Education Standards

  • Blogs

    March 27, 2013

    State Rep. Harold Dutton Makes A Powerful, But (Of Course) Ineffective, Speech To His Colleagues on Educating Black Males (VIDEO)

    State Rep. Harold Dutton, the bomb thrower of the Texas House, made the most compelling argument for not passing the state's new graduation and accountability bill last night: It doesn't fix the problem. No Child Left Behind, and its precursor Texas system, was created to make sure that, well, no c ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 8, 2012

    HISD Deals With The STAAR Results

    If there's anything that can fix public education, it's yet another standardized test with a bizarre acronym. Forget TAAS and TAKS -- get used to hearing about STAAR. (The State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, of course.) The Houston school district says STAAR is "much more rigorous" t ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 17, 2012

    No More "Debtor's Prison" for Truants in Hidalgo County, ACLU Says

    We didn't really think this happened much anymore, but apparently Hidalgo County was in the habit of jailing school truants who couldn't pay the sometimes large fines they racked up. It sounded -- to the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Texas -- like the debtor's prisons of old, so th ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 9, 2012

    HISD Board Might Extend Terry Grier's Contract Tonight

    Terry Grier's contract being discussed​Are you ready for some more Terry Grier? Five Houston school board members are, and they are looking to extend the superintendent's contract for another year, to 2014. The move may come as early as tonight, although some are questioning whether doing so ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 21, 2011

    HISD: New STAAR Standardized Test Will Completely Change All Curriculum

    HISD gets tested.​Texas public schools are trading the standardized test they currently use, TAKS, for a brand-new test -- one that's much harder. Said Superintendent Terry Grier, "This is probably the biggest thing that's happened in Texas education in a long, long time." This morning, five ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 12, 2011

    TEA Applies the Hammer to North Forest (And HISD): Historically Terrible District Should Be Taken Over by Houston, It Says (Updated with HISD Response)

    Welcome to HISD.​The Texas Education Agency has finally had enough of the North Forest ISD, a lower-income school district with chronic problems demonstrating proficiency on standardized tests. Today the TEA took the unusual step of ordering it to close, and suggesting it be taken over by HIS ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 29, 2011

    Grier Calls 1st TAKS Tests for Apollo "Progress, Not Victory"

    Spinning the TAKS results​Superintendent Terry Grier released Houston ISD's first-round state test scores for fifth and eighth graders on Thursday, acknowledging at the start of the press conference that the results for middle school students in the Apollo 20 pilot project were of the most int ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 1, 2010

    HISD's Terry Grier: Agent Provocateur

    Photo by Margaret Downing​Prediction: In a year, Superintendent Terry Grier will either be a celebrated hero, or the scapegoat for pretty much of everything that goes wrong in the Houston Independent School District.As Hair Balls said before, there doesn't seem to be a go-slow switch in Grier's ar ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 23, 2009

    Janitors' Nightmare: Study Says Chewing Gum Increases TAKS Scores

    Let there be jubilation in the halls of junior high schools across the land! A crack Baylor College of Medicine research team has found that chewing gum in class improves TAKS math scores.The study centered on 108 math students, aged 13-16, at a low-income, predominantly Hispanic Houston charter sch ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 10, 2009

    Obama Follows Yet Another Bush Policy: He Praises HISD

    Photo courtesy White HouseThe Houston school district got a shout-out from President Obama this morning.In a major speech on education, Obama urged a raft of reforms "to finally make No Child Left Behind live up to its name."Among the reforms he urged districts to adopt: Houston's method of keeping ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 4, 2009

    Abe Saavedra Is Leaving The Building

    Abe Saavedra, HISD superintendent, announced his resignation this morning to pursue a "second career" at the ripe old age of 58.  Saavedra's leaving follows a big retreat the board had, where he just might have been told of some boardmembers' continuing frustration with what they've called poor ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 17, 2008

    Obama's Education Pick Brings Back Memories Of HISD's Rod Paige

    Barack Obama has truly broken the mold in picking a Secretary of Education -- he's chosen the superintendent of the largest school district in his home state.Wait -- that sounds familiar. George W. Bush did the same thing, of course, when he tapped HISD's Rod Paige to come to Washington in 2000.The ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 25, 2008

    Ain't Nothing Wrong With A Texas Mathbook

    Teachers in a California school district are up in arms over the fact that publisher McGraw-Hill mistakenly sent unedited copies of math textbooks riddled with errors. In addition to typos and problems with the answer-keys, the books, approved for California academic standards, came with covers for ... More >>

  • Calendar

    July 31, 2008

    Divine Horsemen: The Living Gods of Haiti

    Meet Maya Deren’s unusual circle of friends

  • Blogs

    October 24, 2006

    So It's Govt' Money -- Don't Have a COW

    Neil Bush: Working to improve American kids' reading skills. (Next year.) Remember when Barbara Bush dropped that "working very well for them" bomb about Katrina victims? Folks everywhere said she was harsh, even going as far as calling her a "cold-hearted bitch." But, would you still call Mrs. ... More >>

  • News

    July 15, 2004
  • News

    December 25, 1997

    The TAAS Buster

    For years, Harriet Ball miraculously boosted the test scores of academically at-risk kids in Houston. Finally, educators across the country are taking note.

  • News

    December 29, 1994

    Condoms! Homosexuals! Lesbian Adoption!

    After a vicious campaign, the religious right is poised to push its agenda on the State Board of Education