DK Haney Roofing

AUSTIN -- A special task force of federal and state environmental specialists has been tasked with monitoring toxic chemical sites and landfills in Houston and other areas devastated by Hurricane Harvey, Gov. Greg Abbott said Thursday.  Acknowledging growing concerns in the Houston area about flooded chemical plants and toxic Superfund that were inundated and possibly damaged by the killer storm, he said the two primary regulatory agencies that oversee chemical issues -- view article arw

The Brief: DACA is ending, maybe

September 0608:39 AM

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals' days appear numbered, but the fight over what that exactly means for the more than 800,000 recipients of the program — including more than 120,000 Texans — is still up in the air.  The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals' days appear numbered, but the fight over what that exactly means for the more than 800,000 recipients of the program — including more than 120,000 Texans — is still on the horizon. Here's what you need to know:  view article arw

They grew up in America and are working or going to school here. Some are building businesses or raising families of their own. Many have no memory of the country where they were born. Now, almost 800,000 young immigrants who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children or overstayed their visas could see their lives upended after the Trump administration announced Tuesday it is ending the Obama-era program that protected them from deportation. view article arw

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump is promising billions to help Texas rebuild from Harvey-caused epic flooding, but his Republican allies in the House are looking at cutting almost $1 billion from disaster accounts to help finance the president’s border wall. The pending reduction to the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s disaster relief account is part of a massive spending bill that the House is scheduled to consider next week when lawmakers return from their August recess. The $876 million cut, which is included in the 1,305-page measure’s homeland security section, pays for roughly half the cost of Trump’s down payment on the U.S.-Mexico border wall that the president repeatedly promised Mexico would finance. view article arw

The U.S. Department of Education today activated its emergency response contact center in response to the devastating impacts of Hurricane Harvey. The Department’s K-12 and Higher Education stakeholders who are seeking informational resources as well as those seeking relief from Department-based administrative requirements should contact the Department toll free at 1-844-348-4082 or by email at view article arw

The aftermath of Hurricane Harvey has people wanting to do anything they can to help and St. Martin High School is doing their part by adopting a school in Texas. view article arw

Commissioner of Education Mike Morath today advised that the public comment period for the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) consolidated state plan for Texas ends Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2017. Comments can be submitted to the Texas Education Agency (TEA) via email at The draft plan can be viewed here. view article arw

Since the Every Student Succeeds Act was made law in late 2015, the Texas Education Agency has been working to fit state and federal regulations together into one system.  The first draft of the state's plan, all 75 pages of it, was completed last month and has been made public for interested stakeholders and public policy experts to review and provide comment. view article arw

In Tulsa and around the state, the school year is beginning.  Despite the best efforts of principals and superintendents, many schools will be starting the year without enough teachers for their classrooms and with far too many teachers who aren’t fully qualified for the jobs they will be doing.That’s a shame. Every child deserves a fully qualified teacher from Day 1.  But no one should be surprised. Our competitors in the labor market — schools in Texas, Arkansas and Kansas — are offering better salaries and more respect.  If you’re an Oklahoma teacher, there’s plenty of rational economic and psychological reasons to pull up stakes and head for Plano, and some very high profile teachers are doing just that. Former Oklahoma Teacher of the Year Shawn Sheehan and his wife, also a Norman teacher, announced this year that they’re taking off for Texas. view article arw

The Oklahoma City school board will consider a resolution that could lead to a lawsuit against the leaders of Oklahoma's Legislature over school funding. School Superintendent Aurora Lora and board member Mark Mann said Thursday the resolution will be presented to the board next week. view article arw

In the last year, there's been a big drop in support for charter schools, while other forms of school choice are getting a little less unpopular. That's the top line of a national poll released today. President Trump and his education secretary Betsy DeVos have put school choice front and center on their education agenda. The general idea of "choice," however, takes many forms. view article arw

A group opposed to an Arizona law that marked the nation's most ambitious expansion of a private school voucher program said Monday it has collected enough signatures to stop the measure from taking effect this week, allowing voters decide its fate in the 2018 election if the signatures are validated. view article arw

Dress codes plague millions of people across the country, as higher-ups in businesses determine what can and cannot be worn throughout schools, restaurants, sporting events, and even malls. Now the latest clothing ban is being administered against teachers in Georgia’s Douglas County School System, who were recently told that capris are unacceptable work attire. view article arw

The Texas Education Agency released Monday its draft plan for implementing the federal Every Student Succeeds Act. The public now has until Aug. 29 to read it and provide feedback.  The preliminary plan aims to align the state's education policies with federal law, specifically in the the areas of accountability and school improvement. view article arw

The bill would require transgender students in public schools to use the bathroom corresponding to the sex listed on their birth certificate, and not the one they identify with. Taylor also added a few unrelated programs to the bill, including $60 million for charter schools, $60 million for facilities funding for traditional public schools, and $150 million for a hardship grant program for struggling small, rural schools that relied on a now-expired state aid program. view article arw

The new federal education law is supposed to return to the states greater control over their public schools. But judging from the mood recently at the annual conference of the Education Commission of the States, the states are anything but optimistic about the future, or about the new law. The apprehension reminded me of the 1989 education summit convened by President George H.W. Bush. Back then the goal was to persuade governors to adopt a set of national education goals. All but a couple of states bought into the idea of "systemic change" with support from the federal government. view article arw

California teachers received the largest average pay increase in the nation last year and about four times the national average, according to a new report. The report, Ranking of the States 2016 and Estimates of School Statistics 2017, was published in May by the National Education Association. It annually tracks trends year over year and compares states on a number of measures including teacher pay, student enrollment, and spending. view article arw

 A judge has dismissed a lawsuit brought by more than a dozen Louisiana residents trying to remove the state's public schools superintendent from office. The lawsuit claimed Superintendent of Education John White needed to be reconfirmed by the state Senate to continue holding the position. view article arw

The attorneys general of 18 states and the District of Columbia are suing the U.S. Department of Education over a rule to protect student loan borrowers that was supposed to go into effect July 1. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos had announced a "reset" of the rule, known as "borrower defense to repayment," on June 14. view article arw

A recent Brookings report reviewed the evidence on several specific issues related to public pre-K programs. These scaled-up state or district programs are intended to prepare four-year-olds for kindergarten. They are less intensive than the much smaller and heavily studied early childhood experiments, such as the Perry Preschool or Abecedarian programs, that have been shown to generate large long-term benefits relative to their costs. view article arw

When Trayvon McKoy moved to Washington, D.C., from Maryland about two years ago, he'd never played drums before in his life. Then, when he enrolled at Ballou High School, he says he didn't have much choice. "I didn't even want to be in the band. My parents forced me." They also played in the band at Ballou when they were students here. "And it's probably one of the best things that's probably ever happened to me," he says. view article arw

Liberal Arts in the Data Age

June 3008:25 AM

College students who major in the humanities always get asked a certain question. They’re asked it so often—and by so many people—that it should come printed on their diplomas. That question, posed by friends, career counselors, and family, is “What are you planning to do with your degree?” But it might as well be “What are the humanities good for?” view article arw

The call came in from two leading researchers of the World Bank. “Preschool is on the international agenda. As we roll out programs around the globe we’re concerned about doing it right—ensuring high quality and having a strong evidenced based curriculum. So what’s the deal? We’ve heard misgivings about the whole-child approach.” view article arw

Teaching children according to their individual “learning style” does not achieve better results and should be ditched by schools in favour of evidence-based practice, according to leading scientists. Thirty eminent academics from the worlds of neuroscience, education and psychology have signed a letter to the Guardian voicing their concern about the popularity of the learning style approach among some teachers. view article arw

The current dilemma facing Oklahoma educators can be articulated through the state's two most recent teacher of the year honorees. Shawn Sheehan, formerly a math teacher in Norman and the 2016 Oklahoma Teacher of the Year, announced last month his decision to leave the state in search of better pay and better working conditions in neighboring Texas. Jon Hazell, a science teacher from Durant and the current teacher of the year for Oklahoma, has spent most of his tenure as the state's top educator essentially begging his fellow teachers to stay and fight. view article arw

BOULDER, CO (June 20, 2017) – EdChoice and the American Enterprise Institute each recently released a report contending that the introduction of school choice can promote economic development in economically distressed urban areas. The first report presents a case study of a charter school that has, according to the report, contributed to the economic development of the city of Santa Ana, California. The second report presents a proposal for a hypothetical voucher-like program that, if implemented, would purportedly spur economic development in high-poverty neighborhoods by luring higher income families into those neighborhoods. view article arw

The Mississippi Department of Education is firing a testing company, saying scoring errors raise questions about the graduation status of nearly 1,000 students statewide. The state Board of Education revoked a contract with NCS Pearson in closed session Friday, after the Pearson PLC unit told officials it used the wrong table to score U.S. history exams for students on track to graduate this spring. view article arw

There is a growing and disturbing trend of anti-intellectual elitism in American culture. It's the dismissal of science, the arts, and humanities and their replacement by entertainment, self-righteousness, ignorance, and deliberate gullibility. Susan Jacoby, author of The Age of American Unreason, says in an article in the Washington Post, "Dumbness, to paraphrase the late senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, has been steadily defined downward for several decades, by a combination of heretofore irresistible forces. These include the triumph of video culture over print culture; a disjunction between Americans' rising level of formal education and their shaky grasp of basic geography, science and history; and the fusion of anti-rationalism with anti-intellectualism."  view article arw

A Mississippi school district has been ordered to desegregate its schools after what the Justice Department called a five-decade-long legal battle. The Cleveland School District, about two hours northwest of Jackson, was told that it must consolidate its schools in order to provide real desegregation for students in the city of about 12,000. view article arw