Tribpedia: Education

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Pre-K students in Josefina Pineda's classroom do the hokey-pokey at the Dallas Independent School District elementary school, Cesar Chavez Learning Center in Dallas, Texas.
Pre-K students in Josefina Pineda's classroom do the hokey-pokey at the Dallas Independent School District elementary school, Cesar Chavez Learning Center in Dallas, Texas.

With Pre-K Grant, Texas Switches Gears on Federal Cash

In a shift for a state that has shunned other federal education initiatives like Common Core and Race to the Top, Texas will participate in a signature Obama administration program focused on early learning. The news has already become a political football.

Austin Police Officer Cory Ehrler monitors the entrance to Ridgetop Elementary School after classes start on the Monday following the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. As the 83rd legislative session approaches, Texas lawmakers are considering making firearms more available to teachers and other school personnel.
Austin Police Officer Cory Ehrler monitors the entrance to Ridgetop Elementary School after classes start on the Monday following the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. As the 83rd legislative session approaches, Texas lawmakers are considering making firearms more available to teachers and other school personnel.

Texas Schools Get Military Gear Through Federal Program

At least 10 Texas school districts have received armored plating, tactical vests, military vehicles, rifles, pistols and rounds of ammunition through a federal military surplus program, according to a letter sent by a coalition of civil rights and education advocacy groups to the U.S. Department of Defense on Monday.

Shelley Dahlberg, an assistant attorney general, spoke to District Court Judge John Dietz of Austin on on Feb. 3, 2013, during closing arguments of a trial challenging the state's school finance system.
Shelley Dahlberg, an assistant attorney general, spoke to District Court Judge John Dietz of Austin on on Feb. 3, 2013, during closing arguments of a trial challenging the state's school finance system.

Texplainer: What's State's Strategy in School Finance Case?

Hey, Texplainer: I know the state plans to appeal a judge's recent decision that Texas' school finance system is unconstitutional. But what will the state's defense be moving forward?

Shelley Dahlberg, an assistant attorney general, spoke to District Court Judge John Dietz of Austin on on Feb. 3, 2013, during closing arguments of a trial challenging the state's school finance system.
Shelley Dahlberg, an assistant attorney general, spoke to District Court Judge John Dietz of Austin on on Feb. 3, 2013, during closing arguments of a trial challenging the state's school finance system.

In School Finance Battle, Legal Fees Accumulate

If the Texas school districts that are challenging the constitutionality of the state’s school finance system ultimately prevail in their lawsuit, a result could be billions of dollars in extra funding from the state’s coffers for public education. And more than $8.5 million would also go from the state to the four teams of lawyers representing them. 

New in Trib+Edu: Teens Need Their Sleep

In this week's edition of the Trib+Edu newsletter: pediatricians push for later school start times, a study on the impact of tough math and science classes on dropout rates and an interview with Catherine Clark, formerly of the Texas Association of School Boards.

District Court Judge John Dietz of Austin is shown in his courtroom on Feb. 4, 2013, before he ruled that the state's school finance system was unconstitutional.
District Court Judge John Dietz of Austin is shown in his courtroom on Feb. 4, 2013, before he ruled that the state's school finance system was unconstitutional.

Judge: Texas School Finance System Unconstitutional

Nearly three years after more than 600 Texas school districts filed litigation challenging the state's school finance system, a Travis County district judge has ruled in their favor. 

Education Commissioner Michael Williams, a former railroad commissioner, is shown at a TribLive event on Jan. 27, 2011.
Education Commissioner Michael Williams, a former railroad commissioner, is shown at a TribLive event on Jan. 27, 2011.

Education Commissioner: "The System Needs to Catch Up"

UPDATED: Asked why the state had delayed a transition away from lower passing standards on state exams, Texas Education Commissioner Michael Williams told state lawmakers Tuesday that classroom instruction had failed to meet the rigor demanded by the new tests. 

Nearly All Texas School Districts Meet State Ratings

In the second year of a new school accountability system, nine out of ten Texas districts met state standards, according to ratings released by the Texas Education Agency on Friday. The percentage of individual schools meeting the standards is lower — 82 — an indication that many of the state's low-performing schools are clustered within the same districts.

State Sen. and Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor Leticia Van de Putte at the Democratic state convention on June 27, 2014.
State Sen. and Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor Leticia Van de Putte at the Democratic state convention on June 27, 2014.

Van de Putte Calls for Reducing High-Stakes Testing

Leticia Van de Putte, the Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor, calls for reducing high-stakes testing in a new plan for Texas schools. The campaign of her Republican opponent, Dan Patrick, said the plan would do nothing to help turn around underperforming schools.

On June 24, 2014, volunteers gather at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in McAllen, where the Rio Grande Valley Catholic Charities have a makeshift shelter to help handle the surge of immigrants who have crossed into the U.S. in recent weeks.
On June 24, 2014, volunteers gather at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in McAllen, where the Rio Grande Valley Catholic Charities have a makeshift shelter to help handle the surge of immigrants who have crossed into the U.S. in recent weeks.

With Uncertainty, Schools Prepare for New Arrivals

With many of the unaccompanied minors fleeing violence in Central America remaining in Texas, public school administrators face the challenge of providing an education for them when schools open later this month. But uncertainty about how many youths they will enroll is complicating efforts to prepare for their arrival.

Keith Plantier lectures in a "Wind Safety" course at Texas State Technical College in Sweetwater, Texas, on July, 22, 2013. The college is placing more of an emphasis on courses that will help their students find employment in the growing number of oilfields and wind farms in West Texas.
Keith Plantier lectures in a "Wind Safety" course at Texas State Technical College in Sweetwater, Texas, on July, 22, 2013. The college is placing more of an emphasis on courses that will help their students find employment in the growing number of oilfields and wind farms in West Texas.

TSTC Launches Center for Employability Outcomes

With the launch of a new initiative on Monday, the Texas State Technical College System could help revolutionize how colleges align their curriculum with workforce demands and help their students match up better with employers’ needs.

 

A study released by Sam Houston State University in October 2013 that was commissioned by the Texas State Teachers Association showed a marked increase in teachers reporting that they had taken second jobs during the school year to make ends meet.
A study released by Sam Houston State University in October 2013 that was commissioned by the Texas State Teachers Association showed a marked increase in teachers reporting that they had taken second jobs during the school year to make ends meet.

As Teacher Pay Lags, Attrition and Class Size Grow

Stacked up against other states, Texas public schools could win the best-bang-for-your-buck competition. The state spends less than most others, and its students perform better than many. But the commitment to fiscal restraint has come with its own burdens for the teachers responsible for educating the state’s future workforce.

Texas' improvement on national academic measures has begun to stall in recent years. In 2013, for the first time in 15 years, math and reading scores went down or stayed the same for black and Hispanic students in both fourth and eighth grades. The scores also went down for Anglo students in some areas.
Texas' improvement on national academic measures has begun to stall in recent years. In 2013, for the first time in 15 years, math and reading scores went down or stayed the same for black and Hispanic students in both fourth and eighth grades. The scores also went down for Anglo students in some areas.

Academic Gains Slowing; No Consensus on Why

For years, Texas policymakers have pushed for increasingly advanced science and math course requirements, along with standardized test-driven accountability, to improve academic performance at public schools. And over the last decade, students have made steady progress on a number of academic measures. But that improvement has begun to stall.

Parents look over books and ask questions about curriculum during a parent information session for the new Great Hearts Monte Vista Charter School to open in San Antonio at Temple Beth-El, October 29, 2013.
Parents look over books and ask questions about curriculum during a parent information session for the new Great Hearts Monte Vista Charter School to open in San Antonio at Temple Beth-El, October 29, 2013.

TEA Chief Circumvents State Board Charter School Veto

Texas Education Commissioner Michael Williams has effectively overruled a vote by the State Board of Education to deny an Arizona-based charter school's expansion into the Dallas area.