Well, it appears someone at the Texas Education Agency has taken the phrase "fight fire with fire" quite literally. In order to combat predatory behavior by Texas teachers, the TEA has done the only thing that makes sense: they've released a series of videos on teacher-student ethics that are just ... More >>
One teacher has been back at her job since March. Another is ready to settle with Houston ISD for a year's salary and her promise that she will never apply to work for HISD again, according to her attorney Larry Watts. But the third and fourth teachers originally accused of helping students cheat ... More >>
This week the non-profit group Children at Risk released their annual school rankings, which look at Texas Education Agency to rank 7,000 schools. By their own admission, Children at Risk's analysis has its flaws. "The limitations posed by TEA data are valid criticisms for the school ranking syste ... More >>
The Atherton Elementary teaching scandal entered its next phase Monday when the attorney for the three teachers who Houston ISD trustees voted to terminate last week, filed a petition for review with the state commissioner of education and slung some serious allegations the superintendent's way. I ... 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.
The likelihood of North Forest Independent School District being annexed into Houston Independent School District seems imminently probable, even though North Forest promises at least one more appeal of the decision. North Forest, which has been in disarray for almost two decades now, threw a Hail ... More >>
The flagging and beleaguered North Forest Independent School District argued for one more reprieve before the Texas Education Agency on Friday morning, naming a non-profit educational management organization led by KIPP founder Mike Feinberg as the new savior for the failing district. As is typical ... More >>
In the latest trip on a seesaw of decisions, the state's commissioner of education has ordered the chronically underachieving North Forest school district to merge into the Houston school district. Texas Education Agency head Michael Williams said the state will proceed with a previous order to clo ... More >>
Six years after lawmakers agreed Bible courses could be offered in Texas schools, the Texas Freedom Network finds that course offerings are neither "legally appropriate nor academically sound," according to a report released today. Lawmakers, after much wrangling that included input from Jewish Hou ... More >>
Governor Rick Perry didn't go safe and sound when picking a new commissioner of the Texas Education Agency -- instead he's installed bomb-throwing Tea Party favorite Michael Williams. The former Railroad Commission chair has been nosing around a few political options in the past couple of years -- ... More >>
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 >>
The Texas Education Agency has released its new performance standards for the STAAR test, the newest statewide exam whose acronym we can't be bothered to decipher. The new standards will be phased in, which is good because it may take a while to understand them. They're as clear as anything could b ... More >>
The Texas Education Agency's plan to have the Houston school district absorb the chronically troubled North Forest district has been shelved, for now at least. TEA commissioner Robert Scott informed HISD by letter today that merging with NFISD "is no longer an option," HISD spokesman Jason Spencer ... More >>
Dekaney High School's motto is "Whatever It Takes." So far, district administrators haven't figured out quite what that needs to be.
North Forest is now part of HISD.The Houston school district, which like every district in Texas these days has enough on its plate, got a new problem handed to it today -- the state ordered it to annex the troubled North Forest ISD. North Forest has struggled for years with poor performance ... More >>
Some HISD schools are getting left behind.Step aside, Apollo 20. A slew of Houston ISD high schools are going to have to undergo serious overhauls to satisfy requirements of No Child Left Behind. Federal school and district ratings were released this afternoon. In a subsequent press release, ... More >>
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 >>
Study of Teach For America's worth says little.
A diabolical plot, attorneys sayTheaola Robinson was, for decades, the head of Benji's, a Fifth Ward facility for special-ed kids that eventually became a charter school. Last year she retired amid controversy from the Texas Education Agency over its finances; when the TEA tried to close it ... More >>
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 >>
Some being left behindAnother week, another bunch of statistics and reports on public school district performance.Today it's a report on how districts are doing in making progress towards a 2014 deadline to meet standards in the No Child Left Behind Act.For two years, the Houston school district ... More >>
Problems at two schoolsThe Texas Education Agency has declared Key Middle School and Kashmere High School "Academically Unacceptable" following an investigation into the standardized test cheating and other employee shenanigans at the schools.The TEA is reporting that "actions by some campu ... More >>
Hair Balls believes intensely and fully in the physical fitness benefits of wind sprints, pumping iron and teamwork camaraderie. But even we took pause at an end-of-the-month missive sent out to school districts around the state from the Texas Education Agency, passed on to us by a Friend of Hair Ba ... More >>
Houston ISD's tax rolls look to be down 4.32 percent in the next year, with a loss of almost $5 billion in assessed values for 2011 over 2010. Most of the lost money is coming from lowered commercial property values, with the least decrease among residential property owners.Things could be even w ... More >>
Right in the middle of the Gulfton Ghetto, one school is putting on a grand experiment.
Oh, HISD. You didn't get to enjoy your "We Got Great Rankings!!" moment for long.Just a week after crowing about their improvement in the state's assessment of schools, the district got slammed by the feds for failing to make the grade in No Child Left Behind rankings.The dispute comes down to st ... More >>
HISD announced yesterday they had set a record for the percentage of its schools ranked "exemplary" or "recognized" by the state, and the official release of the information today backed up the claim.Last year 57 percent of the district's schools were included in those two categories; this year i ... More >>
The Texas Education Agency has released the 2009 school rankings -- let the talk of how schools are gaming the system begin!!Results are searchable by district, by category, by all kinds of things.The 12 HISd schools that have been ranked "unacceptable":High Schools -- Jones, Kashmere, Lee, Sterl ... More >>
When the Fort Worth school district made the seemingly bizarre decision to close down for a week even though they hadn't experienced a single confirmed case of swine flu, there were some rumblings that FWISD officials were more concerned about budgets than parents.Parents might have to spend a week ... More >>
Well, Warner Ervin, superintendent of the Houston Independent School District's south region, must be feeling pretty good today. He's the administrator being reluctantly investigated by the Texas Education Agency -- after a lot of urging from citizen and former HISD high school teacher Del Murphy -- ... More >>
Last week saw the first volley of TAKS (Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills) testing for public high schoolers. Crucial to the success of the mission was a ruling from State Education Commissioner Robert Scott that yes, bathroom breaks are allowed during the testing. The Texas Classroom Teacher ... More >>
Just in time for the 25th anniversary of the landmark Texas House Bill 72, Senator Dan Patrick has pre-filed a bill to amend it in several ways -- no, he's not touching No Pass, No Play -- but he is fiddling with the cap in place on the number of kids that schools can cram into their K-4th grade cla ... More >>
By now, most everyone has heard something of the off-the-mike November conversation between Texas Education Agency Deputy Comissioner Lizzette Reynolds and Associate Deputy Commissioner Gina Day that was made public last week. After a very brief meeting, someone forgot to turn off her microphone and ... More >>
Thirteen of the Houston Independent School District’s schools were deemed academically unacceptable by the Texas Education Agency in its just released annual ratings. On the much brighter side, 38 received the top rating of exemplary, 118 got recognized status and 97 made the bare minimum of aca ... More >>
After years of dismal test scores and a demonstrated inability to get a grip on its finances, as well as months of high drama with the school board firing and un-firing its superintendent several times, the North Forest ISD was officially put on notice today that the state is going to run its busine ... More >>
Well the accountability ratings are in and at 1 o'clock today we'll be able to tell you which schools made the grade in the Houston Independent School District and which schools got failing report cards from the Texas Education Agency. Check back here at 1 p.m. -- Margaret Downing
This week: Our first- through fifth-place finishers
Counting down: Our sixth- through tenth-place finishers
Plus: Taking ExCEPtion
Some CEP students have been locked in for years
Vending machines are leaving Texas school cafeterias. But the mother lode of "minimal nutritional value" has hardly gone away.
Thousands of students disappear from our schools yearly, but the TEA insists they're not dropouts
HISD insists that kids sent to its alternative school should spend an entire year there, no matter what. What a crock.
Charter school scandals are teaching Texas a hard lesson -- one the state should have known fouryears and $77 million ago
Triumph of the Spirit
What does it really mean to pass the TAAS?
Are educators cheating on TAAS? Is anyone going to stop them?
Donna Ballard and her Christian conservative cohorts have transformed the State Board of Education. But will they transform the way Texas teaches its kids?
For 27 years, math teacher Phyllis Landes had a spotless record. Then the Texas Education Agency accused her of making racist remarks, and nearly ruined her school and her life.