EDUCATION: Public Education

Senate Passes A-F Grading System for Schools

Then-state Rep. Larry Taylor, R-Friendswood, is shown on the second-to-last day of the first-called special session during the 82nd Legislature on June 27, 2011. Taylor was elected to the Texas Senate in 2012.
Then-state Rep. Larry Taylor, R-Friendswood, is shown on the second-to-last day of the first-called special session during the 82nd Legislature on June 27, 2011. Taylor was elected to the Texas Senate in 2012.

Public schools in Texas would begin receiving grades on an A-through-F scale to reflect their performance under a bill that won preliminary approval in the state Senate on Monday. The grading would begin in the 2017-18 school year.

Long Legislative Road for Voucher Bills Begins

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick listens to debate on SB 8  franchise tax reform measure during Senate action March 25, 2015.
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick listens to debate on SB 8 franchise tax reform measure during Senate action March 25, 2015.

A preview of the looming battle over school vouchers played out Thursday as a state Senate panel considered two proposals to provide state financial support to parents who want to send their children to private schools.

Talk Turns to Standards as Lawmakers Weigh Pre-K Bills

Students in Pre-K teacher Josefina Pineda's class sing to practice their language skills at the Dallas Independent School District Cesar Chavez Learning Center in Dallas, Texas.
Students in Pre-K teacher Josefina Pineda's class sing to practice their language skills at the Dallas Independent School District Cesar Chavez Learning Center in Dallas, Texas.

As legislators considered several early education bills Tuesday afternoon, testimony was dominated by a debate over what standards school districts should meet to get additional state funding for pre-kindergarten programs.

 

Early Education Push Earning Lukewarm Reviews

Pre-K teacher Josefina Pineda teaches her students the concept of "push" by having them join hands and push back and forth in her classroom at the Dallas Independent School District elementary school Cesar Chavez Learning Center in Dallas, Texas.
Pre-K teacher Josefina Pineda teaches her students the concept of "push" by having them join hands and push back and forth in her classroom at the Dallas Independent School District elementary school Cesar Chavez Learning Center in Dallas, Texas.

When Gov. Greg Abbott named improving pre-kindergarten programs as a top priority, it signaled a dramatic move in the state’s approach to early education. But so far, the change has been mostly in tone.

House Takes the Lead on Abbott's Pre-K Charge

Teacher Silvia Corado works with students in her pre-kindergarten class as they learn syllables and word identification, part of the Summer Bilingual Academy at Wilson Elementary School in San Antonio.
Teacher Silvia Corado works with students in her pre-kindergarten class as they learn syllables and word identification, part of the Summer Bilingual Academy at Wilson Elementary School in San Antonio.

A week after Gov. Greg Abbott put early education reform on the legislative fast track, top House lawmakers announced Thursday what is likely to become the major pre-kindergarten bill of the session.