The Borger Independent School District (ISD) voted unanimously Thursday to move forward on consolidating the Spring Creek If voters approve, the effective date for the consolidation would be July 1, 2024. The facilities and equipment of Spring Creek ISD will become the property and be maintained by Borger ISD. ISD into its school system. For the measure to move forward, most voters from both school districts must approve the consolidation in an election to be conducted May 4. view article arw

By next school year, the Houston Independent School District will have new leaders, but little is known yet about what exactly this will mean for students, staff and parents in the district. State Education Commissioner Mike Morath said Wednesday that he will appoint a board of managers to temporarily replace the locally elected Houston ISD board of trustees. This comes after years of scrutiny of the district by the Texas Education Agency because of repeated low student performance at Phillis Wheatley High School and allegations of misconduct by previous trustees. The board of managers would be in charge of the school board’s duties, which include approving a school budget and tax rate and setting district policies in areas like school safety and instruction, as allowed under state and federal laws. view article arw

SAN ANTONIO - It's a big change. Several key subjects in the STAAR test- like reading and writing skills- will be graded under a new system moving forward. The Texas Education Agency announced the change in December -- explaining that they will be grading constructed and extended constructed response questions with their automated scoring engine, or ASE. "It has access to a vast database. And it's very good at memorizing rules for punctuation and grammar." Here's an example of a constructed response question [graphic] students are then required to fill in the answer to that question in the space below. view article arw

The transition at the Waco-area school district will shed light on how the TEA returns control after a takeover. The state is currently overseeing Houston and La Joya ISDs.  The Texas Education Agency has begun the process of handing back local control to the Marlin Independent School District after seven years of state oversight.  The state first took over the district in 2017 and appointed a board of managers to replace the district’s board of trustees following five consecutive years of failing grades in the state’s accountability rating system. State oversight was extended in 2019 due to a lack of improvement. view article arw

Nearly a year into the state takeover, appointed Houston ISD Superintendent Mike Miles says he has uncovered long-standing inefficiencies, wasteful spending and redundancies that he plans to fix to free up money to support his school reforms without drawing down district savings. The superintendent said the plan unveiled Tuesday will support the addition of over 100 schools to his New Education System next year, paying for higher salaries and other elements of his controversial reform program. Though Miles did not give an estimate of how much the cuts will save or how much the expansion will cost, he promised his planned corrections would keep the district’s rainy-day fund above $850 million. view article arw

Gateway College Preparatory School may be able to enroll more students next school year with the opening of a high school annex building. In August, the Georgetown charter school will open a $7.4 million high school annex with 15 classrooms and a special education wing. The project will also add more parking lots. view article arw

In a Tuesday morning press conference, state-appointed superintendent Mike Miles vowed to address systemic inefficiencies across Houston ISD. For the first time since the summer, he also addressed overstated cuts to the Central Office. view article arw

Tracy Smith sees her class as “adding back some fibers that were taken out of the cloth of American history.” Smith teaches African American studies at Kathlyn Joy Gilliam Collegiate Academy — a Dallas Independent School District campus named for the first Black woman to serve on the school board. Her students analyze art from the Harlem Renaissance, study historically Black colleges and contemplate their roots. Ariah Barnes, 17, said the class opened her mind. view article arw

Cutting Off Qatar

February 2008:30 AM
 

he Texas A&M system Board of Regents voted last Thursday to close their branch campus in Doha, Qatar. No incoming class will be admitted for this fall, according to a system spokesperson, and the campus will cease operations by 2028. The decision comes just three years after Texas A&M renewed its 10-year contract with the Qatar Foundation, a state-sponsored nonprofit that partners with many international universities to operate satellite campuses in the Persian Gulf country. There was no public discussion of the issue at the board meeting; the vote for closure was introduced and finalized in less than a minute. It was an abrupt and unceremonious end to a 21-year partnership worth hundreds of millions of dollars—and, some say, a harbinger of future challenges for international branch campuses in a politically charged environment. view article arw

Director of Communications Rosemary Gladden said that the new EAC will be utilized in an ongoing format to form considerations around education-related topics. “Our committee will have a broad range of stakeholders to ensure representation of multiple perspectives,” Gladden said. view article arw

Regarding “HISD names 19 campuses joining New Education System for 2024-25 school year after opting in,” (Feb. 9): One of the most important things we can give our children is an education: the tools to become all they can be. Right now, Houston ISD Superintendent Mike Miles is insisting that he can create those opportunities by micromanaging each classroom and every minute of instruction time. He is wrong. I have been teaching for 50 years, first in public schools and then in private ones. I have won awards for my work. I cannot count the thank-yous and the expressions of gratitude I have received from my students. view article arw

The growth around the Dallas-Fort Worth area has been significant over the last decade. With urban sprawl, there are fewer farms. However, one school district just outside the city is determined to keep kids connected to agriculture. view article arw

Texas students’ written responses on the STAAR test will most likely be scored by a computer, rather than a person. Some education leaders are confused by the change and question how using this technology to assess essays will impact students and teachers. State officials say this system is not the same as the generative artificial intelligence that powers programs like ChatGPT, but a tool with narrow abilities that can improve scoring efficiency.  The Texas Education Agency quietly rolled out a new model for evaluating student answers on the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, or STAAR, in December. Roughly three-quarters of written responses are scored by an “automated scoring engine.”  Officials emphasized that these engines don’t learn beyond a single question and are programmed to emulate how humans would score an essay. The computer determines how to assess written answers after analyzing thousands of students’ responses that were previously scored by people. view article arw

AUSTIN, TX - February 12, 2024 – The Texas Education Agency (TEA) has notified the Marlin Independent School District (MISD) that the transition of district governance from the appointed Board of Managers to the elected Board of Trustees has been initiated. As part of the transition process, two elected Board of Trustee members will reassume their governance authority and become part of the Board of Managers. In a letter to Marlin ISD Superintendent Dr. Darryl Henson, members of the current MISD Board of Managers, and elected Board of Trustees, Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath selected Billy Johnson and Rosalyn Dimerson as the first two elected trustees to join the Board. Johnson and Dimerson will join the three-member Board of Managers to create a five-member governing board. “This transition signifies an important milestone for Marlin ISD,” Commissioner Morath said. “Through diligent oversight and the collaboration between the Board of Managers and Superintendent Henson, MISD has made substantial improvements in both academics and governance. I am confident the governing body of Marlin ISD will continue to propel the district forward and allow for a successful resumption of duties for the elected trustees.” view article arw

In Fort Worth, it’s pink slips for staff. In Irving, they’re shutting down a school. Librarians in Keller ISD will have to split time between multiple campuses, even affluent Carroll ISD in Southlake says they’re facing a substantial loss. Public school districts in North Texas saying they can’t pay their bills with the amount of money they’re getting from the state of Texas. "Well, I never liked to be told I told you so. So I'm not going to do and I told you," said Stephanie Elizalde, Superintendent, Dallas ISD But she did tell us, all last year, that the money wasn’t enough to keep up with inflation, wasn’t enough to handle all the mandates schools are being forced to pull off. "We certainly saw this coming. We were reading the tea leaves. And so we started to make cuts in advance," she said. view article arw

Texas students’ written responses on the STAAR test will most likely be scored by a computer, rather than a person. Some education leaders are confused by the change and question how using this technology to assess essays will impact students and teachers. State officials say this system is not the same as the generative artificial intelligence that powers programs like ChatGPT, but a tool with narrow abilities that can improve scoring efficiency. view article arw

WINONA, Texas (KETK) – Winona Middle School is one of five campuses nationwide and the only campus in Texas receiving a $10,000 award for excellence in teaching. Nacogdoches Public Library given state award for excellence The principal spoke with KETK about why their school was selected, learning it took a shocking amount of change and improvement for this campus to be noticed nationally. “It means so much to us that our hard work is being recognized even at the national level,” said principal Johnny Walker. view article arw

The National Student Support Accelerator is working with Stanford University to see how well artificial intelligence works with high-dose tutoring. Ector County ISD is the guinea pig for the project. The purpose of the National Student Support Accelerator is to provide wider access to high-impact tutoring and other resources that will help students accelerate through their learning journeys, Associate Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction Lilia Nanez said. ECISD has been using Air Tutors and FEV Tutors for about three years. It began after the effects of COVID on student learning were revealed. About 3,000 students are currently being provided with high-dose tutoring. FEV is now trying out an artificial intelligence feature that gives tutors different options on how to respond to student difficulties. view article arw

Uloma Achinanya of Margaret Long Wisdom High School in Houston receives national recognition for pioneering innovative classroom strategies while driving high expectations and student achievement. NORTH BILLERICA, Mass., Feb. 13, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- Curriculum Associates has named Uloma Achinanya of Margaret Long Wisdom High School in Houston, Texas to its 2024 class of Extraordinary Educators, an annual program that celebrates and connects exemplary teachers in Grades K–8 from around the country. Selected from hundreds of nominations, Achinanya is among the 32 educators from 19 states and the District of Columbia who exhibit best-in-class use of i-Ready®, i-Ready Classroom Mathematics, and/or Ready®. Most importantly, Achinanya has also promoted growth and achievement through formal assessments, pioneered innovative engagement tactics, served as a steward for high expectations and student achievement, and created equitable environments for her students. view article arw

Austin’s public school system has cleared a major hurdle in its goal to keep control of its special education services. At its meeting on Feb. 8, the board of trustees announced that the district has cleared the backlog in evaluations for students requesting the services, the problem that caused the state to threaten to take over the district’s special ed department last year. view article arw

MIDLAND, Texas (KMID/KPEJ) – Midland ISD is continuing its efforts to expand the Education and Training program, equipping high school students with skills and certifications necessary to begin a career in teaching. 85 total students from Midland High, Legacy High, and Coleman High Schools are currently participating in the program, including 50 upper-level students. Juniors and seniors in the program can gain hands-on experience by visiting one of five elementary schools, three days a week, to observe and assist in classrooms and teach group lessons. view article arw

Coppell ISD has changed how it identifies and serves students with dyslexia. Stephanie Flores, executive director for intervention services, informed the board of trustees on the status of the district’s special education enrollment and related changes in dyslexia services at a Jan. 22 meeting. view article arw

The Austin school district has processed all overdue special education evaluations from before the 2023-24 school year, state-appointed monitors told school board members during a recent meeting. Clearing the backlog, which has crippled the district's special education services for years, is only one item on a list of mandates the state handed down related to the handling of the embattled department. The district in September agreed to meet the state's requirements, including curing the delayed evaluations. While the state monitors applauded the district’s backlog clearing as a major achievement, the district clarified Monday it still needs to complete overdue evaluations from the 2023-24 school year. view article arw

The status quo for in-service teachers — low-stakes assessments & rigid single-salary schedules — needs to change if student outcomes are to improve.  The publication of A Nation at Risk (ANAR) in 1983 was the defining moment of the “first wave” of education reform. It articulated improbably long-lived insights that continue to define education policy and discourse to this day. In particular, ANAR underscored, with uncommon rhetorical flourishes, the contrast between the ambitious ideals of a “Learning Society” and existing educational standards defined by modest minimum requirements, such as the low expectations embedded in high schools’ minimum competency tests and “cafeteria-style” curricula. Clearly, ANAR’s most prominent recommendation was the adoption of high school graduation requirements grounded in a “New Basics” curriculum that would feature four years of English; three years of science, math, and social studies; a half year of computer science; and, for college-bound students, two years of foreign language instruction. view article arw

AUSTIN, TX - February 12, 2024 – The Texas Education Agency (TEA) has notified the Marlin Independent School District (MISD) that the transition of district governance from the appointed Board of Managers to the elected Board of Trustees has been initiated. As part of the transition process, two elected Board of Trustee members will reassume their governance authority and become part of the Board of Managers. In a letter to Marlin ISD Superintendent Dr. Darryl Henson, members of the current MISD Board of Managers, and elected Board of Trustees, Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath selected Billy Johnson and Rosalyn Dimerson as the first two elected trustees to join the Board. Johnson and Dimerson will join the three-member Board of Managers to create a five-member governing board. view article arw

The Texas Education Agency (TEA) informed Marlin ISD that the transition of district governance from an appointed board of managers to an elected board of trustees has been started. As part of the transition, two elected Board of Trustee members will become part of the Marlin ISD Board of Managers. A letter was sent to Marlin ISD Superintendent Dr. Darryl Henson informing him that current members of the Marlin ISD Board of Managers, elected Marlin ISD Board of Trustees and Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath selected Billy Johnson and Rosalyn Dimerson as the first two elected trustees to join the Marlin ISD Board of Managers. view article arw

Austin ISD has completed all 1,159 special education evaluations that were overdue from the 2022-2023 school year, state-appointed monitors said. The completion is an important milestone in the district's effort to improve services for students with disabilities. “I’m so happy to report that the backlog of evaluations has been cleared," Lesa Shocklee said. "And the compensatory services for those delayed evaluations and eligibility determinations — all of the compensatory services — have been discussed and determined." view article arw

The Texas Education Agency (TEA) informed Marlin ISD that the transition of district governance from an appointed board of managers to an elected board of trustees has been started. As part of the transition, two elected Board of Trustee members will become part of the Marlin ISD Board of Managers. view article arw

Test results have gone up since the pandemic in both subjects, but math scores are still below 2019 levels and about half of Texas students read below the level appropriate for most children in their grade.  Student scores in the state’s standardized test have continued to improve since the pandemic, but more than half of Texas students are still struggling with math and about a half of them are below grade-level reading, according to score data from this spring released Wednesday. view article arw

Texas will likely add jobs at a slower pace in 2024 after years of robust employment growth, the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas said Friday. The state will add nearly 284,000 jobs this year, a 2% increase from 2023, the Dallas Fed projects — a pace that’s in line with the state’s job growth rate before COVID-19 hit and the state’s economy kicked into overdrive. By year’s end, Texas employment will hit 14.4 million jobs. By contrast, Texas added about 427,000 jobs in 2022 at a pace of 3.1% — the result of a rapidly growing labor force fueled by strong domestic and international migration. “We're cleared for landing, landing back to our long run trend rate of growth,” Pia Orrenius, Dallas Fed vice president and senior economist, said Friday. view article arw

Black students and students over 24 are less likely to get their bachelor’s degree after transferring, the report found.  Most Texas community college students who transfer to a four-year university don’t graduate, according to a report on college transfers released Wednesday.  The study from the Community College Research Center and Aspen Institute found that only 45% of students in Texas who go on to a four-year college get a bachelor's degree within six years. Black and adult students struggle even more after they transfer out of a community college, with just 33% and 37% completing their bachelor’s degree, respectively. view article arw

GISD Superintendent Devin Padavil will give a State of the District address from noon-2 p.m. Feb. 15 at the Hammerlun Center for Leadership and Learning, located at 507 E. University Ave., Georgetown. The address will highlight teaching and learning in the district, as well as lay out a road map for the district's future, according to the district. The event will also feature showcases of student and staff work throughout the district, including academics, career and technical education, as well as fine arts. view article arw

Houston ISD state-appointed Superintendent Mike Miles announced Friday that he will tighten the district’s budget to pay to add 19 campuses into his New Education System program in the 2024-25 school year after opting in. Miles said in late January that the 24 schools that earned a high D under the unofficial Texas Education Agency campus accountability ratings would be able to choose if they wanted to become an NES school, and he originally said the district would accept only up to 14 of them into the program due to budgetary concerns. Miles said 19 eligible campuses ultimately opted in and they will all be joining the program during the upcoming school year. That will put the district’s number of NES campuses at 130, nearly half of all HISD campuses. view article arw

Houston Independent School District state-appointed superintendent Mike Miles announced Friday the additional 19 campuses that will be added to the district’s New Education System model Friday afternoon. view article arw

A special school board meeting here ushered in a new era as a TEA-appointed school board and acting superintendent were welcomed to the district through public comments. The board then voted on employment and a relocation agreement for acting superintendent Marcey Sorensen. view article arw