The Texas education commissioner has informed federal officials the state intends to seek a $30 million grant that would expand pre-kindergarten opportunities. That would include increasing enrollment for non-English speaking students and possible all-day pre-K.
While the two gubernatorial candidates debate how pre-K should be run, Texas Education Commissioner Michael Williams wants to make sure Texas has the financial resources for increasing pre-K opportunities.
Update (4:05 p.m.): In his final decision, Travis County District Judge John Dietz said that the property tax system set up to fund school districts was ineffective at distributing funding equally to campuses across the state.
Attorney David Thompson represents the largest number of schools in the lawsuit.
State lawmakers took issue with the Texas Education Agency’s plan to keep the standard for writing component of the Texas STAARS exam at a lower level for a third year in a row. Lawmakers voiced concerns with keeping the lower standard and changing the exam while student performance remains flat.
The state introduced the STAAR exams in 2011 and because of failing test grades the legislature reduced the number of exams from 15 to five in 2013.
State Sen. Leticia Van De Putte, D-San Antonio, said the STAAR exam may have run its course.
Following a surge of Central American minors crossing into the United States illegally, the state of Texas is attempting to figure out what to do about their education.
A 1982 Supreme Court ruing mandated that all states would be required to provide an education to migrant children regardless of legal status. With the recent increase of Central American children, the Texas Education Agency is not sure what to do.
Texas Education Commissioner Michael Williams has asked the U.S. Department of Education allow the state to delay a full rollout of a new teacher evaluation system and teacher's associations are applauding Williams' action.
As per agreement with that allows Texas to opt out of sections of the federal No Child Left Behind Act, Williams was to design a teacher evaluation pilot program, test it using voluntary school districts, and then rollout the program after a year.
The Mexican-American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit on the behalf of the League of United Latin-American Citizens, alleging the state of Texas isn’t doing enough to advance English language learner (ELL) students in public schools.
The lawsuit also names San Antonio-area school districts North East ISD and Southwest ISD as defendants and references continuing state education reports to show ELL students are not given as many opportunities as other students.
State teachers gave House leaders their take on the new job assessment pilot program designed by the Texas Education Agency. Teachers criticized the use of student test scores to measure job performance, calling the formula “black magic” with no type of scientific evidence.
As part an agreement with the U.S. Department of Education, the TEA designed a program for teacher evaluation in order to opt out of the federal No Child Left Behind program. The proposed plan gives student end-of-course exams a 20 percent weight, which is a minimum set by federal education officials.
Following a series of reports released by Texas State Board of Education Vice Chairman Thomas Ratliff on charter school financial accountability, a state lawmaker said he’s looking into legislation for the 2015 session that will address the issue.
According to an analysis released by Ratliff last week:
Using data from the Texas Education Agency’s website, State Board of Education Vice Chairman Thomas Ratliff showed how the overall spending at a majority of charter schools is over the recommended amount set by the state.
Ratliff said the general conversation about charter schools focuses on school choice, but, he said, the financial management and accountability isn’t something that’s often addressed. Following his study on superintendent pay at charter schools, it was suggested that he examine overall spending.