In another indicator that the Houston ISD hasn't mastered the art of teaching reading, today's release of scores in the National Assessment of Educational Progress showed that while there are some gains in fourth and eighth grade math, average HISD reading scores have not improved since 2007 and, in ... More >>
We need to improve our education system. Every politician, from dog catcher to president, from socialist Bernie Sanders to Ted Cruz, would support this statement. What they really mean though is that we need to improve our nation's inner-city schools; the children of the wealthy are doing just fine. ... More >>
Hire tutors, lengthen the school day, use data to check and double-check how your instruction is going and if you're talking about the three-year-old Apollo 20 project in Houston ISD, you'll be rewarded with significant improvements in math scores among elementary and secondary school students. In ... More >>
HISD didn't just absorb North Forest out of the goodness of its heart. There's some real benefits in the acquisition to the mega district and its superintendent. Hopefully for the kids as well.
Sometimes, Christmas comes early. That appears to be the case for the Houston Independent School District which, for the second straight year, was awarded the Board Prize for Urban Education. The award is in recognition of the district's overall performance and reduction of achievement gaps among po ... More >>
For the first time in ten years, the Houston Independent School District has a crack at winning a national competition that would net the district's seniors $550,000 in college scholarships. The Broad Prize, awarded by the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, "is the largest education award in the coun ... More >>
Rick Perry has adopted a more behind-the-scenes approach this time around. That doesn't mean he hasn't been busy.
The Houston Independent School District is once again a finalist for the prestigious Broad Prize, which celebrates urban education and who's doing it right. It's the third time HISD has been a finalist for the award, which began in 2002. The district won the nationwide prize -- which comes with a n ... More >>
Last week, Democratic Sen. Eddie Lucio apparently reneged on his commitment to file a school voucher bill. Lucio's flip-flop not only killed any pretense of bipartisanship with this controversial measure, but it left Sen. Dan Patrick, head of the Senate Eduction Committee, scrambling to find someone ... More >>
After months of preaches and promises on a potential voucher proposal during this legislative session, it appeared Sen. Dan Patrick had finally found a mark willing to sponsor a bill relating to his "Business Tax Scholarships." As reported in The Rio Grande Guardian last Wednesday, Sen. Eddie Lucio, ... More >>
Having fought his battles in Louisiana, the Rice University student is now ready for Texas and any move to put faux science in the public schools here.
It seems that the sweeping cuts that gutted family planning services for low-income Texans in 2011 aren't quite as popular as a clamorous minority would have led us to believe. Based on new poll results from Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, the majority of Texans -- across party, gender, and racia ... More >>
A Texas legislative session with a slew of freshman representatives brushed with the fervor of the Tea Party movement must surely be like red meat on a platter for groups like the Texas Freedom Network. The Texas Freedom Network has emerged as one of the most vocal opponents of the State Board of E ... More >>
Bad News/Good News: Houston ISD didn't win the prestigious Broad Prize this year honoring the country's top urban public school districts. But just by being one of the finalists, it receives $150,000 in scholarships that it can hand out to its graduating seniors. The fifth time (as a finalist) was ... More >>
Conservative Sen. Dan Patrick (R-Houston) probably wasn't expecting broad accolades from the education community when he was named chair of the Senate Education Committee on Thursday, and the quick negative reaction from mainline education groups did not disappoint. The dean of Harris County conser ... More >>
The deadline is looming for the next round of the Race to the Top, a program federal education department officials all but admit was drafted for Houston Independent School District after Texas refused to compete for federal grants. When Education Secretary Arne Duncan hinted such a district-based ... More >>
Houston's YES Prep has picked up the Broad Foundation's first top prize for charter school management organizations, winning a cool $250,000 for the charter chain. The inaugural award was announced at the National Alliance of Public Charter Schools Conference in Minneapolis this morning. The awar ... More >>
Houston ISD got some great news today -- it's been nominated once again as a finalist for the Broad Prize for Urban Education thanks to an increased African-American graduation rate, more African Americans and Hispanics taking Advanced Placement tests and a greater percentage than any other urban di ... More >>
Texas is a breeding ground.Houston's Children at Risk has published a new study of teen pregnancy that highlights two findings: California does a much better job at preventing it than abstinence-crazy Texas, and 80 percent of Harris County parents support sex education that starts by middle ... More >>
We have some great commenters here on Hair Balls, and it's time we paid some damn attention to them. So we'll be highlighting a Comment of the Day each morning, from the previous day's work. Maybe two comments, even. This will all be determined by a highly rigorous scientific formula involv ... More >>
Terry Grier on the high diveIn a startling reversal of previous statements and his own avowed philosophies, Houston ISD Superintendent Terry Grier today released a statement that he will recommend to the school board that teachers not be evaluated by their students' test scores this next scho ... More >>
Changes at Terry Grier's signature turn-around programIn today's Examiner newpapers, editor Charlotte Aguilar breaks the news that Jeremy Beard, the school improvement officer assigned to oversee the turnaround project for the district's low-performing schools, is leaving Houston ISD. Instea ... More >>
Parents who bought into the TAKS hype dealt blow at HISD meeting.
TFA: It's about to be auditedThe Texas Education Agency has until January 31 to submit a report to the Texas Legislature that asks whether the much lauded Teach for America is doing much good for the low-income students in Texas. The Lege allocated TFA $8 million over last year and this year ... More >>
Bristol Palin likes abstinence-only nowFor the first time in a decade, the federal government is out of the business of funding abstinence-only sex-education programs.Because, as it turns out, teaching kids it's bad to have sex doesn't really stop them from having sex. It just stops them from lea ... More >>
Not arrested yet, but charges filed and warrants issuedThe Harris County Sheriff's Office has announced that charges have been filed against the charter-school teacher whose videotaped hitting of a student went viral on the web.Sheri Lynn Davis has been charged with injury to a child. Three other ... More >>
To the surprise of absolutely no one familiar with the litigious ways of America, the mother of the kid famously caught on video getting a beatdown from his teacher is suing.And there's a press conference involved!!The Houston personal-injury law firm of Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto &a ... More >>
Mario Gallegos opens up with both barrels on Terry GrierTexas State Senator Mario Gallegos, Jr. has gone on the attack against Houston ISD Superintendent Terry Grier and his reform efforts, sending out letters to the school board and state legislators, in which he says his office has been investi ... More >>
Joel Osteen's Lakewood Church is developing a proposal to start a charter school for autistic children that would open in the fall of 2011.Nancy Manley, executive principal in the Houston ISD's charter and alternative schools office, mentioned Lakewood's plans during her address to the Senate Edu ... More >>
This is the tale of two teachers. Each of them inherit fifth-graders who test out at the start of the school year, on average, at third grade, fifth month. The kids are from the same neighborhood. They have identical demographics: roughly the same number come from single-parent homes, live in ... More >>
Caught on her cell phone today, Gayle Fallon, president of the Houston Federation of Teachers, said that many people are distorting what Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, said in a Tuesday eight-page speech about overhauling teacher evaluations.The speech wa ... More >>
Right in the middle of the Gulfton Ghetto, one school is putting on a grand experiment.
HISD has the world's busiest sniffer dog
School test scores rise as more low-scoring students drop out.
The schools who could have been contenders
Counting down: Our sixth- through tenth-place finishers
Stats show how district policies help whites with educational opportunities
A Texas journalist gives George W. Bush his due
Charter school scandals are teaching Texas a hard lesson -- one the state should have known fouryears and $77 million ago
What does it really mean to pass the TAAS?
The Guv readies surplus handouts in a legislative lovefest
Richard Farias wants to change the way HISD teaches middle school