Tribpedia: Michael Williams

How a South Texas School District Spurred a Massive Turnaround

Premont High School cheerleader Stacy Morales, 17, and student basketball player Ernesto Gonzalez leave the gym after a game in 2012 — the year before the long-struggling school district opted to suspend its sports program to ward off closure.
Premont High School cheerleader Stacy Morales, 17, and student basketball player Ernesto Gonzalez leave the gym after a game in 2012 — the year before the long-struggling school district opted to suspend its sports program to ward off closure.

After five years of landing on the state’s list of low-performing schools, a tiny South Texas district that drew national headlines for cutting its sports program to ward off closure is now meeting state academic standards. Officials point to community buy-in and a unique partnership with Texas A&M University-Kingsville.

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

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 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.

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. 

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

Williams Discusses Decision to Approve Charter

UPDATED: Texas Education Commissioner Michael Williams told State Board of Education members Wednesday that said that when he approved a charter school's expansion into the Dallas area, he was following the spirit of a 2013 law. 

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

Over the last decade, Texas students have made steady progress on a number of academic measures. But in recent years, that improvement has begun to stall.