TEA

Louisa Jonas / Texas Public Radio

By the beginning of the next school year in the fall, Texas districts must adopt a method for evaluating teachers.  The new state education commissioner’s proposal for doing that has set off a fire storm among some teachers’ groups, because it lists student test scores as one factor that can be considered in the evaluation. It’s not a requirement that test scores be used, but some teachers are concerned. 

Jason Wiseman / Texas Tribune

UPDATE: The Texas Education Agency says Commissioner Mike Morath is allowing school districts to decide whether students affected this week by glitches with the online STAAR test must retake the exam.  In many cases student answers disappeared from computer screens or were not recorded when students signed off.  

Joey Palacios / Te

The South San ISD Board will discuss the Texas Education Agency’s appointment of a conservator at a special board meeting on Tuesday.  At least one board member and a San Antonio city council member are happy to see the TEA step in.

The overseer appointed by the TEA will have control over much of the governing operations of the South San school board.  For board member Stacey Estrada, that’s a welcome addition. “I’m actually very excited about it. I think that this is going to be a big plus for our district,” Estrada said.

Ryan E. Poppe

One of the Texas governor’s agenda items on public education has cleared the Texas Senate. Senators have approved four bills on Thursday that re-apply a program from the 1990s.

Brenham Republican Lois Kolkhorst said these bills direct the Texas Education Commissioner to set up training academies for teachers to bring children up to grade level in reading and math.

“Problematically, many students are not reading at a satisfactory level. Teacher quality is widely considered the most important school-related variable for improving student performance.

Accordingly, teachers must be afforded the training and retraining to make the difference in our young students’ lives,” Kolkhorst explained.

Ryan Loyd / TPR News

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.  

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