Off the Kuff Rotating Header Image

Posts Tagged ‘Mike Morath’

School districts affected by Harvey ask for a break on testing

One way or another we’re going to have to reckon with this. Leaders of school districts heavily affected by Hurricane Harvey told a legislative panel on Monday that they would like to see Texas’ accountability and testing requirements relaxed in the wake of the disaster. They also said the storms have dealt a financial blow […]

School districts don’t need gift registries

They need to have their needs met by the state. Texas school districts ravaged by Hurricane Harvey still need thousands of textbooks, dictionaries and other instructional resources, so the state’s education agency is borrowing a page from the wedding industry to help cover the costs. The Texas Education Agency has modified its textbook ordering system […]

Has Harvey changed anything politically?

You’d think it would, but it remains to be seen as far as I’m concerned. A month to the day after Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Texas, the reality of the storm was beginning to sink in on the minds of politicians, policy makers and advocates bracing for a long recovery. In short, any political […]

More on recapture and the Rainy Day Fund

There are some conditions that have to be met to get our recapture money back. Houston Independent School District won’t have to hand millions of dollars to the state to spend at other schools if HISD needs that money to recover from Hurricane Harvey, but the district will have to apply for that money, Texas […]

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 […]

One last look at the recapture re-vote

There’s a lot at stake here, and not a whole lot of people voting on it. For the second time in seven months, voters within the Houston Independent School District will determine how – and if – it should pay tens of millions to help subsidize districts that collect little in property taxes. The vote […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

STAAR test lawsuit survives motion to dismiss

On to trial. After a group of parents sued the Texas Education Agency over the 2016 administration of STAAR exams, state lawyers argued this summer that the parents had no standing and asked the courts to drop the case. This week, the first day of school for many Texas children, Travis County District Court Judge […]

La Marque ISD lawsuit tossed

The end of the line for La Marque ISD. A Texas appeals court has dismissed a lawsuit seeking to halt the annexation of the La Marque school district by Texas City ISD. The 3rd Texas Court of Appeals on Friday dismissed the lawsuit, saying that it lacked jurisdiction and that the lower court erred in […]

STAAR screwups

From the Observer: Texas’ standardized testing program wasn’t exactly popular before the 2015-2016 school year, but this year’s State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness (STAAR) has been an especially frustrating experience for Texas students, parents and school officials. New testing contractor Educational Testing Service, in the first year of a four-year, $280 million contract […]

Lawsuit filed over STAAR exams

Interesting. A backlash against this year’s STAAR exams escalated Monday when a group of parents sued the state in an attempt to keep schools from using 2016 test scores to rate students — including deciding whether students should advance to the next grade or attend summer school. The lawsuit, filed against the Texas Education Agency […]

TEA Commissioner has no opinion yet on federal transgender bathroom directive

Noted for the record. Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath on Tuesday praised the state Supreme Court’s recent opinion upholding the state’s public school funding system and demurred on questions about bathroom use by transgender students. “Last time I checked, it was a free country,” Morath said in a wide-ranging interview with The Texas Tribune’s Evan […]

Lawsuits filed over teacher evaluations

This ought to be interesting. A statewide teachers group filed a lawsuit Wednesday in an attempt to block the state from implementing a controversial system that for the first time ties assessments of educators to student performance on standardized tests. In a lawsuit filed against Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath in Travis County District Court, […]

School districts vote to approve new UIL policy restricting transgender athletes

Unfortunate. Despite strong opposition from LGBT advocates, representatives from Texas school districts have overwhelmingly endorsed a proposal aimed at barring transgender boys and girls from participating in athletics alongside their cisgender peers. District superintendents and athletic directors voted 409-25 in favor of using birth certificates to determine student athletes’ gender, according to results obtained by […]

New La Marque ISD trustees want to stop lawsuit against the TEA

Not sure about this. Last month, the La Marque Independent School District’s board of trustees voted to mount a legal challenge to the state’s decision to close the troubled Galveston County district after years of academic and financial problems. Now, a new controversy has added to tensions over the state’s plans to have the district […]