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Even as districts grapple with how to reopen campuses amid the coronavirus pandemic, Texas will require students to take its high-stakes, state-mandated standardized exams in the upcoming school year.  Texas will move forward with administering the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, or STAAR, in the 2020-21 school year. Commissioner Mike Morath told State Board of Education members Tuesday that the testing will include some changes, including an expanded testing window and an extended period for online testing. view article arw

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas public school districts haven’t finalized their plans for a return to the classroom, but they know the state will resume its high-stakes standardized testing for millions of students.  Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath told the state Board of Education on Tuesday that the annual State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, also known as STAAR, will return in the 2020-2021 school year.  Republican Gov. Greg Abbott suspended STAAR tests in March even before schools were ordered closed for the rest of the academic year because of the coronavirus pandemic. Days later, the federal government waived its standardized testing requirements. view article arw

Even as districts grapple with how to reopen campuses amid the coronavirus pandemic, Texas will require students to take its high-stakes, state-mandated standardized exams in the upcoming school year.  Texas will move forward with administering the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, or STAAR, in the 2020-21 school year. Commissioner Mike Morath told State Board of Education members Tuesday that the testing will include some changes, including an expanded testing window and an extended period for online testing.The state also will adjust the way its accountability system works “given we lost last year’s data and it’s going to be harder to calculate growth,” Morath said. view article arw

The treatment of students with disabilities in the Texas public education system has all the ingredients for an emotional and disturbing HBO series. It involves politics, money, deception, denial, Federal investigations, lawsuits, questionable State contracts and the wrongful termination of a “whistleblower” at the Texas Education Agency (“TEA”). Unfortunately, it also involves the neglect of underprivileged students and families that rely upon and are guaranteed assistance from public schools. view article arw

As schools plan for the fall, state education departments and lawmakers are gearing up to suspend another round of federal and state standardized tests, saying instruction should take priority for the 2020-21 school year.   On June 18, Georgia became one of the first states to seek an assessment waiver. Gov. Brian P. Kemp and State School Superintendent Richard Woods jointly announced their decision to apply for suspension of standardized testing to the U.S. Department of Education.   Continuing with high-stakes testing for the next school year, they said in a joint press release, would be "counterproductive." view article arw

Proposed changes to the statewide sexual education policy — the first in more than two decades — drew 265 Texans to a virtual State Board of Education hearing Monday where they debated topics including whether students should start learning about contraception in middle school.  The recommended changes, which comprehensive sex education advocates have applauded, would start lessons on birth control in seventh and eighth grade, rather than in high school, and add lessons about consent from fifth grade through high school.The debate Monday revolved around which approach would keep students safest and healthiest and would reduce the state’s teen pregnancy rate — the fourth-highest in the nation.    (30) view article arw

King Davis was stunned when he saw how many parents wanted to keep their children home from Sheldon ISD schools in the fall. Across grade levels and campuses, more than 48 percent of the 2,324 parents who responded to a survey said they wouldn’t send their kids back to in-person classes on campus.  Those fears were reported June 18, just as the Houston region began seeing an enormous spike in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, setting records for both data points every day for the past two weeks, and before Gov. Greg Abbott on Thursday suspended elective surgical procedures in Harris County and Texas’ other large metropolitan areas. view article arw

SAN ANTONIO — The Alamo Heights Independent School District is giving families a choice when it comes to their children's education in the Fall: students may either attend classes in-person, or they can attend remotely, but they can't do both. view article arw

Texas Education Agency Commissioner Mike Morath and Gov. Greg Abbott last week told state lawmakers that schools would reopen for face-to-face instruction in the fall, but officials and families were unclear on what that would look like. On Tuesday, the TEA announced guidelines for school districts that begin to bring that picture into focus.  “It will be safe for Texas public school students, teachers and staff to return to school campuses for in-person instruction this fall,” Morath stated. “But there will also be flexibility for families with health concerns so that their children can be educated remotely, if the parent so chooses. Detailed guidance on what this will look like will be issued by TEA early next week.” view article arw

On School Vouchers – The Book

June 2608:25 AM

Lead Your School and Wash Your Hands! Your turn… Follow @LYSNation on Twitter and Lead Your School on Facebook.  The post On School Vouchers – The Book appeared first on Lead Your School. view article arw

AUSTIN, Texas — Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, high school students who apply to The University of Texas at Austin for fall 2021 undergraduate admission will not be required to submit an ACT or SAT test score as part of their application.  UT says that since tests have been canceled and future testing opportunities will be limited, they decided to suspend the requirement.  “This is a student-centered decision. During this time of uncertainty for students and high schools, we are focused on working with students to support their next steps toward college,” said Miguel Wasielewski, executive director of admissions. “Suspending this requirement ensures that students have the information they need to complete their application for admission.” view article arw

After they were postponed from May, MC Harris High School kicked off the Bryan and College Station graduation ceremonies Wednesday night with 65 students receiving their diplomas.  Instead of filling the Bryan ISD Performing Arts Center, friends and family cheered on their graduates from the stands of Merrill Green Stadium. view article arw

Remote education induced by the coronavirus pandemic presented a new set of challenges for schools this year, but most local students finished the semester with passing grades.  About 93 percent of El Campo ISD students, or 3,397 out of 3,634, met the requirements for passing the final grading period of the school year. The remaining students were evaluated by the district’s Grade Placement Committee that determined whether students would need to attend summer school.  “The Grade Placement Committees reviewed attendance, grades, and participation in the online learning when making decisions,” ECISD Assistant Superintendent Dolores Trevino said.  Louise ISD officials estimated all but nine out of the district’s more than 520 students completed enough assignments to pass the semester. The number of passing students was initially lower, but before the last week of school, teachers and administrators called home and pushed students to finish assignments. view article arw

America has been obsessed with student standardized tests for nearly 20 years. Now it looks like the country is at the beginning of the end of our high-stakes testing mania — both for K-12 “accountability” purposes and in college admissions.  When President George W. Bush signed the K-12 No Child Left Behind Act in 2002, the country began an experiment based on the belief that we could test our way to educational success and end the achievement gap. His successor, Barack Obama, ratcheted up the stakes of test scores under that same philosophy.  It didn’t work, which came as no surprise to teachers and other critics. They had long pointed to extensive research showing standardized test scores are most strongly correlated to a student’s life circumstances. Real reform, they said, means addressing students’ social and emotional needs and the conditions in which they live, and making improvements in school buildings. view article arw

Due to the pandemic, STAAR tests were not given last spring. Let’s continue this practice and retire STAAR, or any similar version of it, forever. Teachers have much better things to do with their students than teaching to these tests month after month.  The State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness (STAAR) tests are an array of high stakes, multi-hour exams in math, reading, writing, history and science. They feed into the A through F campus ratings, which should also be abolished. view article arw

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Julie Borque still remembers the first time she logged onto a video call with her third-grade students.   "There were tears," said Borque, a teacher at Settlers Way Elementary School in Sugar Land. "I didn't understand that the children had been so afraid and worried for my health, other teachers. They were worried about each other. I had prepared this great lesson that very first day. (I) never got to the lesson. Children just wanted to talk. They wanted to cry. They wanted to laugh."   view article arw

As a timer counted down to Kelsey Carroll’s first Advanced Placement exam of the year, she stared at her phone, laptop and detailed notes in front of her. These would have gotten her kicked out of testing last year.  She and her sister Jackie put in weeks of studying and stress for their respective AP tests. But none of that mattered. Their tests weren't accepted. view article arw

WICHITA FALLS, Texas (TNN) - Archer City High School students now have the chance to start college early by graduating high school with two medical certificates: one as a certified nursing assistant, and the other as a clinical medical assistant.  Justin Sanders, the continuing education coordinator at Vernon College for Allied Health, said he was noticing more and more high school students from Archer City traveling to the Wichita Falls campus to get their Certified Nursing Assistant training.  Now the Wildcats can do it while at school. view article arw

SAN MARCOS – Cody Patterson, an assistant professor in the Department of Mathematics at Texas State University, has received a $445,000 National Science Foundation grant to study ways to improve the teaching of algebra in middle and high schools to better prepare students for the rigors of college algebra.  The three-year interdisciplinary project, “Reasoning Language for Teaching Secondary Algebra (ReLaTe-SA)” is a Level I Exploratory project in the NSF’s teaching strand of the Discovery Research PreK-12 (DRK-12) program.  Patterson said the project will examine three main questions: How do middle school and high school math teachers use language and algebraic reasoning when explaining common concepts and procedures? view article arw

After multiple town halls, board discussions and a lengthy application process, Longview ISD has received districtwide Senate Bill 1882 charter status, something Superintendent James Wilcox envisioned months ago.  The Texas Education Agency sent the district a letter Monday granting the approval, providing the district give some clarifications from the applications.  The nonprofit East Texas Advanced Academies has operated six Longview ISD campuses as SB 1882 charters since the TEA granted approval in May 2019.  The district now can partner with the Texas Council of International Studies and Longview Educates and Prospers to operate its remaining campuses.  Chief Innovation Officer Craig Coleman said in a written statement the students stand to gain from TEA’s latest decision. view article arw

The Harlandale Independent School District board has hired new lawyers to advise it in day-to-day operations - the same firm that advised trustees during years they repeatedly awarded lucrative work to an engineering firm in a no-competition process that eventually drew the ire of the Texas Education Agency and almost resulted in a state takeover of the district. view article arw

Edgewood Independent School District, one of the poorest districts in the state, is finally back in the hands of an elected board. It’s been a long four years since board dysfunction brought the business of this district to a standstill. Dysfunction and disarray prompted state intervention and resulted in the removal of the elected board and the appointment of a superintendent by Texas Education Agency. view article arw

Frisco ISD continues to prepare for multiple possibilities as the upcoming school year approaches.  At the Board of Trustees workshop meeting Thursday, Chief Academic Officer Wes Cunningham discussed options the district is looking at for the upcoming year in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Cunningham made it clear that no one model would be proposed for selection that evening. view article arw

The young women at Northwest just wrapped up Chica Code Camp, which this year focused on teaching girls how to code using Makey Makey kits and the basics of 3D design.  Chica Code Camp is an AspireIT program and was started in the summer of 2018 by Northwest student Aya Abdelgawad to introduce middle school girls to coding and technology and is funded by the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT). view article arw

Since 2006, Texas education nonprofit Children at Risk has released an annual Texas School Guide containing regional rankings of public and charter schools. Its 2020 guide, released November, issued “A” through “F” grades to more than 8,100 schools based on 2018-19 school year data. CAR’s formula is similar to that used by the Texas Education Agency, which oversees and annually evaluates the state’s public schools.  However, COVID-19 ended TEA’s evaluations for 2019-20 before they even began. TEA assessments are largely based on State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness test results and measure district and school performance in three domains — student achievement, school progress and closing academic performance gaps.  view article arw

PORT ISABEL — The Laguna Madre area is going to have new opportunities for early child instruction.  The Point Isabel Independent School District partnered with NINOS, Inc. Head Start to create the district’s new Early Childhood Program for 3-year-olds.  Garriga Elementary, located at 200 West Adams St., will be the participating location for the program. view article arw

Zayda Falcon had been in a line of cars carrying graduating seniors like her to the Sam Houston Math, Science, and Technology Center entrance for nearly two hours when she hopped out, was cheered as her name was read over a loudspeaker, and posed with her principal against a wall of balloons as her mother fired a confetti cannon through her sunroof.  “And that was that,” her mother, Margarita Falcon, said as her daughter climbed back into the car. view article arw

Two administrative law judges recommended this week that KIPP co-founder Mike Feinberg be allowed to keep his educator certification after state officials failed to meet their burden of proving he sexually abused a student in Houston in 1999.  In a 56-page recommendation released Wednesday, the judges found that there were “simply too many inconsistencies” in the student’s account, as well as enough evidence favorable to Feinberg, to warrant revoking his Texas certification.  The recommendation now goes to the State Board of Educator Certification for a final ruling. No date has been set for the board’s decision. view article arw

Lewisville ISD students may be able to move on to the next grade level or graduate without meeting the standard for some state assessments following the board's June 8 approval of a new resolution. The resolution would apply to the State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness math and reading tests in fifth and eighth grades as well as to End of Course tests in Algebra, Biology, English I and II and U.S. History in high school grades. view article arw

This is one of the most important posts you will read today, this week, this month. If you want to understand the hoax of so-called “education reform,” read this post. Share it with your friends. Tweet it. Put it in Facebook. It rips the veil away from the wolf in sheep’s clothing.  Thomas Ultican has found the beating heart of the Disruption movement, the organization where plans are hatched and funded to destroy public schools. He tells the story of the NewSchools Venture Fund, where very wealthy people collaborate to undermine and privatize one of our most essential democratic institutions: our public schools.  He begins this important post: view article arw

"Reading is the foundation of all learning. Our students have to read on grade level," said Leslie Williams, Deputy Chief of REO. Dallas ISD schools may be closed for the summer, but there are a wide variety of summer programs and activities for students to improve their confidence, reading comprehension, and learn more about their culture.  One of these programs is Creating Accelerated Performance (CAP), a collaboration between the Racial Equity Office (REO), Teaching and Learning, and School Leadership, which operates from June 1–18, and aims to help students improve their reading skills and gain confidence about themselves. view article arw

MARBLE FALLS, Texas (KXAN) — After listening to the concerns of students and parents at a meeting Tuesday night, the superintendent of the Marble Fall Independent School District told the crowd he has changed his mind, and that high school students’ grades during the COVID-19 pandemic should count toward their class rank and overall grade point average. view article arw

The Arlington ISD Board of Trustees adopted a resolution during Thursday night’s meeting that the Texas Education Agency’s high-stakes accountability ratings should be suspended for the 2020-21 school year to allow districts to focus on making up the gaps caused by the COVID-19 pandemic that closed schools in March. view article arw

LA JOYA, Texas – The summer camps put on by FIRST RGV to give students the chance to build robots would sometimes draw hundreds of attendees. One of the main features of our success over the past five years with summer camps was the camaraderie built up as students worked in collective spirit in a “gracious professionalism” environment that encourages students to compete but work with their competitors to be successful as well.  Now, because of the coronavirus, students are going to have to design them at home, on their own. view article arw

Four years ago, Lubbock ISD and Texas Tech University teamed up to create the Early College High School program. This program gives students the opportunity to earn up to 60 college credit hours in high school.  Out of 170 students that graduated from Estacado on Saturday, 47 were a part of the first graduating class of the Estacado Early College High School program. view article arw