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Posts under ‘School days’

HISD proposes to rebuild four schools damaged by Harvey

Seems reasonable. Students at four storm-damaged Houston ISD elementary schools wouldn’t return to their home campuses until at least 2020 under a district proposal for replacing the structures announced Monday. The $126-million plan calls for the four campuses — Braeburn, Kolter, Mitchell and Scarborough elementary schools — to be demolished and rebuilt at their current […]

Ruby Polanco

This happened late last month, and kind of got lost in the Harvey fallout. A year after Ruby Polanco first noticed that the San Antonio Independent School District’s non-discrimination statement for students and employees didn’t mention gender identity, gender expression or sexual orientation, the 17-year-old won her first policy victory. Polanco submitted a petition and […]

Some schools will have longer days

Seems like a reasonable approach, all things considered. School days will grow longer for students at 11 Houston Independent School District campuses after the Board of Education voted Thursday night to extend school days to stay in compliance with state law. The next step is for the Texas Education Agency to grant Houston ISD nine […]

Don’t expect any STAAR slack

Sorry, kids. Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath said Wednesday morning that the state was not likely to let students displaced by Hurricane Harvey delay a required state test this school year — or to change the way school districts are graded at the end of the school year. “I would say, given the information I […]

What will this school year be like?

School has finally started for most of HISD and many surrounding districts, but with the devastation and disruption of Harvey, what can we expect from this academic year? Many students in Houston ISD lost everything – their homes, their school supplies, their clothes, their toys. Some are staying in the mega-shelters at the George R. […]

Most but not all HISD schools will open Monday

Here’s the latest. Nine storm-damaged Houston ISD campuses will remain temporarily closed when many district students return to classes for the fall following a two-week delay caused by Hurricane Harvey, Superintendent Richard Carranza said Thursday. Meanwhile, students at nearly 80 schools won’t return to classes until either Sept. 18 or Sept. 25. District officials released […]

Many schools were damaged by Harvey

This will add so much more disruption to the Harvey recovery efforts. More than 10,000 Houston Independent School District students are expected to start classes in temporary quarters as officials work to repair hundreds of campuses damaged by Hurricane Harvey, Superintendent Richard Carranza said Saturday. Carranza said the district still plans to start school on […]

HISD gets some improvements, needs some more

Mostly good news. State school ratings released Tuesday showed academic gains across Houston ISD this year, but enthusiasm over the results was tempered by 10 struggling campuses again falling short of state standards, leaving the district under threat of state intervention and even takeover next year without more progress. District administrators heralded the results, released […]

HISD board fills Manuel Rodriguez’s seat

The HISD Board of Trustees is back to full strength. The Houston ISD Board of Education voted to appoint José Leal to fill the seat left vacant after the death of longtime District III Trustee Manuel Rodríguez Jr last month. Board members chose Leal unanimously during a special meeting Monday afternoon. Leal has more than […]

HISD and the TEA

Still catching up on things. Texas education officials are warning that Houston ISD could be placed under the jurisdiction of state-appointed managers as early as next year if 13 district schools don’t show improvement. The warning was issued during a meeting [last] Monday between Texas Education Agency officials and Houston’s legislative delegation. TEA officials told […]

RIP, Manuel Rodriguez

Sad news. Every Tuesday at 8 a.m., Houston ISD Trustee Manuel “Manny” Rodriguez, Jr., would roll his maroon mobility scooter up to his favorite table at the Tel-Wink Restaurant & Grill in Southeast Houston. Rodriguez always left the seat across from him empty. Constituents and complete strangers knew those were his office hours — the […]

No changes to HISD magnet programs

Not this year, anyway. Houston ISD Superintendent Richard Carranza this week withdrew a plan to deeply cut funding for the district’s magnet programs over the next three years, shelving a proposal that had angered parents and some school board members who consider the specialized academic programs to be jewels in an oft-troubled school system. The […]

SBOE approves new evolution standard

Shockingly, it doesn’t suck. The Texas State Board of Education tentatively voted to remove language in high school biology standards that would have required students to challenge evolutionary science. Currently, the curriculum requires students to “evaluate” scientific explanations for the origins of DNA and the complexity of certain cells, which some have argued could open […]

Some things never evolve

The SBOE, for instance. The Texas State Board of Education on Wednesday voted preliminarily for science standards that would keep in language that some say opens the door to creationism. The votes came a day after the board heard from scientists begging them to remove the language. Board members are set to hold a second […]

A re-vote on recapture?

This is very interesting. After reconsideration of an 18-year-old law, state education officials are adjusting their school finance calculations in a way that could save several dozen school districts roughly $100 million — while costing the state the same amount in revenue. One of the apparent beneficiaries is Houston ISD, where the change means taxpayers […]

Lawsuit threatened over special education limits

The clock is ticking. Disability advocates on Monday threatened to sue the Texas Education Agency unless the state permanently ends its special education enrollment benchmark within the next month. The advocates said immediate action is necessary because of the “devastating harm” caused by the benchmark. The state already has suspended and pledged to eventually eliminate […]

The GLSEN 2015 National School Climate Survey

A lot of the stuff we talk about when we discuss Dan Patrick’s bathroom bill is business – the opposition from businesses, the political ramifications of a GOP/business schism, the economics of the bathroom bill, etc etc etc. But schools and students are a big piece of the picture here, as the lawsuit against the […]

Sung and Vilaseca sworn in at HISD

The HISD Board is back at full strength. As Anne Sung and Holly Flynn Vilaseca took their oaths of office and became Houston ISD’s newest Board of Education trustees on Thursday, their husbands swaddled their months-old babies in one hand and held holy books in the other. Sung’s 11-month-old daughter, Sarita, and Flynn Vilaseca’s 13-month-old, […]

HISD Board appoints Meyers replacement

Meet your new Trustee. Houston ISD’s Board of Education voted unanimously Monday night to name former Teach for America staffer Holly Maria Flynn Vilaseca as its new District VI trustee. Flynn Vilaseca, who will replace outgoing Trustee Greg Meyers, will be sworn in at the board’s Thursday regular board meeting along with Anne Sung, the […]

New school grading system looks pretty harsh

Brace yourselves. Schools in poor neighborhoods overwhelmingly received the worst grades under Texas’ new rating system — but even typically high-performing districts got C’s and D’s, according to scores that will be released Friday. The “what if” grades show how schools and districts could fare in the new A-F system, which won’t take effect until […]

“Denied”: HISD and special education

There are problems here as well. Superintendent Richard Carranza announced Thursday that the Houston Independent School District has decided to conduct a detailed review of the way that it serves students with disabilities. The effort will include asking “independent, third-party experts to conduct a deep-dive analysis of our special education operation,” Carranza said. The newly-hired […]

Here’s your chance to give feedback on special education

The feds are coming to Texas to hear what you have to say about it. The U.S. Department of Education is sending representatives to tour Texas and take comment from school community members on special education, continuing to look at whether the state is denying services to students with disabilities. Representatives from the Office of […]

TEA officially backs off special education limits

We’ll see about that. Facing increasing criticism over its special education enrollment benchmark, the Texas Education Agency this week told schools that they must provide services to all eligible students with disabilities and that they will no longer be penalized for serving too many children. In a five-page letter, Penny Schwinn, the agency’s deputy commissioner […]

SBOE rejects that lousy Mexican-American studies textbook

Nice. The State Board of Education voted 14-0 Wednesday to deny the adoption of a Mexican-American studies textbook decried by opponents as racist and inaccurate. The textbook, titled “Mexican American Heritage,” was the only submission the board received when it made a 2015 call for textbooks for high school social studies classes, including Mexican-American studies. […]

“Denied”, continued

Here’s Part 2 of the Chron’s reporting on special education limits. A few days before school began here in 2007, district administrators called an emergency staff meeting. The Texas Education Agency had determined that they had too many students in special education, the administrators announced, and they had come up with a plan: Remove as […]

TEA says no more special ed limits

We’ll see about that. The Texas Education Agency has agreed to stop auditing school districts that give specialized education to more than 8.5 percent of students, officials announced Wednesday, cheering experts, advocates and lawmakers outraged by the policy. In a letter to the U.S. Department of Education, which had ordered the state to eliminate the […]

Still talking about recapture

This Chron story from Monday adds a bit more to the recapture discussion. As one Houston school board member sees it, the district’s November ballot measure regarding the state-mandated forfeiture of local tax dollars offers no good choice for voters. “Do you want to be shot in the head or stabbed in the back? Both […]

HISD Trustee Mike Lunceford to resign

This came as a surprise. Mike Lunceford — who has represented Bellaire on the Houston ISD Board of Education for seven years — made a surprise announcement at Thursday night’s board meeting that he is resigning, effective immediately. He had just assumed blame for some trustees’ concerns over communication about a proposed $7.5 million gift […]

KHSPVA

That will be the new acronym for the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. After impassioned debate, the Houston school board voted 7-2 Thursday to accept a $7.5 million gift for the district’s renowned arts high school and to rename the campus after the donors in an unprecedented move. The Kinder Foundation, run […]

Feds intervene in Texas special education mess

Good. The federal government on Monday ordered Texas state officials to eliminate an 8.5 percent benchmark on special education enrollment enforced in the state’s 1,200 school districts unless they can show that it had not kept children with disabilities from receiving appropriate educational services. The U.S. Department of Education directed the state to report back […]

Superintendents begin speaking out against special education limits

Good for them. The leaders of two of the state’s biggest school districts are calling on the Texas Education Agency to stop penalizing districts for giving specialized education to more kids than the agency has deemed prudent. Superintendents Michael Hinojosa of Dallas and Pedro Martinez of San Antonio came out against the arbitrary enrollment target […]

School district to join lawsuit over STAAR test

Interesting. Ben Becker, the Houston father who helped organize a legal fight over last year’s STAAR exams, has repeatedly challenged superintendents over the last few months to join him in court to fight for their students. Becker describes his group as a handful of Texas parents up against the state of Texas, backed by a […]

TEA will review special ed limits

It’s a start. Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath said Wednesday that his office is reviewing a monitoring system that sets an 8.5 percent benchmark for special education enrollments and strictly audits school districts with enrollments that exceed that rate for students with disabilities. The Chronicle reported Sunday that TEA officials had arbitrarily selected the 8.5 […]

Some officials take note of special education funding restrictions

It’s a start. The vice chairman of the State Board of Education, a Houston school board member, a key state senator and scores of parents and disability advocates all expressed strong opposition on Monday to a Texas Education Agency performance-based monitoring system that has kept thousands of disabled children out of special education since 2004. […]