If a community member visited Brentwood Elementary School in Central Austin, he or she would likely notice art on the walls, student-painted murals and music in the hallways.  Upon walking into a classroom like teacher Theresa Wood’s second grade, he or she would witness a lesson being taught using Creative Learning Initiativetechniques. Created as a partnership among Austin ISD, teaching company Mindpop and the city of Austin, CLI encourages educators to use techniques that forward learning through creativity and community engagement while building “arts-rich” campuses, Mindpop Executive Director Brent Hasty said. Through CLI—currently being implemented in 63 AISD campuses—teachers are trained to use flexible strategies to teach many different subjects, he said. view article arw

Goodbye to the Dewey Decimal System?

September 2408:25 AM
 

Patrons of the Highland Park Harvey R. “Bum” Bright Library could soon find it open in the evenings and during holiday weekends. That’s one of the early action items in a master plan that has been in the works for nearly a year. At the heart of the plan is the library’s mission as a center for lifelong learning, a role that’s difficult to fulfill when it closes soon after students get out of school and adults get off work, Mayor Margo Goodwin noted. view article arw

With the inauguration of South Texas College’s first campus in Pharr, the Regional Center for Public Safety and Excellence, came the opportunity for local high schoolers to attend classes alongside current and future law enforcement professionals. “It’s perfect because it provides us with a college setting right in the community,” said PSJA school district Superintendent Daniel King. “But part of the dream is also to strengthen our community, and this is going to help strengthen our law enforcement.” Four days a week, high schoolers from the Pharr-San Juan-Alamo school district take college-level criminal justice classes in a new training facility alongside police and firefighter cadets. view article arw

On Saturday, Houston ISD staff took to the streets in search of dropout students. The effort comes as the district faces some very low graduation rates. Some campuses are suffering from nearly half of the students dropping out before getting diplomas. A recent study published by Houston non-profit Children At Risk ranked 10 schools in Harris County with the lowest graduation rates. view article arw

In addition to earning an A on the state’s new accountability system, Midway Independent School District was one of sixty districts in the state to take home a rare districtwide distinction. But Midway ISD, with a student enrollment of just under 10,000, stands in stark contrast to its counterpart, Waco ISD, five miles down the road. A major recurring critique of the Texas Education Agency’s new A-F accountability system is that it unfairly puts schools with a higher percentage of low-income students at a disadvantage and it relies too heavily on the state’s standardized test, State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, or STAAR. TEA officials have denied the allegations. view article arw

The tables reveal results from the 2017-18 State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, or STAAR, exam. Results are published by campus and school district.  view article arw

The tables reveal results from the 2017-18 State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, or STAAR, exam. Results are published by campus and school district.  view article arw

The tables reveal results from the 2017-18 State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, or STAAR, exam. Results are published by campus and school district. The tables also identify the Texas Education Agency’s 2017-18 accountability ratings for campuses as well as the overall district scores based on the TEA’s new A-F accountability system. view article arw

The tables reveal results from the 2017-18 State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, or STAAR, exam. Results are published by campus and school district.  view article arw

One month into the school year, Dallas ISD parents just learned that the district is combining grade levels in certain elementary school classes. It puts first graders with kindergartners, fourth graders with third graders, and so on. FOX 4 looked into this issue after getting a tip from a concerned teacher. The district says it has combined grade levels for some classes several years now as a way to deal with declining enrollment. view article arw

The main topic of discussion at the Red Oak ISD Board of Trustees meeting was the curriculum plan for primary and secondary campuses. The board also heard updates on the expansion of the fine arts program and a recap on school safety week. Patrick Torres, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction, provided an update on the progress the curriculum-and-instruction team made over the summer and has already begun to implement. Focus areas for the 2018-19 school year are on the implementation of best practices for the professional learning community, support for learners of all backgrounds and abilities, improvement with literacy instruction to promote student achievement in reading and writing and the creation and phase-in of a curriculum management plan. view article arw

This spring thousands of Leander ISD middle and high school students opted out of taking the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness end-of-course tests, or STAAR EOC, in algebra I and English I. STAAR EOCs are typically taken as a student is completing the subject either in middle or high school depending on when the student is enrolled in the course, according to Texas Education Agency documents. The large number of opt-outs in algebra I and English I occurred in part because PSAT scores from eighth- and ninth- graders were permitted to be used as substitute assessments for the STAAR EOC in 2017-18, said Brenda Cruz, LISD director of assessment and accountability. view article arw

See how Magnolia ISD students performed on the 2017-18 STAAR exams See how Conroe ISD students performed on the 2017-18 STAAR exams Education for Tomorrow Alliance works to empower next Montgomery County workforce view article arw

The Dallas school district is home to high schools with the lowest graduation rates in Dallas County, according to a report by the education nonprofit Children At Risk. Across Texas, an average of 85 percent of high school kids graduate. But the graduation rate at Thomas Jefferson High School in Dallas? 67 percent. Three other Dallas high schools — H. Grady Spruce, South Oak Cliff and Franklin D. Roosevelt — tied with rates of 68 percent, according to the Children At Risk report.  view article arw

“But you support the Common Core!” So said Laura Jimenez of the Center for American Progress on the Education Gadfly Show podcast when I argued that it was a mistake to peg high school graduation standards to the “college-ready” level. Guilty as charged. I do support the Common Core, which is designed to get students to “college and career readiness” by the end of high school. But I also see that goal as aspirational; I don’t believe we should actually deny diplomas to young people who gain basic skills and pass their classes but don’t reach that lofty level. Nor do I think that we should force all students to take a college-prep course of study all the way through twelfth grade. How do I square this circle? Am I hypocrite for claiming to support high expectations while not being willing to enforce those expectations when it comes to crunch time? view article arw

Yesterday, I wrote that the Texas School Accountability System in its current form is intellectually dishonest. view article arw

The following tables reveal results from the 2017-18 State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, or STAAR, exam. Results are published by campus and school district. The tables also identify the Texas Education Agency’s 2017-18 accountability ratings for campuses as well as the overall district scores based on the TEA’s new A-F accountability system.  view article arw

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Two days ago, cosmetology courses were on the verge of possibly being eliminated by the Texas Education Agency. On Thursday, new details from Keven Ellis, a Lufkin representative of the State Board of Education reveal more information. Ellis said the Texas Education Agency is currently revisiting the guidelines of a federal grant that goes towards Career in Technical Education which includes cosmetologyy. view article arw

The Huntsville ISD Board of Trustee will report on the district’s state accountability rating and discussing steps for improving when they meet Tuesday night. The district received a failing trade from the 2017-18 school year with a “D” grade for student achievement, a “D” grade for school progress and an “F” grade for closing gaps among students. Seventy percent of the score is from student progress. “We are working extremely hard to improve our district's accountability rating, which is a reflection of where we have been, not where we are going,” Huntsville ISD Superintendent Dr. Scott Sheppard said. “This year is off to a great start.” view article arw

The Plainview Area Retired School Personnel Association (PARSPA) held its first 2018-19 meeting at the Plainview Adult Activity Center. H. T. Sanchez, superintendent of Plainview ISD, was introduced as guest speaker. He announced that PISD had an enrollment of 5,200 students and that the District had earned in the past year a rating of 87.2--which is outstanding for this area. He added that this was higher than Lubbock Cooper. While his audience waited expectantly to hear what his plans were to build on this rating, Sanchez responded, "My first job priority is not to mess that up." view article arw

A proposed agreement with Proximity Learning and hiring a chief of staff/assistant superintendent of secondary education will be considered by the Ector County Independent School District Board of Trustees during its 6 p.m. meeting Tuesday. The meeting will be in the first-floor board room of the administration building, 802 N. Sam Houston Ave. The board heard a presentation from Proximity Learning Regional Sales Manager Jason Roppolo and Mark Worrell, client relationship manager, at its Sept. 11 work study session. But concerns were expressed by trustees and some parents on the Odessa American Facebook page. view article arw

Students are learning to save lives when help may be too far away, at the Tyler ISD Career and Technology Center. Tyler ISD is now offering EMT courses, with an extra EMT Wilderness certification, which aims to teach students how to care for a patient in the field. Instructor Matthew Singleton spent the summer in Colorado in order to bring the techniques home for students at the CTC. The students will learn how to treat prolonged exposure to the elements and how to stabilize patients when ambulance or rescue may be hours away. view article arw

A group of 53 high school seniors from Fort Bend ISD schools were recently named semifinalists in the 2019 National Merit Scholarship Program. Fort Bend ISD’s 2019 National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists include:  view article arw

East Texas students have the right to a “quality, free public education,” the Mount Pleasant ISD superintendent said Thursday, and educators agree that a one-day test shouldn’t be a measure of academic success. Longview ISD hosted an education summit that brought school leaders, lobbyists and state legislators to Longview on Wednesday and Thursday to mull education policy. Earlier in the day, state Reps. Jay Dean, R-Longview; Gary VanDeaver, R-New Boston; and Chris Paddie, R-Marshall, were invited to give their reactions to the 85th Legislature, which ended in 2017, but the presentation quickly turned into a question-and-answer session. view article arw

WESLACO, RGV – Outdated bilingual education models have been replaced at Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ISD with dual language or dual immersion programs, attendees at RGV’s Equal Voice Network Mesa Comunitaria heard.  The aim of the programs is to develop college ready bi-literacy, Olivia Martinez, dual language director for PSJA ISD, said.  “With ever larger cohorts of bi-literate students moving up through the system, PSJA is on a course to become a national leader in producing college ready, academically bi-literate high school graduates.” view article arw

The Texas Education Agency has placed high school cosmetology programs on the chopping block, but a Bryan school official says that move could be detrimental to schools. If the program were to be cut, Bryan Career and Technical Education Director David Reynolds said, it would eliminate an opportunity for stud0ents who are interested and passionate about cosmetology and barbering, describing that possibility as "sad."  "My opinion on CTE is kids come to CTE for fine arts, athletics and CTE. They don't come to school for English, math, history and science," he aid.  view article arw

Educators in Arlington ISD went door-to-door Saturday to try to locate students who have not returned to school this year and get them back into the classroom. The project, called "Operation Graduation," targets students who, in many cases, are just a few hours from graduation.  view article arw

CCSD Superintendent Jesus Jara is optimistic about the newly released star rankings from the Nevada School Performance Framework. The star rating system is designed to summarize the performance of a school on a scale of 1 to 5, 1 meaning the school did not meet state performance standards and 5 meaning it exceeded all expectations. "Nevada school performance framework shines a light on our schools, it also provides opportunity's to focus on areas where not all students are thriving," Said Dr. Jara. view article arw

Serenity High, the nationʼs longest-tenured public recovery high school, has been helping students from Collin and surrounding counties get their lives back on track for 19 years. For all of that time Serenity has been operating out of four portable buildings. On Sept. 22, the Serenity High Ride for Recovery motorcycle ride will be led by the Blue Knights (current and retired police officers of Collin County) and other bikers in support of youth in recovery. The ride will begin and end at 2550 Wilmeth Drive adjacent to the south side of McKinney North High School. The site is the new permanent home of Serenity High. view article arw

Four of five threatened Transformation Waco schools met state standards last year, but elected Waco ISD officials will have little recourse to reclaim the schools or exert control over the direction of the nonprofit’s appointed board for the next three years. Under the publicly funded in-district charter Transformation Waco, a first in the state of Texas, the five schools will be rated on locally set standards. But it would take an unlikely circumstance for Waco ISD to end its contract with the nonprofit, Transformation Waco CEO Robin McDurham told the board during a recent workshop. view article arw

Houston ISD trustees unanimously voted Thursday to enact greater board oversight of the district’s special education services, enacting recommendations by a board-appointed committee that found HISD has been shortchanging students with disabilities. Trustees now will hold workshops centered on special education three times per year, require district administrators to submit an annual strategic plan for students with disabilities and seek policy changes that will emphasize special education across the district, among other actions approved at Thursday’s board meeting. view article arw

Mesquite ISD's executive director of assessment Donna McAda gave the Board of Trustees a presentation on the A-F accountability Monday night that had several board members questioning the reasoning behind the formula used to come up with an overall district grade. The A-F system has three domains, and each domain (district and campus) earns a letter grade. The districts received an overall letter grade this year, and campuses will receive their letter grade in 2019. view article arw

LEADERSHIP BUILT, LEADERSHIP HONED

September 1408:30 AM
 

Join The LYS Nation in San Antonio, Texas on October 14 and 15, 2018 for the best school leadership training this Fall!  Open to all levels of schools leaders from anywhere in the country!! view article arw

’ve been friends with Tony Bennett, the former state superintendent of Indiana and Florida, for many years. In that time, I’ve always found him to be a challenging, inconvenient thinker. This summer, Tony joined a bunch of us policy wonks at AEI for a dinner discussion about career and technical education (CTE). view article arw

The tables reveal results from the 2017-18 State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, or STAAR, exam. Results are published by campus and school district. The tables also identify the Texas Education Agency’s 2017-18 accountability ratings for campuses as well as the overall district scores based on the TEA’s new A-F accountability system.  view article arw