Tribpedia: Texas Education Agency

The Texas Education Agency (TEA) oversees primary and secondary public education for the state, including setting accountability standards. The Commissioner of Education, Michael L. Williams, manages the TEA, and the agency works in conjunction with the State Board of Education (SBOE) in setting curriculum standards.

According to its website, the TEA:

  • manages the textbook adoption process;
  • oversees development of the ...

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.

Senate Shapes Plan for Private School Scholarships

In its quest for school choice legislation, the Senate is backing away from traditional vouchers and heading towards a plan that would use donations to fund scholarships for low-income students trying to get out of weak schools. 

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick meets privately with Sen. Kel Seliger, R-Amarillo, on the dais during a break in Senate proceedings Jan. 21, 2015.
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick meets privately with Sen. Kel Seliger, R-Amarillo, on the dais during a break in Senate proceedings Jan. 21, 2015.

High School Seniors Who Fail Exams May Still Graduate

The roughly 28,000 public high school seniors who still need to pass a state exam to get their diplomas this May could get a lifeline from Texas legislators. State Sen. Kel Seliger, R-Amarillo, is looking to fast-track a bill that would give school officials the option to graduate students who have failed state exams. 

 

Texas Commissioner of Education Michael Williams answers a question at TribLive on Jan. 10, 2013.
Texas Commissioner of Education Michael Williams answers a question at TribLive on Jan. 10, 2013.

Feds Tell Texas to Try Again on Teacher Evaluations

Rejecting a proposed Texas educator evaluation system, federal officials raised concerns about the lack of information tying standardized test results to measuring educator performance. The rejection puts the state's No Child Left Behind waiver in danger.

Fourth and fifth grade students at the Austin Discovery School.
Fourth and fifth grade students at the Austin Discovery School.

New Math Standards a Hurdle for Some Students and Teachers

As new, more rigorous math standards hit Texas elementary and middle schools this year, school officials are reporting that they lack the resources to help teachers learn the new material. State officials adopted the revised standards to better prepare students for high school and college.

State Board of Education members work their way through proposed revisions to social studies textbooks at a meeting with publishers in Austin on Monday, October 20, 2014.
State Board of Education members work their way through proposed revisions to social studies textbooks at a meeting with publishers in Austin on Monday, October 20, 2014.

Texas Takes Last Pass at Social Studies Textbooks

In a month, the State Board of Education will take a final vote on the social studies textbooks that will be used in the state's public schools for the next eight years. Before they do, there is still an opening for strong-willed board members to wield outsize influence on the process.

Colorized scanning electron micrograph of filamentous Ebola virus particles (red) attached and budding from a chronically infected VERO E6 cell (blue) (25,000x magnification).
Colorized scanning electron micrograph of filamentous Ebola virus particles (red) attached and budding from a chronically infected VERO E6 cell (blue) (25,000x magnification).

Texas Schools Face Fears of Ebola, Lagging Attendance

Though Texas schools are relying on the guidance of health officials to determine the level of risk to their communities, they are making decisions like whether to cancel classes, give notice to parents, or change health screening policies largely on their own.

Students in Yvonne McDaniel's English for Speakers of Other Languages, or ESOL, class participated in English-language exercises during summer school at McCallum High School in Austin on July 31, 2013.
Students in Yvonne McDaniel's English for Speakers of Other Languages, or ESOL, class participated in English-language exercises during summer school at McCallum High School in Austin on July 31, 2013.

Lawmakers Might Address Graduation Hurdles

If roughly 47,000 high school seniors in December fail a final chance to pass the state exams required to earn a diploma, their last shot at graduating with their peers in the Class of 2015 may depend on the quick movement of state lawmakers.

A reading assistant reads on the classroom floor with a small group of fourth graders at Wanke Elementary School in San Antonio on March 9, 2012.
A reading assistant reads on the classroom floor with a small group of fourth graders at Wanke Elementary School in San Antonio on March 9, 2012.

Struggling With State Exams, Students Still Advance

As policymakers continue to question whether standardized exams adequately track student achievement, most of the state's fifth- and eighth-graders who fail their state reading and math exams will likely move on to the next grade anyway.  

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.

AG to Appeal School Finance Ruling to Supreme Court

UPDATED: Attorney General Greg Abbott will appeal a ruling that the Texas school finance system is unconstitutional, according to a notice his office sent Friday to attorneys in the case. The appeal is set to go directly to the Texas Supreme Court.

Students at Townview Center in South Dallas.
Students at Townview Center in South Dallas.

Texas' Rising Graduation Rates Spark Renewed Doubts

The percentage of Texas students earning their high school diplomas on time exceeds that of nearly every other state. But the state’s headway with graduation rates hasn't been matched by similar success in measures that track students’ college and career readiness, prompting questions about what it takes to earn a high school diploma. 

Hank Warner teaches a pre-advanced placement algebra course for ninth-graders at Bowie High School in Austin.
Hank Warner teaches a pre-advanced placement algebra course for ninth-graders at Bowie High School in Austin.

Education Board Vote Targets Common Core Concerns

Addressing concerns that Common Core teaching standards were leaking into Texas' classrooms, the State Board of Education voted Wednesday in support of amending its rules to clarify that teachers are required to teach to the state curriculum — even when teaching an Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate course.

Midland ISD Developing "Petroleum Academy"

Midland school officials and area businesses are excited about a planned high school program that will focus on preparing high schoolers to work in the region's booming oil industry. The program would meet new high school requirements while satisfying the job needs of the community. 

Pre-kindergarten students at the Dallas Independent School District's Cesar Chavez Learning Center.
Pre-kindergarten students at the Dallas Independent School District's Cesar Chavez Learning Center.

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.

Texas Tribune Executive Editor Ross Ramsey on WFAA-TV's "Inside Texas Politics" on August 31, 2014.
Texas Tribune Executive Editor Ross Ramsey on WFAA-TV's "Inside Texas Politics" on August 31, 2014.

Inside Texas Politics: Lawyering Up

On this week's edition of WFAA-TV's Inside Texas Politics, we talked about Thursday's ruling by a Travis County district judge that the state's school finance system is unconstitutional, the delay in raising standards on state exams, Gov. Rick Perry addition of a sixth attorney to his legal team and more.

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.