for Children, a nonprofit that reviews children’s policies in the state. Texas school districts issued over 70,000 in-school and out-of-school suspensions to students in pre-K through second grade, and KISD issued far more pre-K suspensions than any other district in Texas during that school year, according to the release. view article arw

Students at all Ector County ISD high schools may earn exemptions from spring final exams if they meet certain standards during the school year. The policy was previously open to seniors, but this year it is available from freshmen up. Seniors are eligible to be exempt from all exams; juniors are allowed up to four exemptions; sophomores are allowed up to three exemptions; and freshmen are allowed up to two, the policy states. view article arw

Ector County ISD students will have a chance to take heating and air conditioning and plumbing courses during the 2020-2021 school year. Executive Director of Career and Technical Education Carla Byrne said it’s been a long time coming. “We had HVAC and plumbing through OC and it was called the PACE program. That was many years ago — at least more than nine,” Byrne said. view article arw

A Lewisville car dealership kicked off the school year Wednesday with a literacy program to help elementary students learn science, technology, engineering and math. "It's really important to keep learning and keep reading and keep going in your career," Elena Ford told students at Central Elementary School in Lewisville.  view article arw

More Leander ISD students students took Advanced Placement exams in 2019, with the total number of AP exams taken reaching a new high, school district officials said. In 2018–19, Leander ISD saw a 6 percent increase over the 2017–18 school year in the number of AP exams taken, with an identical increase in the number of students testing, outpacing the district's 4% student enrollment growth. LISD reported that 4,709 students took 9,086 AP exams in 2019, up from the 4,453 students who took 8,538 exams in 2018. The percentage of students who met criteria (scoring a 3 or higher) remained consistent at 71 percent, officials added. view article arw

The company that administers the SAT college admissions test is replacing the so-called adversity score with a tool that will no longer reduce an applicant's background to a single number, an idea the College Board's chief executive now says was a mistake. Amid growing scrutiny of the role wealth plays in college admissions, the College Board introduced its Environmental Context Dashboard about two years ago to provide context for a student's performance on the test and help schools identify those who have done more with less. view article arw

The Texas Education Association (TEA) released accountability ratings for schools just in time for the first day of the new academic school year. The 85th Texas Legislature passed House Bill (HB) 22, establishing three domains for measuring the academic performance of districts and campuses: Student Achievement, School Progress and Closing the Gaps. Districts and campuses receive a rating of A, B, C, D or F for overall performance, as well as for performance in each domain.  Taylor ISD was one of the schools in the area that saw improvement from last year’s ratings.  view article arw

The Texas Education Agency is reviewing complaints involving the Manor school district after some district officials alleged the school board president conspired with two employees and other board members to discredit and oust the superintendent.  The TEA review appears to be in response to at least one of four complaints that were made between April 1 and July 9. All four, filed by three separate district officials, point to the ongoing struggles among the district’s top leaders and hint at possible reasons behind Manor Superintendent Royce Avery’s impending departure.  However, the TEA’s review will focus on only two of the allegations listed in the complaints — at least for now. Earlier this month, the state agency’s special investigations unit notified Avery that it is reviewing allegations of an Open Meetings Act violation and the unilateral approval of expenses by the board president.It is unclear what actions, if any, TEA officials are considering against the district or any of its representatives. view article arw

It began as an experiment more than four years ago in a handful of struggling Dallas schools.  Now, the ACE program —for Accelerating Campus Excellence —  has blossomed into a turnaround program well beyond Dallas. But these programs are pricey. Can districts afford them in the long run? view article arw


August 2808:30 AM

School leaders, here is some prep work you need to do in order to have some strategic, purposeful conversations with individual staff members prior to the school year getting away from us.  Make a list of the students who failed last year’s content specific state accountability tests and/or the district’s end of the year test.  Then look to see what those students received as a semester grade. Every student that received a semester grade higher than a 75, make a note of the teacher. view article arw

The Message of Measles

August 2808:30 AM

One day in the early sixties, Saul Zucker, a pediatrician and anesthesiologist in the Bronx, was treating the child of a New York assemblyman named Alexander Chananau. Amid the stethoscoping and reflex-hammering of a routine checkup, the two men got to talking about polio, which was still a threat to the nation’s youth, in spite of the discovery, the previous decade, of a vaccine. At the time, some states had laws requiring the vaccination of schoolchildren, but New York was not one of them. In his office, on the Grand Concourse, Zucker urged Chananau to push such a law, and shortly afterward the assemblyman introduced a bill in the legislature.  view article arw

Sometimes life requires pushing through “DIRT,” but Justin Smith encouraged the Bryan school district’s summer graduates to move beyond the blocks that might come their way. Though not everyone understands football, he said, “I think everybody in the crowd can relate to breaking tackles in life to reach the end zone of success. I believe that’s exactly what our graduates have done today. Y’all have broken the tackles of life, and y’all have become successful today, and I want to congratulate each and every one of you.” view article arw

The most recent Texas Education Agency report graded Plainview ISD an overall B district for the second year in a row. Superintendent H.T. Sanchez broke down the scores for the School Board during a regular meeting Thursday evening. The district's score changed only slightly its score last year, he said, and most of the campuses experienced improvement. view article arw

More than 56.5 percent of 1,559 local schools received an overall A or B grade in a new accountability report from the Texas Education Agency, according to a Houston Chronicle analysis. The Chronicle found 11.2 percent of those local schools received D's or F's, while statewide, 14 percent of schools received D's or F's. Statewide, 61 percent of Texas schools were rated with an A or B grade, according to the TEA. view article arw

Will Huntsberry of the Voice of San Diego reports that all the online charters connected to the biggest charter fraud in U.S. history will close. Huntsberry writes: An online charter school empire whose leaders have been charged with enrolling fake students and misappropriating $80 million in public funds will be forced to close all of its schools across California. view article arw

The Clear Creek ISD board of trustees Aug. 26 approved the fiscal year 2019-20 budget, which includes a projected property tax rate decrease, raises and new hires, and a greater share of state revenue. The tax rate has been steady at $1.40 per $100 valuation since FY 2013-14, but the rate is expected to drop to $1.31 per $100 valuation for FY 2019-20, mostly due to House Bill 3. The rate includes $0.97 for maintenance and operations and $0.34 for debt service. The tax rate will not be finalized until September. view article arw