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 ...

Interactive: 25,000 Fewer Public School Employees

The release of the 2011-12 school district employment figures shows that public schools in Texas employ about 25,000 fewer employees than they did at this time last year — a 3.8 percent decrease that includes cuts to teachers, administrators and other staff. Use our interactive to see who got the ax in your school district.

The Weekly TribCast: Episode 118

Redistricting remains a hot topic in Texas, and it probably will be until we have new maps and a primary date. But on this week's TribCast, Ben, Ross, Emily and Morgan also spend time on a couple of firestorms in the state: public school accountability testing and the controversy involving Susan G. Komen for the Cure and Planned Parenthood.

Eagle Scout and high school graduate Will Clarkston, 20, logged in to The Bridge School from his bedroom in Houston on Tuesday, October 4, 2011. He is taking online classes now and planning to attend community college in the spring.
Eagle Scout and high school graduate Will Clarkston, 20, logged in to The Bridge School from his bedroom in Houston on Tuesday, October 4, 2011. He is taking online classes now and planning to attend community college in the spring.

Online Classes Booming, But With Red Flags

As the popularity of virtual learning grows, public schools grapple with how to effectively integrate it into their classrooms. Yes, it allows advanced students to take more challenging courses. Yes, it provides crucial help outside of the school walls for students who are struggling. But some worry about the increasing influence of for-profit companies on curriculum and staffing.

Public & Higher Education at The Texas Tribune Festival

We'll be liveblogging throughout the weekend from The Texas Tribune Festival's public and higher education track — which includes panels on the role research should play at state universities, how to pay for public education, why teacher accountability matters and what's next for the controversial State Board of Education.

Texas Commissioner of Education Robert Scott speaks at the TASA midwinter conference in Austin, Texas February 1st, 2011
Texas Commissioner of Education Robert Scott speaks at the TASA midwinter conference in Austin, Texas February 1st, 2011

Texas Still Undecided on No Child Left Behind Waiver

Despite more details from the Obama administration today about how it would exempt states from complying with the law's signature requirements, the Texas Education Agency has yet to decide whether it will apply for a waiver on federal accountability requirements under the 2001 act.

Dr. Susan Tortolero (right) and Pastor Ed Ainsworth (left)
Dr. Susan Tortolero (right) and Pastor Ed Ainsworth (left)

More Texas Schools Teach Safe Sex With Abstinence

Abstinence still rules on a policy level, but local communities are realizing that something isn't working in the state with the third-highest teen birth rate. So a quiet message is spreading through Texas schools: It's time to start teaching students about contraception. 

Bryan McClintock, a special education teacher from Frisco, worked in the Little Elm School District until he was laid off last spring. The Texas Legislature slashed public education funding by $4 billion during the 2011 special session, leading districts statewide to cut down on personnel costs.
Bryan McClintock, a special education teacher from Frisco, worked in the Little Elm School District until he was laid off last spring. The Texas Legislature slashed public education funding by $4 billion during the 2011 special session, leading districts statewide to cut down on personnel costs.

Day 1: Thousands of Texas Teachers Losing Jobs

Throughout August, The Texas Tribune will feature 31 ways Texans' lives will change come Sept. 1, the date most bills passed by the Legislature — including the dramatically reduced budget — take effect. DAY 1: Thousands of Texas teachers will not have jobs to return to in the fall, the result of a school finance plan that cut $4 billion from districts statewide.

Texas Commissioner of Education Robert Scott speaks at the TASA midwinter conference in Austin, Texas February 1st, 2011
Texas Commissioner of Education Robert Scott speaks at the TASA midwinter conference in Austin, Texas February 1st, 2011

With Change in Formula, Texas School Ratings Drop

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 Scott said. They are also markedly lower — with far fewer schools achieving the highest ratings than last year.

Barbara Cargill, State Board of Education.
Barbara Cargill, State Board of Education.

Meet Barbara Cargill, the SBOE's Latest Chief

Supporters say the new chairwoman of the State Board of Education is a mild-tempered, fair leader who is well suited to head the fractious 15-member board. Her critics say she is a dangerous culture warrior who injects her religious and political agenda into the classrooms of the country’s second largest public school system. 

Sophomore student Miguel Nava works on a science experiment at the San Juan Idea Public Schools Tuesday morning in San Juan, Texas November 23, 2010.
Sophomore student Miguel Nava works on a science experiment at the San Juan Idea Public Schools Tuesday morning in San Juan, Texas November 23, 2010.

Judgment Day

Texas Weekly

There's a day in July that school districts eye with a mixture of anticipation and dread. This year, it's on the 29th, when the Texas Education Agency will publicly release the accountability ratings for the state's more than 1,000 districts.

Texas Commissioner of Education Robert Scott answers questions at TASA midwinter conference in Austin, Texas February 1st, 2011
Texas Commissioner of Education Robert Scott answers questions at TASA midwinter conference in Austin, Texas February 1st, 2011

Texas Education Agency Faces Competing Demands

Even as it is coping with deep reductions to its own budget, the Texas Education Agency faces criticism from school districts and lawmakers, although not necessarily for the same reasons — vivid evidence of the pressure on the TEA.

STAAR Rollout May Bring More Duties for Counselors

In the fall, the anticipated consequences of a $4 billion reduction in state financing to school districts will begin to become apparent to Texas students and their parents. For some, though, the most drastic change will come in the spring, when 350,000 new ninth graders will be the first to take the end-of-course exams that are part of the new standardized testing system known as STAAR.

Lawmakers Target Texas Prison School for Makeover

Texas could save money, and prisoners could get a better education, some lawmakers say, if inmate learning programs were provided online. But correctional education experts and teachers say lawmakers’ ideas — particularly about online programs — show a lack of understanding about prison life.

Substitute teacher Nemir Naayem watches the hallways at Austin Premiere Academy during TAKS testing.
Substitute teacher Nemir Naayem watches the hallways at Austin Premiere Academy during TAKS testing.

Bill Would Help Texas Schools for Troubled Students

A bill in the Legislature aims to fix the formula for assessing completion and dropout rates at dropout recovery charters, but some academics question whether that will just make it easier for school districts to jettison their problem children.

TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of 4/4/11

Thanh on the budget standoff between the House and Senate, Ramsey on budget cuts that cost us money, Philpott on Hispanics and redistricting,  Stiles visualizes speed limits by state, Grissom on a liberal social justice organizer who became a conservative hero, M. Smith on even more student social security numbers at risk, Ramshaw on whether family planning equals abortion, Aguilar on what circumcision has to do with citizenship, Murphy on how much Texas university adminstrators are paid, Hamilton on the latest in the higher ed reform saga and Galbraith on Texas energy lessons from the 1970s: The best of our best content from April 4 to 8, 2011.