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Posts Tagged ‘Michael Williams’

HISD should not be on the hook for North Forest’s liabilities

Come on! Fourteen months after the Texas Education Agency ordered Houston ISD to take over the long-troubled North Forest school district, some unexpected disputes over funding have surfaced. The Houston school board has authorized its attorneys to challenge a Texas Workforce Commission ruling that the district owes more than $3.7 million in unemployment benefits to […]

Calculator apps

This seems reasonable to me. Despite concerns about test security, Texas Education Commissioner Michael Williams announced Thursday that he would allow some students to use calculator “apps” on state exams next school year. Under current rules students may use only traditional calculators. But with more districts giving students iPads or other tablets, some school officials […]

No testing waiver

Sorry, kids. The federal government has denied the state’s request to waive No Child Left Behind testing requirements for students in elementary and middle school, the Texas Education Agency announced Monday. If the waiver had been granted, students who excel on state reading and math exams in the third and fifth grades would have been […]

The new accountability standards

Here’s the TEA press release about the school accountability ratings for 2013, which came out on Thursday. The Texas Education Agency today released the 2013 state accountability system ratings for more than 1,200 school districts and charters, and more than 8,500 campuses. The ratings reveal that almost 93 percent of school districts and charters across […]

Don’t count on that federal testing waiver

It could happen, but don’t expect your high-scoring kid to spend less time taking tests going forward. A plan to reduce testing for higher-performing elementary and middle school students was one of the feel-good bills of the 2013 legislative session. But several experts believe it will never see the light of day in Texas schools. […]

Testing waiver sought

It’s a follow up for a bill passed during the regular legislative session. In a letter sent [last] week to Education Secretary Arne Duncan, Education Commissioner Michael Williams is seeking clarification on whether the federal agency has the authority to grant a waiver on the No Child Left Behind Act, formally called the Elementary and […]

Clock strikes midnight for North Forest

This was a tough blow for NFISD. North Forest school officials lost one of their final court battles Wednesday, making the district’s state-ordered merger into HISD five days from now increasingly likely. U.S. District Judge David Hittner rejected the last-ditch claims by North Forest that the school system’s takeover by the Houston Independent School District […]

Perry signs HB5, adds transportation to the special session

There had been some buzz about a possible veto, but in the end this was to be expected. When Gov. Rick Perry signed House Bill 5 on Monday, he ended weeks of speculation that he might veto the high-profile education legislation because of concerns that it would weaken high school graduation standards. The bill, by […]

TEA insists North Forest closure moving ahead

TEA Commissioner Michael Williams says don’t listen to the noise, North Forest ISD will be assimilated into HISD as planned on July 1. Williams said the Texas Education Agency, which he oversees, has followed state law and has the necessary approval to proceed with shutting down North Forest ISD, which has a long history of […]

North Forest still fighting as the deadlines approach

Never give up, never surrender. North Forest ISD has spent more than $595,000 appealing the state’s order to shut down, newly obtained records show, and the school district is continuing the court fight as its July closure date nears. Despite the district’s ongoing appeal before an Austin court, the Texas Education Agency has ordered North […]

School stuff

Just a basic roundup of education-related stories, since there’s so much going on. From the Trib, action in the House on testing in grade school. Elementary and middle school students currently take a total of 17 state exams before high school. They are tested each year in grades three through eight in reading and math, […]

TEA drops the hammer on North Forest again

Pretty much as expected. North Forest ISD announced Monday that the Texas Education Agency had upheld the decision to close the school district and annex it to Houston ISD this summer. The ruling, however, does not end the school district’s fight to remain open. North Forest attorney Chris Tritico pledged to once again appeal the […]

House passes major changes to testing and graduation requirements

This is a big deal. Texas public high school students would face far fewer high-stakes exams and gain more freedom in choosing courses under a major education bill approved by the state House on Tuesday. Hours of debate among lawmakers centered on whether the state was giving students much-needed flexibility or scaling back too far […]

Not so fast on the North Forest charter plan

Not everyone is convinced that the plan to allow a consortium of charter schools to take over North Forest ISD is a good idea. In interviews Monday, state Rep. Senfronia Thompson and Sens. Rodney Ellis and John Whitmire, all Democrats, voiced reservations about the last-ditch attempt to prevent the annexation of North Forest to Houston […]

Charters apply to take over North Forest ISD

Fine by me. In a potentially groundbreaking move, three of Houston’s top-performing charter schools are making a pitch to run the long-troubled North Forest school district. The charter groups — KIPP, YES Prep and Harmony — are asking Texas Education Commissioner Michael Williams to approve their plan, instead of having the Houston Independent School District […]

TEA orders North Forest ISD shut down

This could be the end for North Forest ISD. Texas Education Commissioner Michael Williams recommended that the district of 6,900 students be annexed into the mammoth Houston ISD effective July 1. His statement came just two days after the district said it would seek a partnership with Texas A&M University to assume day-to-day operations of […]

Here come the STAAR reform bills

Fire one: State Rep. Jimmie Don Aycock, R-Killeen, the newly appointed chairman of the House Public Education Committee, filed legislation Wednesday that would restructure the state’s high school graduation and student testing requirements. Aycock’s proposal, House Bill 5, would move public schools to an accountability system with grades of A through F, a concept that […]

TAB yields on testing

Retreat! Some of the strongest advocates for high-stakes testing, Texas business leaders now want to cut the number of exams students must pass to finish high school, the latest attempt to ease tougher graduation requirements that went into effect last year. The number of high-stakes tests would fall from 15 to as few as six […]

Some sanity on STAAR

This is a welcome development. A requirement that the state exams count toward 15 percent of a student’s course grade sparked a backlash last spring over the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, or STAAR, among parents whose ninth-graders were the first to take the more rigorous exams. A statewide parent group emerged out […]

Perry gives another middle finger to public education

It’s a twofer, actually. Here’s one. Gov. Rick Perry named Michael Williams the new commissioner of the Texas Education Agency Monday. A fixture of Texas Republican politics — and a former general counsel to the Republican Party of Texas — Williams resigned from the Texas Railroad Commission in 2011 after serving more than a decade […]

GOP results, statewide

Full, though not necessarily the most up to date, results, are here. The Trib and the Observer have good roundups as well. – Mitt. Yawn. He was at just under 70% statewide, with Ron Paul getting 11% and Rick Santorum 8%. You have to wonder what might have been if Santorum had held on through […]

It’s Williams on Williams time again

I would not call it a good thing to come out of the updated interim maps since there’s a good chance one of these jokers will get elected, but for those of you with a morbid fascination with sideshows, the two Williams non-brothers who have spent the past year or so seeking out an office […]

January finance reports: Congress and Senate

The last batch of finance reports to come in are the federal reports, which for the most part don’t get posted till a full month after they’re due, which in this case was February 1. I’ve created a Google spreadsheet of the Texas FEC reports, taken by querying on Texas from this page, then culling […]

First thoughts on the new Congressional map

OK, down to business. Here’s a map of the new plan, which was unanimously approved by the three judges, the 2008 election data, and here’s 2010 election data. Going by the 2012 data, I break it down as follows: Strong R Dist Obama Pct Houston Pct ============================ 01 30.5 36.4 02 34.4 35.6 03 37.4 […]

At long last, HCC campaign finance statements

As you know, I had sent an Open Records request to the HCC General Counsel to get copies of July campaign finance reports for all HCC Trustees and candidates. I sent that in on August 10, and the reply I got said I would have a reply within 10 business days. Sure enough, exactly two […]

Boney to run for HCC Trustee

We have our first contested race for a non-city of Houston office as former Council member and Mayor Pro Tem Jew Don Boney has announced his candidacy for the HCC Trustee District IV seat. You can see his press release here. This is the seat currently held by Michael P. Williams, who is as far […]

Third time’s a charm

We won’t have any Williams on Williams action in the new CD33 after all, as former Railroad Commissioner Michael Williams has changed races again. Michael Williams, who jumped from the U.S. Senate race to the congressional race in the new CD-33 in North Texas, says he’ll jump again: He’s running for congress in CD-25, a […]

The non-filers

We are now more than a week beyond the deadline to file campaign finance reports for City of Houston elections. The following candidates for city office have not yet filed a campaign finance report for July: Michael Williams, At Large #2 Griff Griffin, At Large #2 Joe Edmonds, At Large #5 Kenneth Perkins, District B […]

The other races

In addition to the city of Houston races, I am trying to follow the HISD and HCC Trustee elections as well. I say “trying” because there’s just no information out there that I can find. For one thing, though there are seven such races this year – four in HISD, three in HCC, including one […]

It’s Williams versus Williams in CD33

Another Williams switches from Senate to Congress for 2012. Weatherford car dealer Roger Williams switched from the U.S. Senate race to a race for Congress this morning, finishing up a swap that began last week with calls to supporters in and around the new CD-33. He’s the second candidate to jump. Former Railroad Commissioner Michael […]

Williams in, Lucio out for Congress

Now that the Lege has finished its job with Congressional redistricting, expect to hear a lot more stories about the hopefuls and the not-hopefuls and their plans. For instance, Railroad Commissioner Michael Williams. With the race for Senate getting crowded, Republican Michael Williams figured the new North Texas congressional seat might just be the ticket […]

Who’s running for what where?

Chris Cillizza notes an old familiar face who’s back on the scene. Former Rep. Ciro Rodriguez (D-Texas) is running again after losing his seat to businessman Francisco Canseco (R) last fall. Rodriguez won the seat in an 2006 special election, after the Supreme Court found that new lines drawn in 2003 violated the Voting Rights […]

Ames Jones jumps in, Williams to follow

I don’t really think Railroad Commissioner Elizabeth Ames Jones has much of a chance in the race to replace KBH in the Senate. She was a fairly nondescript State Rep who got appointed to the RRC by Rick Perry then won a full term in the low-turnout 2006 election, and off the top of my […]

Williams will step down from the RRC

Michael Williams makes it official. Texas Railroad Commissioner Michael Williams says he has sent Gov. Rick Perry a letter telling him he will be leaving the commission on April 2 to concentrate on a race for the U.S. Senate. Williams described the campaign as a “long cycle and a long race” that will, perhaps, have […]