The fallout continues from the impending state takeover of the Houston Independent School District, including the impact it will have on a school at the center of the state’s decision to take control. Elaine Jackson Willis is working hard to keep Wheatley High School open. view article arw

How the TEA takeover is going to work

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The Chron answers your questions. The complex process has raised several questions among community members. Here are answers some of the most common queries: What is the process for identifying and selecting candidates? view article arw

Snyder ISD will meet with a commissioner in Austin on Thursday to discuss the closure of Snyder Junior High. On Wednesday, Snyder ISD acknowledged in a statement that they received enough petitions required to close the campus and were eager to discuss options with the commissioner in Austin. You can red the full statement at the bottom of the story. Dawn Thomas has a son that went to Snyder Junior High. She said the quality of education at the school was very poor. view article arw

The Texas Education Agency has announced a series of meetings around Houston ISD as part of its process to inform residents ahead of the appointment of a board of managers to replace the elected board of trustees. view article arw

After years of revolving superintendents, board member bickering and failing grades, the state finally said "enough" and took over Houston ISD. Here's a look at the twists and turns of HISD's recent history: view article arw

The state is about to take over Houston Independent School District, the state’s largest school district and seventh-largest in the country, after an investigation revealed "serious or persistent deficiencies.” So what happens next at HISD, and who's allowed to join the new school board that will run the district? view article arw

Leaders of the Houston teachers union say they’re unsure how the state’s planned takeover of Houston Independent School District could impact the day-to-day lives of more than 200,000 students and 17,000 teachers. “It’s unprecedented,” said Andy Dewey, Executive Vice President of the Houston Federation of Teachers. “It could be negligible, it could be severe.” view article arw

In a move that is unprecedented in scope, Texas state officials announced Wednesday they plan on taking over the state’s largest school district, yanking power from Houston Independent School District’s elected school board members to “prevent imminent and substantial harm to the welfare of the district’s students.” view article arw

The following is a note sent by a teacher to one of the presenting schools at the 2019 Fundamental 5 National Summit. view article arw

I am a K-12 graduate of the Houston Independent School District. I am appalled that Texas officials would dare to strip Houston citizens of their elected board because of ONE LOW-PERFORMING HIGH SCHOOL. Wheatley High School happens to have a high concentration of students who live in poverty (88%), don’t speak English, and have special needs (19%). The Texas Education Agency and Commissioner Mike Morath should be ashamed of themselves. Since when did Republicans become advocates of authoritarianism and enemies of local control? view article arw

West Hardin County CISD has canceled classes through Friday due to a rising number of sick students and staff.  The district says there have been a number of cases of flu, strep throat, stomach virus and pneumonia. In fact, superintendent Jim Armstrong said more than 100 students and staff were out sick Tuesday. view article arw

A Rio Grande Valley school district is excelling overall, according to a state evaluation, but one of their schools is falling behind. Every year the Texas Education Agency evaluates all the schools in the states. They get graded on an "A" through "F" scale. Overall, McAllen Independent School District received the highest letter grade, but William Travis Middle School in McAllen, got a low grade on their preliminary report card. view article arw

Pastors for Children leaders in Kentucky and Mississippi have recently published inspiring pieces on how their faith calls for fair and equitable public school funding. We are so grateful for these leaders and their support of public education! view article arw

The Leander school district is one of the top growing districts in the Austin metro area, according to a new annual demographic report.  From 2013 to 2018, the Leander district grew by 4,581 students, adding more students than any other school district in the area, the report says.  The report was commissioned by the Leander district and conducted by population and survey analysts.  The district added 1,003 students from 2017 to 2018, making it the second fastest growing district in the area that year after the Round Rock school district. view article arw

HOUSTON - A day after the state announced its takeover of the Houston Independent School District, a regularly scheduled board meeting to discuss future agenda items and a workshop was held Thursday.  Not only did no one from the public sign up to voice their concerns about the takeover, but also only four of the nine trustees and superintendent Grenita Lathan were physically in attendance. One trustee joined in by conference call. view article arw

Jacob Carpenter, reporter for the Houston Chronicle, tweeted that the state education department plans to strip the Houston school board of its authority because of the persistently low scores of one school. view article arw

San Antonio’s largest school district is rolling out new magnet programs for its students as charter schools continue to open within district boundaries and specialized programs sprout across the city. This fall, Northside Independent School District debuted its first new high school magnet program in 10 years. Next school year, Jones Middle School will be the site of the district’s first middle school magnet program centered on science, technology, engineering, and math, or STEM, curriculum. In future years, the district plans to open more magnet programs at the middle school level. view article arw

Mississippi may have shown the most improvement in this year’s National Assessment of Educational Progress, but in the state’s rural areas, one in four students lives in poverty, the graduation rate is below the national average, and few students enter college with Advanced Placement credit.  That’s why it ranks as the top “high-priority” state in “Why Rural Matters,” a report released Thursday by the Rural School and Community Trust, the College Board and AASA/The School Superintendents Association. view article arw

In a move that is unprecedented in scope, Texas state officials announced Wednesday they plan on taking over the state’s largest school district, yanking power from Houston Independent School District’s elected school board members to “prevent imminent and substantial harm to the welfare of the district’s students.”  Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath sent a letter to Houston ISD Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan and Board President Diana Davila giving two principal reasons for the decision: the school board’s “failure of governance” and the repeated low academic performance of Wheatley High School, which received its seventh failing rating this year. In addition to appointing a board of governance to replace the elected school board, Morath will also appoint a superintendent to lead the district. The timeline of the takeover action is unclear. view article arw

In what has to come as almost no surprise to anyone, a Hail Mary appeal from the Houston ISD asking the Texas Education Agency to reconsider the "F" label it placed on Wheatley High School has been denied. In a November 5 letter, Commissoner of Education Mike Morath informed Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan that the appeal was being denied. As a result, according to state law, sanctions loom which means either the historic black campus will be closed — something most people don't believe will happen — or a board of managers will be appointed to run the school district in place of the elected school board. view article arw

Texas Education Agency Commissioner Mike Morath informed Houston ISD of those plans in a letter Wednesday. He also sent letters saying the state would take over Shepherd and Snyder ISDs. In a move that is unprecedented in scope, Texas state officials announced Wednesday they plan on taking over the state’s largest school district, yanking power from Houston Independent School District’s elected school board members to “prevent imminent and substantial harm to the welfare of the district’s students.”  The same law also led Morath to inform two small, rural school districts Wednesday — Shepherd ISD, in East Texas, and Snyder ISD, in West Texas — that he would replace their elected school boards with appointed boards. Snyder Junior High and Shepherd’s elementary and intermediate schools received their fifth consecutive failing ratings this year. view article arw

Texas Education Agency officials on Tuesday denied Houston ISD’s appeal of the failing grade given to long-struggling Wheatley High School, an expected development that moves the district another step closer to state sanctions. view article arw

When New York City’s mayor began a move to revamp the program of selective schools last year, a public outcry ensued, and the issue has yet to be resolved. Objections echoed those in the San Francisco Unified School District, which six years ago began in earnest the elimination of advanced mathematics classes until after 10th grade. Parents created Facebook groups to oppose the changes. view article arw

Students with mild to moderate learning impairment who lose special education services are 52 percent less likely to graduate from high school and 38 percent less likely to enroll in college than students who remain in special ed, according to recently released, first-of-its-kind research by two doctoral candidates in economics. view article arw

Austin ISD makes the grade! On Tuesday, the district released its annual SAT and ACT exam results. For the SAT, the district exceeded state and national averages. The average score in the district was 1109 on a 1600 scale. The national average was 1022. view article arw

Results from a standardized test deemed important to the future of education are released — and new cries ring out that “the sky is falling” in U.S. education. We heard some of that with the Wednesday release of National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) scores, which showed only two jurisdictions — the District and Mississippi — experienced big boosts in student scores. view article arw

An Austin ISD spokesperson said Monday that the district is still considering closing 12 schools, though the focus right now is on just four. In two weeks the school board is scheduled to vote on a proposal to close Sims, Metz, and Pease elementary schools next school year. The proposal also recommends looking further into the possibility of closing Brooke Elementary. view article arw

For a group of high school students in Humble, Texas, their mission to help ALS patients is personal. Last year, robotics teacher Joe Paneitz and his students created a device called "Linda's Laptote" for a retired teacher with ALS. view article arw

Well it's official. The Texas Education Agency's investigation team has recommended the TEA replace the Houston ISD elected school board with a state-appointed board that will be in charge for a while. It'll still be up to Commissioner Mike Morath to pull the trigger. In a massive report backed up with recovered emails and crowded with allegations of dysfunction and corruption that drips with sarcasm when it addresses the counter claims of several of the trustees, the TEA investigators carefully fill in more of the picture revealed in August, when the first news of what the investigators found was disclosed. view article arw

An attorney hired by Tatum ISD says the school district has not expelled two boys, whose hair has been the subject of a dispute since September. “The students were not expelled. Further, Board members did not decide that the students would not be allowed to come back unless they cut their hair,” said Heather Castillo, who represents the district, to KETK News in a written statement. view article arw

Dawson ISD gives update

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Dawson Independent School District provided an update on the school year Oct. 21. Improvements and renovations have been ongoing throughout the district, and students from each campus have celebrated numerous accomplishments since the school year began. According to Stacy Henderson, Dawson ISD Superintendent, the district's enrollment is at 560 students, with a daily attendance average of 96.71%. view article arw

Top LYS Tweets – November 5, 2019

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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.  “Educating our children is the most important thing we do. Educating all of our children no matter their family’s economic status, their address, the color of their skin, is so critical to our society that our constitution requires it!” (By @pastors4txkids)  Don’t believe the rhetoric. Tax credits, vouchers and charter schools harm children. (By @pastors4flkids) view article arw

Aledo ISD has received recognition from the Texas Comptroller for achieving specific transparency goals through the Comptroller’s Transparency Stars program. The district received a star in the area of Traditional Finances, which recognizes entities for their outstanding efforts in making spending and revenue information available. Aledo ISD provides its stakeholders this detailed, easy-to-find information via transparency titled links and other detailed information on the business department webpages of the district website ( “This is another outstanding achievement for the Aledo ISD business department, which does a tremendous job consistently providing transparent information regarding budgeting and spending for our community,” said Hoyt Harris, Aledo ISD School Board President. view article arw

At the beginning of the school year, Fort Bend ISD was required by Texas law to convert its half-day prekindergarten program into a full-day program. This change brought increased costs and staffing needs to the district, said Carmela Levy-David, FBISD’s assistant superintendent for early childhood and school improvement. The change to full-day pre-K comes after the Texas Legislature passed House Bill 3 during the 86th regular legislative session. view article arw

Think you can’t go back to school? About 350,000 Texans would beg to differ. That’s how many students returned to campus between 2014 and 2018 after leaving a Texas university without a degree, according to a new report from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. Of those 350,000 students, about 71,600 went on to complete their undergraduate degrees, and about 280,000 reenrolled in college, but have not yet completed a degree. view article arw