Texas Education Agency

Ryan Poppe

What is a school board member’s role in improving student performance and how should the state hold them accountable? Those are questions state lawmakers are asking ahead of the 2017 legislative session.

The release of the 2016 school accountability ratings has spurred many conversations this week at the state capitol, including how to help the lowest performing schools.

Education Commissioner Mike Morath said it’s wrong to point the finger at underperforming teachers.

Texas Announces Hundreds of Schools Receiving Pre-K Grants

Jul 6, 2016
by Marjorie Kamys Cotera / The Texas Tribune

Editor's note: This story has been updated throughout.

Texas will divvy up more than $116 million among 578 school districts and charter schools to bolster high-quality pre-kindergarten programs, Education Commissioner Mike Morath announced Tuesday.

"This is an intolerable situation," Sen. Lamar Alexander said last week in a heated speech on the Senate floor.

The Tennessee Republican is chairman of the Senate's education committee, and he is furious with the Education Department. He even gave states some remarkable advice:

"If the regulations are not consistent with the law, I don't believe [states] should follow them," he said. "If the department persists, then the state should go to court to sue the department."

New Education Chief Overhauls Top of Agency

Apr 14, 2016
Photo by Facebook, Mike Morath for Dallas School Board

Three months after his swearing in, Education Commissioner Mike Morath announced his picks Thursday for several new deputy commissioner positions he created as part of a sweeping reorganization of the Texas Education Agency. 

Three of the five hires have extensive charter school experience and only two appear to have solid Texas ties — something teacher groups and traditional public schools were quick to point out.

Ryan E. Poppe

According to the Texas Education Agency and data compiled by the Association of Texas Professional Educators, the state as a whole does not have a shortage of teachers, but for many school districts, finding educators that can teach English as a second language or Science, Technology, Engineering and Math programs can be a real challenge.

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