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Posts Tagged ‘Robert Scott’

How much testing is too much?

There’s not a consensus on the right number of mandatory high school standardized exams, but a lot of people are saying that what we’re doing right now is too much. The number of high-stakes exams in Texas is the most nationwide, according to the Education Commission of the States. Texas students previously had to pass […]

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 […]

Are the end of course standards too low?

Beginning this year, high school students must pass new end of course exams in a variety of subjects in order to be able to graduate. These tests begin in the ninth grade and continue through the 12th. The standards will be relaxed for the first couple of years while everyone gets used to them. Some […]

North Forest gets a reprieve

For a year. The long-troubled North Forest school district will remain intact for at least another year as Texas Education Commissioner Robert Scott granted it a rare reprieve Friday from having to close in July. Scott said he would give the northeast Houston district a year to improve. He said he had seen some academic […]

The “Moneyball” approach to public education

Via Lisa Falkenberg on Facebook, SBOE member Thomas Ratliff uses the philosophy from Moneyball to analyze the accountability system for Texas public schools. The book says, “One absolutely cannot tell, by watching, the difference between a .300 hitter and a .275 hitter. The difference is one hit every two weeks.” In Texas public schools, you […]

Calling for a special session

It started with the Texas State Teachers Association. The Texas State Teachers Association today urged Gov. Rick Perry to call the Legislature into special session now to appropriate $2.5 billion from the Rainy Day Fund and head off another round of harmful cuts in local public school budgets for the 2012-2013 school year. “It is […]

Shapiro backs STAAR delay

This was unexpected. Senate Education Committee Chairwoman Florence Shapiro, R-Plano, said Monday in a letter to [TEA Commissioner Robert] Scott that ninth-graders taking the exams this year should be given a reprieve from the 15 percent requirement during the phase-in of the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness. “We strongly support the transition to […]

As always, the hole is bigger than we thought

Remember how the Republicans in the Lege underfunded Medicaid by $4.5 billion, which they will have to tap the Rainy Day Fund in 2013 to deal with, in order to make the budget for this biennium appear to be “balanced”? Turns out we’re going to need a lot more than that. Kudos to the Quorum […]

HISD to take over North Forest ISD

This is going to be a challenge, assuming it does go forward. The North Forest Independent School District is nearing the end of its appeals to stay open, paving the way for Houston ISD to take over. State education commissioner Robert Scott notified the North Forest administration in a letter released Friday that he was […]

Higher standards mean lower ratings

Schools across the state have seen their academic ratings drop as a result of changes made in how the Texas Education Agency computes them. The new accountability ratings released Friday for public school campuses in the state’s 1,228 districts and charter schools present a “far more accurate look” at academic performance, Texas Education Commissioner Robert […]

SBOE manages to not screw up science supplements

Baby steps. The quietude of yesterday’s State Board of Education meeting came to a screeching halt during today’s final vote over supplemental science materials. After a unanimous preliminary vote on Thursday, the board appeared split over alleged errors in how evolution was addressed in a high school biology submission from Holt McDougal. A board-appointed reviewer […]

Day One at the SBOE

Here’s your TFN Insider coverage of today’s SBOE science hearings. In Part I of the hearings, we find that the SBOE may not be such a major factor in school curriculum any more: 10:20  – Board members are quizzing the commissioner about how the new rules governing the purchase of instructional materials — changes codified […]

So what happens if there isn’t a school finance deal?

You may recall that having to change the school finance formula to distribute the billions of cuts to public education is causing problems with the budget. What happens if no changes are made to the formula? The Trib contemplates the question. So what would doing nothing look like? Without legislation that provides a mechanism to […]

Where’s the money for new textbooks coming from?

Nobody knows just yet. Neither legislative chamber’s base budget appropriates funds for any new textbooks. The primary concern in the short term is funding for science materials that reflect the 2009 curriculum changes made by the State Board of Education. Those changes are significant, according to Patsy McGee, a Beaumont school district science supervisor and […]

Performance pay for teachers

I’m very wary of this. Pay for Texas public school teachers should be connected to appraisals of their work and other factors instead of the 60-year-old salary schedule based on seniority, former U.S. Education Secretary Rod Paige and other school reformers said Monday. They want more flexibility for school districts to base teacher pay on […]

Cutting the budget means cutting education

No two ways around it. As the single biggest consumer of state money, the Texas public education system stands to lose millions of dollars as the state grapples with a looming budget shortfall. Education Commissioner Robert Scott has suggested more than $260 million in cuts from the state’s almost $40 billion education budget for the […]

Feds reject Texas’ application for education funds

Oops. The U.S. Department of Education has rejected Texas’ application for $830 million in federal money for schools and asked the state to resubmit its request without conditions. The rejection was based on a line in the state’s application that said Texas’ constitution and laws supersede any assurances made by the governor in the application. […]

Perry asks for federal education funds

About time. Gov. Rick Perry on Friday submitted the state’s application for the money, which is intended to help school districts save teacher jobs now. But Texas faced a bigger hurdle than other states because of an amendment authored by U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Austin, that required Texas to assure that state education spending for […]

Federal education funds still in limbo

All talk, no action. A high-level meeting of state and federal officials aimed at finding a way for Texas to access $830 million in emergency education aid failed to produce a clear path forward, according to the Texas Education Agency. “This afternoon’s meeting was cordial, with all parties trying to get these education funds flowing […]

How the schools are really doing

I think I’m just going to let the picture tell the story: If you want the words, go read the Trib story. I get that the TPM is supposed to measure growth, and that growth can and does occur with students who didn’t pass their assessment tests. But if that growth that the TPM says […]

Where all of the children are above average

Here are your school ratings, according to the Texas Education Agency. Including charter schools, here’s a summary of how the state’s 1,237 districts performed: Exemplary 239 19% Recognized 597 48% Academically Acceptable 346 28% Academically Unacceptable 45 4% Not Rated: Other 10 1% Again, including charter schools, here’s a summary of how the state’s 8,435 […]

TEA Commissioner Scott defends Texas Projection Measure

Texas Education Agency Commissioner Robert Scott takes advantage of a friendly audience to lash out at critics of the Texas Projection Measure. Scott, speaking to the State Board of Education, said the so-called Texas Projection Measure has been misunderstood and misrepresented by critics who contend the policy gives a false impression of school performance. The […]

Nightly News Update: Monday Edition

More up-to-date linkage while Kuff sings Kumbaya in the wood goes on a snipe hunt. » Chron: Kids’ failure is adult’s ‘success’ (Rick Casey) Maybe it’s just me, but the immediacy of this column seems a bit like an afterthought since TEA chief Robert Scott has already announced sent a non-descript email to nervous school […]

Bad projections

Just go read this Trib story about how the Texas Education Agency’s Texas Projection Measure, which purports to measure student academic growth as a way to evaluate school districts, is basically a load of hooey. It was the subject of that House Public Education Committee hearing that TEA Commissioner Robert Scott blew off and left […]

Who wants to answer for Rick Perry’s policies?

There was a hearing of the House Public Education Committee yesterday to discuss the Texas Education Agency’s controversial methodology for rating school districts, but the person responsible for that metric declined to show up to explain it. Rep. Scott Hochberg, chairman of an appropriations subcommittee overseeing the education budget, was not too pleased that Education […]

Lawsuit over grading policies

A number of school districts, mostly in the Houston area, have a policy of not giving kids a grade lower than 50 in any grading period. The idea is that by setting a floor on grades, it gives kids the chance to still eventually pass the class, which in turn gives them a reason to […]

No race to the top

By now you’ve probably heard the news that Governor Perry has directed the Texas to not compete for “Race to the Top” stimulus funds. Gov. Rick Perry said today that Texas will not compete for up to $700 million in federal grant funding for schools. His decision to snub the Race to the Top grant […]

As goes Cy-Fair, so goes Texas

Earlier this month, I noted that the Cy-Fair ISD was considering the repeal of an optional homestead exemption so it could pay for salaries and services it needed for the schools. They backed off after residents protested, choosing instead of lay off 75 employees. Cy-Fair isn’t the only district that allows this optional exemption, and […]