Texas Education Agency

  • Blogs

    November 11, 2014

    The TEA is Schooling Teachers on Boundaries by Using These Super Creepy Videos

    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 >>

  • Blogs

    August 20, 2014

    Accused Atherton Elementary Teachers Want an Apology From Grier; TEA Reviews HISD's Investigation

    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 >>

  • Blogs

    May 1, 2014

    Are These the Ten Worst Houston High Schools?

    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 >>

  • Blogs

    April 15, 2014

    Teachers in Atherton Elementary Testing Scandal Appeal to the TEA Commissioner

    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 >>

  • News

    October 3, 2013

    Everyone Says They Want the Best for North Forest Students, As Long As They Stand to Benefit.

    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.

  • Blogs

    April 1, 2013

    North Forest ISD's Hopes To Avoid HISD Merger Vanishing Quickly

    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 >>

  • Blogs

    March 15, 2013

    North Forest ISD Makes One More Appeal To State To Stay Alive

    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 >>

  • Blogs

    February 7, 2013

    North Forest Ordered To Close, Be Annexed By HISD

    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 >>

  • Blogs

    January 17, 2013

    Texas Public School Bible Courses Sparsely Offered, Poorly Taught

    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 >>

  • Blogs

    August 27, 2012

    Rick Perry Has Message For Schools: Tea Party Favorite Michael WIlliams To Head TEA

    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 >>

  • 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

    April 25, 2012

    The TEA's New Standardized Testing Performance Standards: As Clear As Mud

    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 >>

  • Blogs

    March 30, 2012

    HISD Won't Be Merging With North Forest ISD, For Now

    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 >>

  • News

    March 22, 2012

    Lowering the Boom

    Dekaney High School's motto is "Whatever It Takes." So far, district administrators haven't figured out quite what that needs to be.

  • Blogs

    November 11, 2011

    HISD Takes Over North Forest ISD

    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 >>

  • Blogs

    August 4, 2011

    Some HISD Schools Face Big Changes From No Child Left Behind

    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 >>

  • 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 >>

  • News

    February 10, 2011

    Useless Report

    Study of Teach For America's worth says little.

  • Blogs

    January 31, 2011

    Theaola Robinson: Longtime Charter School Head Sues KTRK for Libel

    A diabolical plot, attorneys say​Theaola 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 >>

  • Blogs

    December 27, 2010

    Teach For America: TEA Undertakes Audit

    TFA: It's about to be audited​The 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 >>

  • Blogs

    August 5, 2010

    HISD & No Child Left Behind: Still Not There, But Making Progress, District Says

    Some being left behind​Another 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 >>

  • Blogs

    July 27, 2010

    TEA Says Key, Kashmere "Academically Unacceptable"

    Problems at two schools​The 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 >>

  • Blogs

    April 9, 2010

    It's A Workout Deciphering TEA's Latest Instructions On Its "Fitnessgram"

    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 >>

  • Blogs

    April 1, 2010

    Pre-K In Danger, Tax Rolls Down, HISD Looks For The Rabbit In The Hat

    ​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 >>

  • News

    October 1, 2009

    Magna Charter

    Right in the middle of the Gulfton Ghetto, one school is putting on a grand experiment.

  • Blogs

    August 6, 2009

    HISD's Gets On The Rankings Roller Coaster

    ​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 >>

  • Blogs

    July 31, 2009

    HISD's Rankings Improve, As Promised Yesterday

    ​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 >>

  • Blogs

    July 31, 2009

    TEA Releases Further Details On School Rankings

    ​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 >>

  • Blogs

    May 1, 2009

    School Districts Don't Need To Close To Protect Funding, TEA Says

    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 >>

  • Blogs

    April 16, 2009

    White-Washing Those Black Rodeo Gala Tickets

    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 >>

  • Blogs

    March 9, 2009

    What A Relief: You Don't Have To Pee Your Pants To Pass A TAKS Test

    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 >>

  • Blogs

    February 20, 2009

    Cost Cutting: Dan Patrick Says Drop Those Caps On Elementary Class Size

    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 >>

  • Blogs

    December 30, 2008

    And Now We Turn Our Attention to the 2009 Texas State Legislature and the Texas Education Agency

    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 >>

  • Blogs

    August 14, 2008
  • Blogs

    August 1, 2008

    TEA Releases Ratings, Houston ISD Has Some Hits, Some Misses

    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 >>

  • Blogs

    July 31, 2008

    School Board Gets The Boot In North Forest ISD

    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 >>

  • Blogs

    August 1, 2007

    Coming Up: Which Schools Are Horrible?

    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

  • News

    March 2, 2006

    These Kids Go to the Best Public High School in Houston

    This week: Our first- through fifth-place finishers

  • News

    February 23, 2006

    Houston's Best Public High Schools

    Counting down: Our sixth- through tenth-place finishers

  • News

    August 22, 2002

    Johnnie and Dilbert

    Plus: Taking ExCEPtion

  • News

    June 27, 2002

    Million-Dollar Babies

    Some CEP students have been locked in for years

  • News

    June 6, 2002

    The Big Deal

    Vending machines are leaving Texas school cafeterias. But the mother lode of "minimal nutritional value" has hardly gone away.

  • News

    October 18, 2001

    But Who's Counting?

    Thousands of students disappear from our schools yearly, but the TEA insists they're not dropouts

  • News

    April 19, 2001

    180 Days in the Hole

    HISD insists that kids sent to its alternative school should spend an entire year there, no matter what. What a crock.

  • News

    July 22, 1999

    Learning Curves

    Charter school scandals are teaching Texas a hard lesson -- one the state should have known fouryears and $77 million ago

  • News

    July 15, 1999

    News Hostage

    Triumph of the Spirit

  • News

    March 4, 1999

    Adding It All Up

    What does it really mean to pass the TAAS?

  • News

    February 25, 1999

    The Fix Is In

    Are educators cheating on TAAS? Is anyone going to stop them?

  • News

    March 13, 1997

    Basic Ballard

    Donna Ballard and her Christian conservative cohorts have transformed the State Board of Education. But will they transform the way Texas teaches its kids?

  • News

    May 9, 1996

    Bitter Lesson

    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.

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