SAN ANTONIO – Student loan borrowers have at least a few more months of relief now that payments are paused through Aug. 31. U.S. borrowers owe $1.7 trillion in student loans, according to the Federal Reserves Bank of St. Louis. Staff members at East Central Independent School District are trying to help students avoid adding to the growing national debt because figuring out how to pay for college can be a challenge, especially for those who are the first in their families to go to college. “Coming to another different state, it’s just, there’s a lot of obstacles that you have to overcome,” East Central High School senior Jahatzy Ramos said. view article arw

AUSTIN, Texas — High school students across Texas took their US history STAAR tests today. It is the first time in a couple of years that the STAAR has been administered in a normal setting – many were canceled in 2020 and last year, a large number of remote learning students opted -out by not showing up for the in-person tests. If the statewide math proficiency scores released last month are any indication, Texas could be in for a rough time with this year’s STAAR scores. “In a year that’s a pandemic, you really can’t understand what the kid is about by a singular test, but we rely on it,” said Ken Zarifis, who heads up Education Austin. He is not a fan of STAAR, to begin with. He opts his own kids out. He says teachers have had their hands full getting kids back on track this year. “You’re going to have numbers that aren’t representative of anything necessarily except this cauldron of, this mix of stress, trauma, academics.” view article arw

Abbott says conduct is ‘likely a crime’; union dismisses governor’s actions as ‘political rhetoric’  Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said Northside ISD will be investigated by Education Commissioner Mike Morath and the Attorney General’s Office after leaked emails suggested that staffers were pressured to vote in Saturday’s bond election.  Abbott’s comments on Saturday came as a response to a Twitter thread from Corey DeAngelis, the National Director of Research for the America Federation for Children, a group that fights for school choice. DeAngelis posted leaked emails from a Northside ISD principal that indicated the district’s central office is monitoring employee voting numbers.  “I have spoken with Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath about this,” Abbott tweeted. “He confirms that IF these posts are verified, then it is likely a crime.” view article arw

WHARTON, Texas – Wharton I.S.D. announced a power outage on Thursday. According to a letter from the district, the power will not restore before 1 p.m. Due to the power outage, W.I.S.D. had to stop STARR testing for Wharton Junior High and Wharton High School. The campuses began dismissing students at 10:45 a.m. this morning. The district also noted that students will resume testing on Friday, May 6. The STARR test scheduled for tomorrow will take place on Monday, May 9. Wharton I.S.D. shared the following message: We apologize in advance for any inconvenience this might cause. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation. W.I.S.D. provided the above information. view article arw

Increasingly, Houston-area students learning English in public school are taking longer to become proficient, which is holding them back from mastering other subjects and moving forward in their educational journey. In a new report, we identified a few factors that might be contributing to this trend—as well as factors that could lead to better outcomes.    (6) view article arw

It is often said that every person needs to be valued. That is exactly what the Killeen Independent School District is trying to do to ensure that every student has a chance at succeeding. Especially for the 57 percent of kids who are considered at risk, the district is asking the community's help in finding KISD mentors. view article arw

Last year, state test scores underscored the pandemic’s devastating academic effects on students in classrooms in Fort Worth and across the state. As Fort Worth students gear up to begin the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness this week, school officials aren’t sure this year’s results will be much better. Read more at: view article arw

Southside ISD is STAAR Ready

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The next two weeks at Southside ISD from May 3 to May 12 could mark a new era of high academic expectations for Southside’s students. Students throughout Texas are required by law to take the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) exams. “The expectations are very high. Some people would just put aside the state testing, but we’re not. We are embracing the opportunity to showcase what our students have learned and the great job that our teachers and staff have done,” said Superintendent of Schools Rolando Ramirez. view article arw

This Teacher Appreciation Week, a Northside ISD school teacher has been honored with an official H-E-B Excellence in Education Award. The prize was awarded on Saturday, April 30 at the Fairmont Hotel in Austin, marking the 20th annual iteration of the celebration. view article arw

At Southside ISD we are committeed to providing a high quality education.... view article arw

The Texas Education Agency plans to conduct a “Special Investigation” after receiving complaints about the La Joya Independent School District. Superintendent Gisela Saenz and school board President Alda T. Benavides received a letter about the investigation last month. “Multiple complaints allege members of the LJISD Board of Trustees and administration engaged in fraud, conflict of interest and contract procurement violations,” according to the letter, which is titled “Notice of Special Investigation.” The letter doesn’t identify the people accused of wrongdoing or provide any details about the complaints. During the past four months, however, two school board trustees and two administrators pleaded guilty to public corruption charges. They confessed to accepting bribes, circumventing the competitive bidding process and extortion.    (3) view article arw

In Lubbock, we have some great schools and districts, but one school in particular is making some big headlines, ranking no. 18 in Texas and no. 126 nationally for the best school. If you look just at Lubbock, this school is also ranked no. 1 in Lubbock Independent School District (LISD) high schools and no. 30 in magnet high schools.  Talkington School for Young Women Leaders is the school putting us on the map. They made it because students have the chance to take Advanced Placement coursework and exams. They also offer AP participation, with 100 percent of their students taking at least one AP exam and 79 percent passing at least one.  view article arw

Coppell ISD is making an effort to become more accountable to its community as it continues engaging students, parents and other community members.  Deana Dynis, Teaching and Learning Executive Director, and Greg Axelon, Coppell North High School's Principal, shared student feedback with the Coppell ISD Board of Trustees at a Monday meeting. Axelon said one of the questions posed was, "What is important to you as a student in Coppell ISD?" He highlighted two answers, one from a middle school student and the other from an elementary school student. The middle school student's response was, "You are more than your score," while the elementary school student answered, "I wish you could see yourself through my eyes." The second answer, according to Axelon came from a student who struggled academically. Her teacher would encourage her, saying, "I wish you could see you the way I see you," Axelon said.  view article arw

Longview ISD will honor three former students during the annual Distinguished Alumni ceremony and luncheon set Thursday.  This year’s honorees are Kay Ray (Class of 1970), Rogers Pope Jr. (Class of 1985) and Trent Williams (Class of 2006).  Events are set to begin at 10 a.m. Thursday with the Longview ISD Foundation commemorative brick presentation at the Lobo Foundation Plaza near the home entrance to Lobo Stadium.  An 11:30 a.m. reception at Lobo Coliseum will be followed by lunch at noon. view article arw

Royse City ISD was recently recognized by the NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) Foundation as one of its Best Communities for Music Education for a fourth consecutive year.  “Congratulations to our amazing music educators and their leadership on this continued recognition,” Supt. Kevin Worthy said. “Participation in our music programs is growing exponentially. A quick glance in those classrooms and band halls show a perfect picture of joy in learning.   “I’m also appreciative of our supportive school board for approving sound budgets to support these vital programs,” he added. view article arw

A state board on Friday voted in favor of requiring a new teacher certification exam in an effort to better prepare new teachers and keep them in the profession.  The 11-member State Board for Educator Certification, which oversees the preparation, certification and standards of conduct of public school educators, adopted the Educative Teacher Performance Assessment, also known as the edTPA exam, in a 8-to-1 vote. Board member Tommy Coleman was not present, and board member Jean Streepey abstained.  The State Board of Education must still approve the test before it’s officially adopted for new Texas teachers. The board is expected to consider the matter in June.    (2) view article arw

Early data shows that more economically disadvantaged high school seniors in Austin ISD are meeting college-, career- and military-readiness standards, according to a district media advisory. As of April, AISD has seen a roughly 5% increase in graduating students meeting the criteria— from 29% to 34%— since the 2020-21 school year, the advisory said. Exact figures will be determined at the end of the school year. view article arw

AUSTIN, Texas — Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath is blaming the COVID-19 pandemic for a huge drop seen in student proficiency in math. "What you see largely is that the grade level proficiency has wiped out about 10 years worth of academic progress," he says.  Now state lawmakers are looking at what can be done to help students recover. But teachers say the pandemic is just shining a light on a problem that has plagued Texas for generations.    (29) view article arw

Elementary and middle school students across Texas are preparing to take state exams in early May, which will mark their progress after a tough two years of COVID-19 disruptions.  Last year’s STAAR results detailed significant learning loss with roughly 37% of students failing math tests and another 33% failing reading exams. Educators across the state expect to see another year of low scores.  “We have a situation as a result of this pandemic where arguably students have the greatest possible need that we have ever seen,” said Tyson Kane, Texas Education Agency’s associate commissioner of strategy and analytics, at a recent Raise Your Hand Texas conference. view article arw

Three Dallas ISD schools earned top spots on U.S. News & World Report’s 2022 Best High Schools state and national rankings. Dallas ISD’s School for the Talented and Gifted at Yvonne A. Ewell Townview Center (TAG) has been named the best high school in Texas, with Irma Lerma Rangel Young Women’s Leadership School coming in second place, and the School of Science and Engineering (SEM) at Yvonne A. Ewell Townview Center in third. The three schools also secured top honors among the national rankings, coming in at No. 11, No. 20 and No. 22, respectively. view article arw

DALLAS — Three Dallas-area high schools top off the list of the state's best and also slate among the nation's finest, according to the latest rankings from U.S. News & World Report. The new rankings put Dallas ISD’s School for the Talented and Gifted at No. 1 in the Lone Star State and No. 8 nationally. It also ranks as the eighth-best school in the nation for STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) and fourth-best magnet school in the US. view article arw

HOUSTON, Texas -- Two Houston high schools are at the head of their class when it comes to the best public high schools in the U.S. New rankings from U.S. News & World Report put Houston ISD's Carnegie Vanguard High School at No. 40 nationally (up from No. 42 last year) and DeBakey High School for Health Professions No. 43 nationally among the best STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) high schools and No. 18 nationally among the best magnet high schools. view article arw

Tyler ISD was ranked 45th overall on the 2021 Forbes List of America’s Best-in-State Employers, ranking ahead of other Texas companies such as Tesla, Nike and UPS. At the top of the best-in-state list is NASA with Google in second place. Also in the top 10 are Costco, IKEA, Dell Technologies, Southwest Airlines, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Katy ISD, H-E-B, and Hilton. Tyler ISD Superintendent Dr. Marty Crawford said the list reflects the community's support for Tyler ISD and praised the atmosphere of East Texas. “East Texas is an extraordinary place to live, work, play and worship,” Crawford said. “This designation solidifies not only how fulfilling and special it is to be working in Tyler ISD, but more of a reflection of how the community supports the people who work inside the namesake school system of the Tyler area.” view article arw

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, nearly all Texas public universities responded by making the submission of an SAT or ACT score optional for college admission.  But although COVID infections are down and in-person standardized tests are widely available again, the majority of Texas public universities are keeping the SAT and ACT optional until the spring of 2023 or later.  Even before the pandemic, some universities considered themselves test-optional because of a state law that grants automatic admission to Texas students who graduate in the top 10% of their high school classes. But the COVID-19 pandemic pushed many more schools to become test-optional for all applicants.  “It was an opportunity that a lot of schools are grateful they’ve been able to take,” said Chris Reed, executive director of admissions at Texas A&M University in College Station. “The pandemic created an opportunity when it was the right thing to do. … Now we have a living, breathing dataset to evaluate some of those assumptions.”    (26) view article arw

On Monday, Summit High School's 'Woohoo Crew' celebrated Jaylen Walker's acceptance to college. It marked a milestone for Walker.  "I want to help (people) who have learning disabilities," Walker said. "You can do anything you want to do."  Walker was born prematurely with a learning disability. His parents didn't think college could be in his future until they saw a story last February on NBC 5, highlighting the University of North Texas ELEVAR program for students with learning disabilities.  "I saw that story and I thought, 'oh my gosh, this is for Jaylen,'" Jaylen's mother Traci Walker said. "His motto is 'if I can do it you can do it,' and so that's our goal just to keep pushing him and supporting him, allowing him to be the best person that he can be." view article arw

AUSTIN, Texas — On Saturday, Leander ISD parents and staff gathered at Elizabeth Milburn Park to support students and their ability to freely choose what books they'd like to read. The event was hosted by Spring into FReadom, a group that believes all books should be readily accessible to students. A Vandergrift High School student, Ella Scott, co-founded the Banned Book Club at her school. They read books Leander ISD banned from classroom libraries and book clubs. Through this club, Scott wants students to have a voice in what books are reviewed and deemed appropriate for high school students. view article arw

The Gatesville Independent School District is able to celebrate "considerable improvements" in mock End of Course (EOC) assessments at the high school level from 2021 to 2022, according to Shane Webb, assistant superintendent for academics. Webb presented the good news at the April 18 meeting of the GISD Board of Trustees. "In Algebra I, biology, and U.S. history, we made significant gains, and there has also been improvement in English I," Webb told the board. "We are making a lot of progress when it comes to intervention, meeting the kids where they are and narrowing the gaps." Results include: view article arw

Grant Bridge threw his hands in the air and hollered in the Abilene High auditorium.  Deborah Musonera, at AHS, and Brendan Reynolds, across town at Cooper, wore black-and-white Chuck Taylors.  The eight ATEMS students easily fit into one photo.  The top students in the Class of 2022 were announced publicly Monday morning across the Abilene ISD, with parents and other relatives there to applaud and take the necessary photos and videos. view article arw

The Red Oak ISD Board of Trustees on Monday approved a one-year extension of its contract with Mentors Care, a local nonprofit that helps provide mentors to at-risk students. Mentors Care started in 2009 at Midlothian High School when school leaders were looking for a way to address the high dropout rate. Later, Red Oak ISD took notice. Four years ago Red Oak High School’s Discipline Committee had recommended a mentoring program to help at-risk students who were missing school and had poor grades and discipline problems. view article arw

TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - Tyler ISD’s Literacy Bus made its debut Thursday. “The Literacy Bus is a collaborative project with the Junior League of Tyler and the community to help ensure that every child has access to free books year-round,” a press release stated. “Students will enjoy a colorful, fun, and interactive environment each time it makes a stop throughout the Tyler ISD community.” The press release said the goal is to encourage family reading and successful student outcomes. The TISD Literacy Bus made its first stop at the Dixie Elementary campus, and students went inside to sample the free books. Later, it will go out into the community to offer free children’s books there as well. view article arw

Tyler ISD’s Board of Trustees on Monday discussed updates on the House Bill 3 Reading Academies and a possible upcoming stipend for reading educators. HB3 was updated by the 87th Texas Legislature in June 2021, now requiring all kindergarten through third grade teachers and principals must attend a “teacher literacy achievement academy” by the end of the 2022-23 school year. According to the Texas Education Agency, all kindergarten through third grade teachers, including special education teachers and principals, are required to complete the HB 3 Reading Academies by 2023. Districts have authority to exempt art, health education, music, physical education, speech communication and theatre arts, or theatre teachers. view article arw

District reviews accountability reporting changes for 2022-23 school year.  Round Rock ISD staff presented an update on accountability reporting changes for the 2022-23 school year during an April 21 board meeting.  RRISD Chief of Teaching and Learning Ryan Smith said there were few changes from the previous year handed down by the Texas Education Agency. Some of the updates are tied to HB 4545, a bill passed in 2021 that established learning acceleration requirements for students who do not pass the State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness and Skills. Under HB 4545, retesting opportunities for grades five and eight have been eliminated, along with separate writing assessments previously administered in grades four and seven, according to the district. Smith said writing elements have been incorporated into reading exams across the board. view article arw

CONROE, TX -- The Conroe Independent School District Board of Trustees and Dr. Curtis Null, Superintendent, honored individuals across the Caney Creek High School Feeder Zone with an Ambassador Award in recent weeks. The Board of Trustees began the Ambassador Awards to recognize individuals for their positive contributions to campus life and campus climate. Each campus is visited by members of the Board while they are performing their duties as either a student, paraprofessional, or employee. Students honored are Peyton McDaniel, Austin Elementary; Ivan Garcia, Creighton Elementary; Jayden Flournoy, Hope Elementary; Landon Malik, Milam Elementary; Ethan Vohs, San Jacinto Elementary; Janeth Galvan, Grangerland Intermediate; Bianca Castro, Moorhead Junior High; and Hannah Galloway, Caney Creek High School. view article arw

SHERMAN, Texas (KXII) - Sherman ISD gives its high school seniors a reality check just before graduation. The Reality Check event taught students valuable information to prepare them for the real world. Sherman ISD’s PTA organized the first annual Reality Check event. “It’s a really good way for like students to get a feel of the real world,” said Carina Mata, Sherman High School senior. Seniors Carina Mata and Emma Morgan came in with goals of their own. view article arw

For Nimitz alumnae Mikaela Jauregui and Jennifer Garcia, their dream of being a teacher is closer than ever thanks to the Irving ISD I Am Next initiative. Through I Am Next, high school students across the district receive training and real classroom experience to prepare them as  the next generation of Irving ISD educators.  Jauregui, class of 2019, and Garcia, class of 2018, first discover their passion for teaching in their introductory education courses at Nimitz. Early on in their high school careers, teachers like Lavonne Carpenter encouraged them to participate in I Am Next and other teaching-focused extracurriculars. view article arw