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Texans for Education Reform Weekly Clips

Cuomo Proposes Tying Education Funding to Reforms

January 21, 2015
Time Warner Cable News
ALBANY, N.Y.-- In what can be described as an education "power play" with state lawmakers, Governor Andrew Cuomo promised to tie nearly $800 million in school funding to his aggressive education reform plan, laid out during his fifth State of the State address Wednesday.

Dallas ISD home-rule commission votes against writing charter

January 20, 2015
Dallas Morning News
The effort to overhaul the way Dallas ISD operates began with a bang a year ago but ended with a whimper Tuesday as a commission decided not to write a home-rule charter.

5 Charter School Truths

January 12, 2015
Education Post
Charter schools are treated as monolithic, lumped together in an undifferentiated morass akin to chains of supermarkets or fast food restaurants.

Editorial: Dallas ISD home-rule commission must keep pushing for school reform

January 19, 2015
Dallas Morning News
For seven months, a commission of volunteers has been arguing and listening to arguments on how to bring major change to the operation of Dallas public schools.

The moral imperative of No Child Left Behind

January 14, 2015
The Washington Post
EDUCATION SECRETARY Arne Duncan tells a story that was distressingly familiar for children of color before the implementation of the No Child Left Behind law. At his mother’s after-school tutoring program on the South Side of Chicago, he worked with a young man who thought he was headed to college. The student was on track to get his high school diploma — on the honor roll, in fact, with a solid B average. But, Mr. Duncan discovered, his tutee also was functionally illiterate.

Majority of U.S. public school students are in poverty

January 16, 2015
The Washington Post
For the first time in at least 50 years, a majority of U.S. public school students come from low-income families, according to a new analysis of 2013 federal data, a statistic that has profound implications for the nation.

2015: An agenda for education reform

January 15, 2015
TribTalk
No Texas child should be forced to attend a failing public school. Texans for Education Reform is advocating several common-sense initiatives in this year's legislative session to directly confront this problem.

Senators set stage for debate about federal education law

January 13, 2015
The Washington Post
Top Republican and Democratic negotiators over federal education law each took to the Senate floor Tuesday to lay out their sometimes conflicting visions for rewriting No Child Left Behind.

Duncan lays out priorities for education law: Testing, preschool funding, teacher evals

January 12, 2015
The Washington Post
Education Secretary Arne Duncan spelled out his priorities for a new federal education law Monday, calling on Congress to build in funding for preschool, add $1 billion annually in federal aid for schools with the neediest students, and maintain the federal mandate that says states must test students every year in math and reading.

House education chairman proposes super taxing districts for Texas public schools

January 12, 2015
Dallas Morning News
AUSTIN — School districts across Texas would be merged into super districts for tax purposes under legislation the chairman of the House Public Education Committee offered Monday.

The Unappreciated Success Of Charter Schools

January 11, 2015
Forbes
I think the conventional wisdom on charter school evidence could be summed up thusly: ”some charter schools appear to do very well, but on average charters do no better and no worse than public schools”. But I would like to propose a better conventional wisdom: “some charter schools appear to do very well, and on average charters do better at educating poor students and black students”. If the same evidence existed for some policy other than charter schools, I believe this would be the conventional wisdom.

A North Texas First, Coming Soon: A Charter School Within The Walls Of A Public School

January 9, 2015
KERA
The Grand Prairie school district and Uplift charter schools just announced a first in North Texas: A partnership that will put a charter school within a public school.

Majority on Dallas ISD home rule panel want more info before charter vote

January 5, 2015
Dallas Morning News
A majority of Dallas ISD home rule commissioners said Monday that they want more information from experts and commission subcommittees before deciding whether to create a charter that could determine how the district is operated and governed.

Grand Prairie ISD partners with charter operator to create new kind of campus

January 7, 2015
Dallas Morning News
Traditional public schools and charters often mix as poorly as oil and water. The last place you’d expect to see both is under the same roof.

More schools land on state's worst-performing list

December 26, 2014
Houston Chronicle
As students continue to struggle with tougher state exams, the number of public schools that landed on Texas' worst-performing list rose this year.

Dallas ISD home-rule commission to continue discussing whether to create charter today

January 5, 2015
Dallas Morning News
The Dallas ISD home-rule commission will continue discussing whether to write a charter that could determine how the district is operated and governed at a meeting today.

Area schools now a laboratory for evaluating teachers

January 3, 2015
San Antonio Express-News
LYTLE — Four students huddled with their fourth-grade science teacher, Natalie Lopez, on a Thursday morning before winter break, anxious about their video presentation of the seasons of the year and asking how to add background music.

The Key to Recruiting the Best Teachers Isn't Money. It's Culture.

December 18, 2014
Education Week
Remember the old adage "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure"? Common sense tells us that preventing problems is far better than dealing with the aftermath of poor choices and costly mistakes. So why do current trends in attracting and retaining high quality teachers where they're needed most look more like the pound of cure, not the ounce of prevention so desperately needed?

4 ways a Republican Congress could impact K12 policy

December 23, 2014
Education Dive
In January, the Republican Party will take control of Congress, with Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) set to assume control of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.

State's education commissioner weighs-in on the state of BISD

December 22, 2014
Beaumont Enterprise
Sunday marked the five-month milestone for the Beaumont ISD board of managers, who were installed by Texas Education Commissioner Michael Williams on July 21 to rectify the financial and governance problems plaguing the district.

Feds push for equal access to quality teachers

December 23, 2014
Politico
More than a decade ago, Congress ordered states to figure out a way to distribute qualified teachers fairly, so low-income and minority children weren’t so often stuck with inexperienced and unlicensed educators.

Researchers Think They Have Found A Way To Help Close The Achievement Gap

December 18, 2014
Huffington Post
Growing up poor can affect a child's behavior and school performance. Research has found that the brains of students from poverty-stricken environments can even function differently than those of their more affluent peers, due to developments that inhibit the poorer children's ability to problem-solve and pay attention.

Op-Ed: Closing problem schools in public interest

December 21, 2014
San Antonio Express-News
The charter school business has been booming since 1995 when the Texas Legislature authorized their creation.

List of worst schools in Texas surges

December 19, 2014
Dallas Morning News
AUSTIN — The number of campuses on the annual list of the worst public schools in Texas soared again this year as the 2-year-old rating system pulled hundreds of schools below minimum achievement levels.

Ragland: DISD is grappling with broken trust, broken system

December 19, 2014
Dallas Morning News
If there’s one word that cuts to the heart of the persistent political tensions at DISD headquarters, it is trust.

Editorial: Don’t let Dallas’ home-rule debate die

December 19, 2014
Dallas Morning News
Remember a few months back when there was lots of excitement, pro and con, over a plan to reform Dallas public schools?

New York City Teachers Score Highly Under New Evaluation System

December 16, 2014
New York Times
Nine out of 10 New York City teachers received one of the top two rankings in the first year of a new evaluation system that was hailed as a better way of assessing how they perform, according to figures released on Tuesday.

Texas Will Shut Down 14 Charter School Operators

December 9, 2014
The Texas Tribune
Texas will shut down 14 charter school operators that failed to meet heightened financial and academic performance rules this year, state education officials announced Tuesday.

For Public Schools, What to Watch in Next Session

December 18, 2014
The Texas Tribune
When Texas lawmakers come back to Austin in January, there will be a new governor who touts public schools as a top priority, and plenty of money in the state bank account. But that doesn’t mean everything will go smoothly as the 84th Legislature navigates public education policy.

ESEA In 2015?

December 19, 2014
Eduwonk
Part of success is belief. So it’s worth paying attention to how an increasing number of people believe an Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) renewal bill is possible in 2015. By way of background, ESEA is the overarching law governing federal involvement and support for K-12 schools first enacted in 1965. Most recently reauthorized in 2001 as the No Child Left Behind Act , ESEA was set to be renewed in 2007 but partisan, inter-party, and inter-chamber disagreements since then have thwarted efforts to update the law. For the past several years the Obama Administration has offered states a set of waivers from various provisions of the law in an effort to update it absent congressional action.

Kids lose as mayor stalls on schools

December 15, 2014
New York Post

Education Crisis Extends Across the United States

December 17, 2014
Education Week
The U.S. Education Department reports that the high school graduation rate is at an all-time high at 80 percent. Four out of five students are successful in studies completion and graduate within four years.

How to Build a Successful School Technology Program

December 17, 2014
Huffington Post
Technology is a catalyst for change. If you want to disrupt a classroom full of children or young adults, try handing out an iPad or a Chromebook to each of them. You'll see lots of activity and excitement, but without solid planning and expectations, much of that energy will be counter-productive. Distractions lurk behind every keystroke, and you can be sure that our 21st Century learners know how to find them.

Ragland: Dallas ISD home-rule panel may be seeking exit strategy

December 16, 2014
Dallas Morning News
The panel charged with charting a new course for the Dallas Independent School District is trying to figure out whether to fold its tent and go home.

Op-Ed: Charter Schools Are Best Way To Bring Equity To Education In NJ

December 17, 2014
NJ Spotlight
No other options offer students in poorer urban districts such access to high-quality learning and such a chance to succeed

Dallas ISD home-rule commission to decide next month whether to create a charter

December 16, 2014
Dallas Morning News
The Dallas ISD home-rule commission will decide next month whether to create a charter for the district that could determine how it is operated and governed. Voters would need to approve the charter in an election with at least a 25 percent turnout.

How Big is Digital Education in the United States? An End of Year Review

December 15, 2014
Brookings Institute
Buzz about the potential of digital learning abounds. Despite the excitement, relatively little is known about how many students are actually taking advantage of digital learning opportunities. This is partly due to online learning tools having numerous forms, rendering them difficult to track. In addition, policies also vary greatly across states. A new report, Keeping Pace with K-12 Digital Learning, helps to shed light on the state of online learning in the United States.

Texas panel recommends shutting down board for teacher standards

December 10, 2014
Austin American-Statesman
A panel tasked with periodically reviewing state agencies approved a divisive recommendation on Wednesday to abolish a nearly 20-year-old governor-appointed board that works with the Texas Education Agency to set teacher certification and conduct standards.

Should States Spend Billions To Reduce Class Sizes?

December 11, 2014
Five Thirty Eight
Last month, voters in Washington decided that the state’s classes were filled with too many kids. A ballot initiative seeking to limit class sizes to 17 students for kindergarten through third grade and to 25 students for all others squeaked by, garnering only 51 percent of the vote. But a majority is a majority, and now the state must cut class sizes at every grade level — meaning it needs to hire thousands of new teachers, counselors, teaching assistants and librarians.

Use of Blended Learning and Individualized Education Increases

December 10, 2014
The Heartland Institute
Global demand for online learning is growing. In 2000, 45,000 K-12 students reportedly took online courses. Less than a decade later, the number had grown to more than three million. Projecting from the increase in online course usage in 2000 to 2009 in the K-12 sector, by 2019 50 percent of K-12 students could be taking online courses.

Paige: Lawmakers, do what is best for our students

December 10, 2014
Houston Chronicle
By this time next month, 181 legislators will arrive in Austin for the 140-day session of the Texas Legislature. Houston's lawmakers will be asked to make serious decisions that affect all Texans - but none more important than proposals relating to public education. To the legislators, I have one simple message: Focus your decisions solely on what is best for Houston children.

Education No. 1 priority in Abbott legislative agenda

December 8, 2014
KXAN
AUSTIN (KXAN) – Education and border security top Texas Governor-elect Greg Abbott’s legislative priories ahead of the upcoming legislative session.

Sorry state of public education seen as threat to economic growth

December 4, 2014
San Antonio Express-News
Only 57 percent of all students and 48 percent of Hispanic students graduate from high school college-ready. And Texas trails the nation in awarding degrees and credentials in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.

Character and leadership help D.C. charter school jump to highest ranking

December 5, 2014
Watchdog.org
WASHINGTON, D.C. — At Center City public charter school Congress Heights, a group of about 25 first graders sit crossed-legged in front of Linda Kim as she reads to them about Ancient Egypt. Upstairs, Tamika Fernandez helps her fourth and fifth graders solve decimal problems on the whiteboard, while across the hall, Wendy Oftedahl’s class of seventh graders listen to author Karen Harrington talk about the writing process.

Glenda Ritz loses another State Board of Education battle

December 3, 2014
IndyStar
After its signature squabbling, the State Board of Education took steps Wednesday to become more aggressive with chronically failing schools and ask for state funding to support turnaround initiatives.

Final 2014 accountability ratings released

December 3, 2014
Texas Education Agency
AUSTIN – The Texas Education Agency today released the final 2014 state accountability system ratings for more than 1,200 school districts and charters, and more than 8,500 campuses. The final ratings are issued following an appeals process provided to districts and charters that contested the district or campus ratings originally announced in August.

Austin: Give parents power to hold school districts accountable

December 3, 2014
Austin American-Statesman
On Nov. 16, the American-Statesman’s Julie Chang shared the compelling story of Diana De La Fuente, who, like thousands of other students in Austin, does not have access to a high-performing school in her neighborhood.

Education Department moves to regulate teacher preparation programs

November 25, 2014
Washington Post
The Obama administration unveiled a proposal Thursday to regulate how the country prepares teachers, saying that too many new K-12 educators are not ready for the classroom and that training programs must improve.

Learning Curve’s 10 Suggestions for the Dallas ISD Home Rule Commission

December 1, 2014
Dallas Magazine
The Home Rule Commission is scheduled to meet today at 6 p.m. In case you missed it on FrontBurner, the Support Our Public Schools group recently presented its proposed charter to the commission. I’m working on a post that looks at the major differences between what that organization presented and the 10 suggestions I put here on Learning Curve.

OPINION — Gonzalez: Shift to online learning beneficial

December 1, 2014
Daily Toreador
Whether you’ve weathered the demands of the classroom physically or virtually, adjusting to what best suits your unique learning process can be a challenging task. As more students venture to the online experience, many are discovering the benefits and advantages this avenue poses.

No Child Left Behind Gets Renewed Focus

December 1, 2014
ABC News
The No Child Left Behind education law could be making a political comeback.

The Charter-School Windfall for Public Schools

November 28, 2014
Wall Street Journal
Upon his re-election in 2006, then-New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Schools Chancellor Joel Klein offered the free use of underutilized school facilities to a bumper crop of charter schools opening that year—including my first. Fueled by this policy, charter-school enrollment in the city grew from 11,000 to almost 70,000 by the end of Mr. Bloomberg’s second term in 2013, and my one school grew to 22.

Measure Opening Door to Teacher Merit Pay Passes Ohio House Committee

November 18, 2014
State Impact
The state is one step closer towards repealing the law that mandates a minimum salary schedule for teachers — opening the door to a merit-based pay system.

Teacher-Training Proposal Sparks Debate

November 25, 2014
Wall Street Journal
The Obama administration proposed new rules Tuesday for teacher training programs that would tie federal aid to metrics—including how well their graduates perform in the job market and in the classroom—as officials attempt to toughen accountability for the programs.

Studying for the Test by Taking It

November 22, 2014
New York Times
PROTESTS are flaring up in pockets of the country against the proliferation of standardized tests. For many parents and teachers, school has become little more than a series of workout sessions for the assessment du jour.

Time for Policy Leaders to Make the Tough Decisions in Education

November 20, 2014
Real Clear Education
A decade ago, the debate about Washington D.C.’s public schools turned on school vouchers. How many students in the city’s beleaguered schools should get a lifeline out and how many national Democrats would break ranks and support vouchers?

Texas public school enrollment climbs again in 2013-2014

November 25, 2014
Texas Education Agency
AUSTIN – Enrollment in Texas public schools continues to climb, growing by 19 percent over the past decade and by more than 59 percent over the past 26 years, according to a new report released today by the Texas Education Agency.

‘Blended-learning’ programs grow in D.C., with students relying more on computers

November 23, 2014
Washington Post
When Ketcham Elementary School was selected to roll out a schoolwide computer-based learning initiative, Principal Maisha Riddlesprigger was skeptical about “putting kids in front of computers.”

Excellence in Education Conference

Last week, I had the pleasure of joining the Excellence in Education conference in Washington DC. There was a dynamic and inspiring group of speakers and guests of which I was proud to be a part of. At the conference, I served on a panel that discussed increasing access to high performing public schools to all students. On the panel, I emphasized these points:

Jeb Bush: Debate on Common Core 'troubling'

November 20, 2014
Politico
Potential 2016 presidential candidate Jeb Bush stood before a packed hall Thursday morning and rallied his education troops, encouraging the crowd to keep fighting the “government-run, unionized and politicized monopolies who trap good teachers, administrators and struggling students in a system nobody can escape.”

Polly Williams, Education’s Rosa Parks

November 20, 2014
Wall Street Journal
Annette “Polly” Williams, a longtime state representative from Milwaukee’s north side who died Nov. 9, was sometimes called the “mother of school choice.” But even that tag doesn’t do her justice.

Teacher: Georgia’s new evaluation system benefits teachers and students

November 20, 2014
Atlanta Journal Constitution
There’s a difference between expressing opinions, and making things up that simply aren’t true. Take Friday’s post in the state’s preeminent education blog, Get Schooled.

Home-rule advocates offer draft charter for Dallas schools

November 18, 2014
Dallas Morning News
The group that launched the home-rule charter effort in Dallas ISD unveiled a draft constitution this week that would overhaul how the district operates and is governed.

Blended Learning: It's Not the Tech, It's How the Tech is Used

November 18, 2014
Huffington Post
Since the 1970s we've known of Moore's Law, which states the processing power of computers will double every two years. Forty years later, computers are presumably a million times more powerful.

School Choice and Charters Top 2015 Agenda

November 17, 2014
Time Warner Cable Austin
The 2015 legislative session is likely to see a slew of such education legislation. Lt. Governor-Elect and current Education Chairman Dan Patrick told a Senate committee Monday that school choice already exists in Texas if you have the money to send your kid to private school.

Building an Infrastructure of Public School Choice for Texas Families

Good morning Chairman Patrick, members of the committee. Thank you for the opportunity to address this paramount issue of choice in education.

Los Angeles Interim Schools Chief Clears Way for Activating 'Parent Trigger' Law

November 14, 2014
Education Week
The parents of children enrolled in failing Los Angeles schools will be able to petition for sweeping management and academic changes after all.

What Are Arne Duncan's 'Lines in the Sand' When it Comes to NCLB Renewal?

November 17, 2014
Education Week
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan may have reshaped his rhetoric on testing—and applauded states and school districts for taking a hard look at the number of tests they require—but it appears he'd like to see annual state assessments remain at the core of any reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind.

Charter designation is second chance for troubled schools

November 15, 2014
San Antonio Express-News
Just a few years ago, the attendance rate at Davis Middle School was among the worst in the San Antonio Independent School District. Students were falling behind on course work and being held back a grade, saddling teachers with a population tougher to educate and more likely to lose hope that they could regain their academic footing.

Fix Testing-Don't End It

November 12, 2014
Education Week
"Trust me-there aren't going to be any 7th grade English-language learners next year."

Austin school district eyes restrictions on student transfers

November 16, 2014
Austin American-Statesman
Sixteen-year-old Diana De La Fuente lives in East Austin, but she hated the idea of going to high school there.

More D.C. students are attending highest-performing charter schools, ratings show

November 14, 2014
Washington Post
More of the District’s students are enrolled in high-performing public charter schools this year, according to ratings that the D.C. Public Charter School Board plans to release Friday.

State orders ex-charter school to stop presenting itself as a charter school

November 13, 2014
Dallas Morning News
The state revoked the charter of Honors Academy, a network of seven charter schools in the Dallas area, back in June. But you wouldn’t know that from Honors Academy’s website.

Post navigation Cortines lifts LAUSD ban on Parent Trigger enacted by Deasy

November 11, 2014
LA School Report
The head of Parent Revolution said today that LA Unified has reversed course, lifting the ban on using the “Parent Trigger” law this year to overhaul failing district schools.

Q&A: Lamar Alexander On Education In The New Congress

November 11, 2014
Texas Public Radio
Higher education, preschool funding, the Common Core and the future of No Child Left Behind are just a few of the education policies that will be in play under the new Republican-controlled Congress. How will these things change? We called Sen. Lamar Alexander to ask.

Shapiro: When it comes to improving schools, it’s not all about money

November 12, 2014
Austin American-Statesman
A state district judge recently ruled that the way Texas funds its schools is “inadequate.” While school districts, teacher organizations and others who directly benefit from proposed funding increases cheered the decision, the rest of us are left to determine what is “adequate.”

Teacher Evaluation I Can Believe In, From a Pittsburgh Principal

November 12, 2014
Education Post
I was a teacher five years ago when Pittsburgh Public Schools first launched RISE—its new teacher-evaluation system—and it caused quite a stir. The conflicting reports, mixed with the inevitable rumors about its purpose, had anxiety levels running high.

Charter schools in Texas are improving faster than public schools

November 10, 2014
Vox
Charter schools nationally are about as good as traditional public schools at educating students, at least when it comes to standardized test scores.

Education Reform Isn’t a Game to Me

November 6, 2014
Education Post
It’s not an easy thing to say. The Internet is littered with articles about reform that point fingers, assign blame and call names. It’s sad, but I’ve come to expect attacks and hostility from people who must think public shaming will shut me down. They call me “naïve” and suggest I can’t think for myself. When they really want to shut me up they call me “corporate.”

Most Dallas, Fort Worth High Schools Don't Measure Up In Texas School Guide

November 6, 2014
KERA News
Most public high schools in Dallas aren’t measuring up, according to the latest Texas School Guide from Children At Risk. Every public school is rated in the guide from the non-profit that does education research.

Hispanic students are making steady math progress

November 10, 2014
Washington Post
Hispanic students have made significant gains on federal math tests during the past decade, and Hispanic public school students in major cities including Boston, Charlotte, Houston and the District have made some of the most consistent progress, according to a report released Monday.

Indiana sees a big jump in A-rated schools

November 5, 2014
Chalkbeat
More than half of Indiana’s schools were rated an A this year, a majority for the first time this decade.

State Digital Education Programs Grow, But Disparities Persist

November 4, 2014
Education Week
Enrollment in state-run online schools is on the rise, though broad gaps remain in the availability of digital resources and tools across the country's large, mid-sized, and small school systems, a new report concludes.

Why I Wasn't Able to Talk to New York City's Teachers

November 4, 2014
The Atlantic
What makes for a great teacher? For generations, educators operated on the belief that great teaching was mostly an art, which the talented refine in the privacy of the classroom over many years of work. Think Sidney Poitier’s Mark Thackeray in To Sir with Love or Richard Dreyfuss as Glenn Holland in Mr. Holland’s Opus. The trouble with this romanticized idea is that it all depends on the individual.

District's Ambitious Personalized Learning Effort Shows Progress

October 31, 2014
Education Week
As students file into math teacher John Williams' 6th grade class at Whittemore Park Middle School here, they eye the back wall carefully. That's because their names are displayed there, for all to see, along with what percentage of coursework they've completed. No grades are posted, but each day students can watch their progress toward curriculum completion.

Number of U.S. Charter Schools Up 7 Percent, Report Shows

November 3, 2014
U.S. News
The number of charter schools surpassed 6,000 at the start of the 2012-13 school year, as these schools – publicly financed, but privately run – steadily increased by 7 percent throughout the United States that year. This annual growth contributed to a 47 percent increase in the number of charter schools over the seven years since 2006-2007.

COMMENTARY: IDEA Public Schools are a Valley-borne idea

October 9, 2014
The Monitor
In 1997, I graduated from Georgetown University with a degree in economics and decided to do something rare among my peers: teach in a public school. I moved to the Rio Grande Valley and began teaching fourth grade in the Donna Independent School District. My initial optimism turned to quiet outrage, however, as I learned the odds facing students in Valley communities: The average 18-year-old high school graduate from our region performed on par with the rest of the country’s average eighth-grader.

For the first time, schools in the nation’s largest charter network are investing in technology in a big way

October 29, 2014
The Hechinger Report
AUSTIN, Texas — Technology is everywhere at KIPP Austin Obras, a charter elementary school in Texas. One day at the beginning of the school year, first-graders grappled with math concepts as they tried to coax JiJi the penguin across the screen of their netbooks. Kindergarteners in a Spanish-language technology class learned to log on to their computers while second-graders did elementary coding on a Flappy Bird game, with one boy turning the birds into tiny Santa Clauses.

Ensuring Equity in Charter Schools

October 28, 2014
Education Week
Not long after Maryland passed its comprehensive charter school law in 2003, parent and educator Bobbi Macdonald began holding monthly meetings in her northeast Baltimore home. She and others tackled the question, If we could have the best school we can imagine, what would it be? Their answer was City Neighbors Charter School, a Baltimore K-8 school founded by 17 families in 2005.

OPINION: Let's Stop the K-12 Bickering

October 27, 2014
Education Week
It has become increasingly difficult to talk without disdain and disappointment about the way America makes education policy. We who work in education often lament today's poisonous politics.

Secrets to success: How one school system raised its Texas standardized scores

October 25, 2014
Dallas Morning News
When headlines in May bemoaned stagnant statewide scores on the STAAR tests, Jeannie Stone’s reaction was “Not in Wylie!”

Lawmakers take up school finance while waiting for court to rule

October 24, 2014
Houston Chronicle
AUSTIN - For the past several weeks, state lawmakers have been meeting to discuss how to better fund public education in the wake of a court ruling calling Texas' school finance system inequitable, inefficient and illegal.

La. releases school performance scores

October 21, 2014
Houston Chronicle
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — What state officials term steady, if modest, progress in public school students' overall test scores and graduation rates resulted in a small increase in the number of schools earning an A in the state's accountability program, the Education Department said Tuesday.

K-12 Leaders: Look for Lessons Outside Schools

October 20, 2014
Education Week
There is a great rift valley between business leaders and public education advocates.

William McKenzie: Doing away with testing would hurt Texas children

October 21, 2014
Bush Institute
You don’t have to stand long on the playground before hearing parents complain about standardized tests. My own daughter is right there with them, telling me how much she hated them. And political leaders line up across party lines to lament annual independent exams.

States That Prohibit Charters Likely to Decline

October 21, 2014
Education Week
The eight states that have staunchly resisted charter laws could shrink in number after midterm elections next month. That, combined with forceful advocacy efforts, could help push the holdouts toward embracing the publicly funded, independently operated schools.

Teachers' Unions to Spend More Than Ever in State, Local Elections

October 22, 2014
Education Week
Deep-pocketed teachers’ unions, hoping to affect education policy at the state and local levels, are expecting to pour more money into those campaigns in the 2014 midterm elections than ever before.

Officials rethink education at summit

October 20, 2014
Charleston Daily Mail
In front of hundreds of education officials Monday, state Board of Education President Gayle Manchin admitted current teaching methods are not engaging students like they should.

New charter school getting star-studded sendoff

October 21, 2014
San Antonio Business Journal
Tennis star Andre Agassi will be on hand to celebrate the opening of a new charter school in San Antonio on Oct. 22.

Atlanta Journal Constitution: An architect of No Child Left Behind looks back on failed reforms and says, ‘We forgot the why.’

October 20, 2014
Atlanta Journal Constitution
In Atlanta Friday, former U.S. Education Secretary Rod Paige explained the chief cause of decades of failed school reform. Yes, we have overhauled the how, when, where and what of education, but Paige says we ignored the most critical element — the why.

Blended learning takes Greeley-Evans District 6 by storm

October 18, 2014
Greeley Tribune
Scott Ellis took his Greeley audience back in time to when he was in first grade at Tavelli Elementary School in Fort Collins.

Standardized tests must measure up

October 17, 2014
The Washington Post
As a parent, I want to know how my children are progressing in school each year. The more I know, the more I can help them build upon their strengths and interests and work on their weaknesses. The more I know, the better I can reinforce at home each night the hard work of their teachers during the school day.

Parent-Trigger Group Touts Student Academic Gains, Though Data Limited

October 15, 2014
Education Week
The contentious debate over California's so-called parent-trigger law usually boils down to whether a parent-led overhaul of a failing school will yield tangible results.

Memphis Makes the Nation’s Most Ambitious Effort to Fix Failed Schools

October 16, 2014
Governing
Principals and educators from half a dozen schools in the north Memphis neighborhood of Frayser were meeting a week before the start of the 2014-2015 school year.

Legislative Committee Examines Efforts To Streamline Math And Writing Standards

October 14, 2014
Texas Public Radio
A senate committee is examining the State Board of Education’s efforts to streamline math and writing standards, amid new data showing Texas students SAT scores are at an all-time low, but some lawmakers remain leery about what will be taken out and whether Texas is really doing enough to prepare students for college.

Charter schools morph into charter districts: Column

October 15, 2014
USA Today
A little-noticed development is about to change the education landscape as we know it: Nearly a dozen charter school networks have grown to the size of midsized school districts. Now what?

Kimberlin: Texas must improve child literacy rates

October 13, 2014
Daily Toreador
This may be preaching to the choir, but since when has it been deemed appropriate for children to advance through grade school without the capacity to read past a fourth-grade level? I realize this is not just a problem with the education system that struggles to keep kids focused and attending classes. The root of the issue, unfortunately, comes from a lack of help from home.

What the 2014 Senate Elections Might Mean for Education

October 14, 2014
Education Week
We're three weeks from the midterms. There are a slew of major statehouse races that I may get around to discussing. But, to keep things simple, today I'll offer a few thoughts on what the midterms mean for Washington. The Republicans are widely expected to keep their House majority, meaning the big question is whether they'll be able to pick up the six seats they need to capture the U.S. Senate.

It's 2014. All Children Are Supposed To Be Proficient. What Happened?

October 11, 2014
NPR
Take yourself back to those highly emotional, patriotic months after the 9/11 attacks.

CollegeBoard releases 2014 SAT results for Texas, rest of American South

October 13, 2014
Houston Chronicle
Texas' critical reading, mathematics and writing skills could stand to see some improvement, according to SAT results from the College Board.

Often Foes, Some Districts and Charters Forge Partnerships

October 14, 2014
Education Week
Florida is wading into largely uncharted waters with an initiative to fuel collaboration between two sectors often cast as foes in the debate over how to improve K-12 education: regular public schools and charters.

SBOE: State needs better alignment between high school and college curriculum

October 13, 2014
Dallas Morning News
AUSTIN–State high school curriculum standards, particularly in math and science, need to better align with college expectations, key education officials told lawmakers Monday.

Yes Prep Receives $10 Million Grant To Expand Charter Schools

October 10, 2014
Houston Public Media
Last year, the charter school network Yes Prep announced major plans to expand outside of its home in Houston.

Struggling With State Exams, Students Still Advance

October 13, 2014
The Texas Tribune
More than 100,000 fifth- and eighth-graders failed the state exams in reading and math that are required to move on to the next grade last year.

IDEA Public Schools awarded $15 million to open new schools in Texas

October 9, 2014
KVEO
RIO GRANDE VALLEY, TX — IDEA Public Schools, a nationally-recognized charter school network, has been awarded $15 million through the competitive Charter School Programs (CSP) Replication and Expansion of High-Quality Charter Schools grant by the US Department of Education. IDEA is one of two charter school networks in Texas to receive this award.

Texas Education Agency: STAAR system minimizes issues revealed with previous testing regime

October 11, 2014
El Paso Times
Officials at the Texas Education Agency believe a new testing system, introduced in 2012, will mitigate issues with the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills test revealed by investigations into cheating at El Paso Independent School District and other districts.

As Apprentices in Classroom, Teachers Learn What Works

October 10, 2014
The New York Times
OAKLAND, Calif. — Monica DeSantiago wondered how in the world she would get the students to respect her.

A-F rating system approved for Arkansas schools

October 10, 2014
Stuttgart Daily Leader
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. —Most Arkansas public schools will soon be graded in much the same way as students.

Post navigation In a narrow sample, Parent Trigger schools show gains

October 9, 2014
LA School Report
When California’s first set of “Parent Trigger” schools in Adelanto Unified and LA Unified were taken over in 2013, the expectation was that a once failing school could turn innovative teaching and learning methods into academic improvement.

Study: 'Pygmalion Effect' Links Teacher Expectations to Student Success

October 8, 2014
Education Week
A new study from the Center for American Progress concludes that teachers' expectations for their students are strongly correlated with students' graduation rates. Unfortunately, the study also says that teachers don't necessarily have high expectations for all of their students, especially poorer students and those of color.

U.S. Department of Education Awards $39.7 Million in Grants to Expand High Quality Charter Schools

October 8, 2014
U.S. Department of Education
The U.S. Department of Education announced 27 new grants today totaling $39.7 million under the Charter Schools Program (CSP) to expand high quality charter schools, and open new charter schools across the nation. These grants will support charter schools’ efforts to increase high-need students’ success, especially in underserved areas, in 12 states.

17 Charter Schools Approved for New York City, Expanding a Polarizing Network

October 8, 2014
The New York Times
The state approved 17 new charter schools for New York City on Wednesday, substantially increasing the size of one of the city’s largest and most polarizing charter networks, Success Academy, and setting up a battle over where the schools will be located.

How an extended day, other innovations turned a Denver middle school around

October 9, 2014
The Hechinger Report
It’s a midweek afternoon and all 450 of the students at our Denver middle school are staying an hour later. They’re not in detention. The buses aren’t late. Instead, students are participating in a range of activities, from a rocket-building class to one-on-one tutoring in math, and they’re excited to be here.

Smartest kids: Massachusetts charter schools are few but mighty

October 9, 2014
Bridge
Boston – A dreamy gaze washes over Lindsey Holmes’ face when she talks about going back to Detroit one day to open a performing arts school for boys.

D.C. public schools enrollments continue to climb

October 8, 2014
Washington Post
Enrollment is up in both D.C. charter and traditional public schools this year, according to unofficial numbers released this week by officials from the D.C. Public Charter School Board and D.C. Public Schools.

The Top Eight Things You Need To Know About Online Education

October 8, 2014
Forbes
There is a variety of opinions in the media these days regarding online learning. Depending on what you read, online education can appear to be either a cure-all or cancer. In an effort to cut through the smoke, here are the top eight established facts you need to know.

OP-ED: The Evidence Is Clear -- Charters Are Working, Status Quo Didn't And Isn't

October 8, 2014
New Jersey Spotlight
One thing I’ve learned during 20 years in urban education reform is that the forces of the status quo will challenge any new idea, even one that offers tremendous hope to children.

Austin public school enrollment down

October 6, 2014
Jacksonville Progress
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Austin's public school population has dropped by nearly 2,000 students over the past two years and school district officials say it's the first consecutive-year decline in at least two decades.

Remember K-12 Policy Past to Shape the Future

October 6, 2014
Education Week
The causes of events are ever more interesting than the events themselves. —Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 B.C.), Roman writer, politician, and orator.

Texas school fund now worth nation-high $37.7B

October 7, 2014
KLTV
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - A fund Texas uses to buy instructional materials and cover some local school districts' costs is now worth nearly $38 billion, making it the nation's largest educational endowment.

Texas’ SAT math scores hit a 22-year low

October 7, 2014
Dallas Morning News
AUSTIN — Texas high school students slipped to their lowest SAT math scores in more than two decades this year, while reading scores on the college entrance exam were the second lowest during that period.

OPINION: Texas school boards team up against change

October 2, 2014
Dallas Morning News
“My goal as governor,” Republican candidate Greg Abbott said this week during a debate, “is to work toward elevating the Texas education system to be ranked No. 1 in the nation.”

TEA releases Community and Student Engagement ratings

October 1, 2014
Texas Education Agency
AUSTIN – The Texas Education Agency (TEA) today released Community and Student Engagement ratings for the state’s school districts, charters and campuses.

Dave Nichols, James Parsons, guest columnists: AT&T helping eliminate Texas’ dropout problem

October 1, 2014
Waco Tribune
One in five students don’t graduate high school with their class, and many of those who do are not fully prepared for success in college or careers. Here in Texas, we have emerged as a leader in education and have seen graduation rates increase over the last six years. This is also the third year in a row that the Lone Star State has posted outstanding graduation rates that are among the best in the nation.

D.C. and Louisiana Are 'Healthiest' Charter Systems in New Rankings

October 1, 2014
Education Week
The District of Columbia and the state of Louisiana have the "healthiest" charter school systems, while Oregon and Nevada have the weakest sectors, according to a new report released Wednesday by the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools.

Texas AG Appeals School Finance Ruling to State Supreme Court

September 29, 2014
Governing.com
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott on Friday appealed to the Texas Supreme Court a district court finding that the state's school finance system is unconstitutional.

Powell, others praise local pre-K effort

September 26, 2014
Houston Chronicle
A Houston-area coalition working to improve early childhood education and expand pre-kindergarten classes drew praise from former Secretary of State Colin Powell Friday.

Texas places 31 high schools in Newsweek's top 500 list

September 30, 2014
Houston Chronicle
High school is a time when students exhibit great hometown pride and spirit and the latest ranking from Newsweek is giving plenty of Texas schools something to cheer about.

Hispanic Reading Achievement by State Spending

September 29, 2014
The Edfly Blog
Which state education systems best leverage their resources to help disadvantaged students? In the chart below, we use the fourth-grade reading exam from the 2013 National Assessment of Educational Progress to compare reading achievement levels for each state’s low-income Hispanic students by each state’s level of current education spending.

Pre-K classes a priority for Texas districts, study finds

September 29, 2014
Dallas Morning News
Getting more youngsters into prekindergarten classes is a priority for Texas school districts, but finding the money to do so is difficult, according to a study released Monday.

After Decades of Action, Supreme Court Cools on School Cases

September 30, 2014
Education Week
Justice Robert H. Jackson famously warned in 1948 that the U.S. Supreme Court should not become "a super board of education for every school district in the nation."

Washington DC: Takeovers of struggling charter schools offer families stability, and a culture clash

September 29, 2014
Washington Post
The line of parents waiting to attend back-to-school night stretched down the sidewalk, and many of them had no idea what to expect as they approached the historic school on Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue in Southeast Washington.

Frisco ISD racing to keep up with growth

September 28, 2014
Dallas Morning News
FRISCO — It’s difficult to exaggerate just how fast the growth is barreling down on Frisco, where the district is now on track to open four high schools in four years.

Local school sets an example for the rest of the state

September 25, 2014
News Channel 10
Amarillo, TX - Glenwood Elementary School is setting an example for schools across the state when it comes to overcoming academic barriers.

Q&A: The Mis-Education Of African-American Girls

September 25, 2014
Texas Public Radio
We've known for a long time that inequality and systemic educational barriers are holding back many young African-Americans. President Obama has led an initiative to help close the opportunity gap for young black men.

Texas' Rising Graduation Rates Spark Renewed Doubts

September 26, 2014
Texas Tribune
A decade ago, Texas was a poster-child for the ills that contributed to a national high school graduation crisis. As the state weathered scandals over the way some districts calculated graduation rates, it became identified in national reports as the epicenter for chronically underperforming schools known as “dropout factories.”

Opinion: What accountability ratings don’t say about Texas schools

September 25, 2014
The Texas Education Agency recently released new accountability ratings showing that 90 percent of the state’s school districts are meeting the TEA standard. The results have left many parents asking: “How high did we set the bar?”

How to Make Teachers More Like Doctors

September 23, 2014
The Atlantic
For her exceptional book on the history of teaching, Dana Goldstein chose the title The Teacher Wars: The History of America’s Most Embattled Profession. In so doing, she joined an ongoing debate with reformers such as Stanford University’s Eric Hanushek, who wrote an article entitled “The War on Teachers is a Myth.” The stakes in this debate are high, ironically, because teaching polls as one of the most respected professions in the country. If political ideas are labeled a “war on teachers,” they are likely doomed to failure.

Blended Learning Program Working in Georgia

September 23, 2014
WALB 10
TIFTON, GA (WALB) - A new computer-based program at 8th St. Elementary School in Tifton is helping young people learn faster, and more effectively.

Model Online Learning Program in Iowa

September 23, 2014
KIMT
KIMT News 3 – A one-of-a-kind online learning program is giving Iowa students an opportunity to learn at their own pace from home.

TEA to highlight E. Texas school in case study

September 23, 2014
KETK
AUSTIN — Commissioner of Education Michael Williams announced today that the Texas Education Agency (TEA) has identified 11 campuses across the state to take part in a best practices case studies project.

It’s Time to Reimagine School Information

September 23, 2014
Education Next
“Google” has become a universal term for finding information online, and was officially recognized as a verb by the Oxford English Dictionary in 2006. Quick, simple access to useful information online has transformed the way we perform tasks ranging from perusing movie reviews before dropping $10 at the box office to spending thousands of dollars on a new vehicle.

Professionals Share Career Advice and Real-World Relevance with Students Using Nepris

September 22, 2014
Virtual Strategy Magazine
Last spring Ken Scruggs, founder of Midwest Aerial Photography, spoke to a class of high school students to explain about how he uses trigonometry and higher math every day in his aerial mapping company. The class was 1,200 miles away, however, Mr. Scruggs didn’t have to drive a single mile.

Getting Beyond One 'Right Way' of K-12 Reform

September 22, 2014
Education Week
Why don't we get education changing the way successful systems change?

Feds grant Texas No Child Left Behind waiver

September 22, 2014
Houston Chronicle
AUSTIN – The U.S. Department of Education has granted Texas a one-year waiver from rigorous federal education benchmarks, after the Lone Star State agreed to pilot a new statewide teacher andprincipal evaluation system.

Getting Beyond One 'Right Way' of K-12 Reform

September 22, 2014
Education Week
Why don't we get education changing the way successful systems change?

Memphis: Education Secretary Praises Local School Leaders

September 20, 2014
Memphis Daily News
Sustainability is a term associated with environmental efforts, though innovation is a much more popular term across causes from economic development to education reform.

Five Generation 19 charter school applicants complete process

September 19, 2014
Texas Education Agency
AUSTIN – Five Generation 19 charter school applicants today successfully completed the final step of the state’s application process allowing them to begin operation in Texas for the 2015-2016 school year.

Opinion: Look to Course Access to Expand Students’ Horizons

September 22, 2014
Education Next
In a September 10, 2014 op-ed in the Chicago Sun-Times, I write about how course access policies offer new horizons to students. In particular, I explore how Michigan implemented course access to expand online learning opportunities for students across the state.

SBOE Members Question Teacher Prep Requirements

September 18, 2014
Texas Tribune
Texas education officials took an initial step Thursday toward asking the state to reconsider raising the minimum college GPA needed for prospective educators to enter certification programs.

Dallas ISD 3-year graduation plan receives state approval

September 17, 2014
Dallas Morning News
AUSTIN — A program that would allow high school students in the Dallas school district to get a diploma in three years and use the savings to fund full-day prekindergarten classes won enthusiastic approval from the State Board of Education and Commissioner Michael Williams on Wednesday.

High school kids can soar with more online courses

September 10, 2014
Chicago Sun-Times
With only 53 percent of students across the state attending a high school where calculus is offered, Illinois needs to find a way for students to take courses their high schools simply do not teach. The solution: give public school students more opportunity to earn credits online.

Wall Street Journal: Four Ways to Spot a Great Teacher

September 4, 2014
Wall Street Journal
I recently caught up with my downstairs neighbors, an attorney and a college professor, who have been consumed by the process of enrolling their adorable 5-year-old son in kindergarten.

Texas Association of Business Calls for State Investigation of Graduation Rates

September 16, 2014
Dallas Morning News
An influential Texas business group called for an investigation Tuesday into graduation rates in the state’s largest school districts after a Dallas ISD internal audit raised questions about whether some seniors — up to a quarter of the Class of 2013 — should have earned diplomas.

Beaumont is least educated major U.S. city, study says

September 16, 2014
Houston Chronicle
A new study of America's largest 150 metropolitan areas places Beaumont dead last in the list of most educated.

U.S. Adults Support Longer, More Rigorous Teacher Prep, Poll Finds

September 16, 2014
Education Week
Americans generally think teacher preparation should be more rigorous and include more time for candidates to practice under the tutelage of experienced teachers, according to the results of a new Phi Delta Kappa/Gallup poll.

Report gives Texas a "D" in K-12 education

September 15, 2014
Midland Reporter-Telegram
Texas schools aren’t bringing home any refrigerator-worthy report cards, according to the 2014 Leaders and Laggards report by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation.

Education Officials Flunk Statistics 101

September 14, 2014
Wall Street Journal
As students return to school this fall, some basic math may come as a surprise: The data that officials employ to judge students and schools is misunderstood, ignored and or misused, particularly when measuring the performance of low-income students.

Lessons to keep in mind about education

September 12, 2014
Houston Chronicle
With students going back to school, it's a good time to review the 10 lessons that Americans should have learned if they were paying attention during the last few decades of debating education reform.

Why investing in education is good for our economy

September 12, 2014
Fox News
For kids, education is a basic human right. For adults, providing that education is a moral imperative.

Opinion: Teachers have a job, and they should do it

September 12, 2014
San Antonio Express-News
SAN ANTONIO — There is continuing controversy over whether teachers should be evaluated solely on whether they show up for classes, faculty meetings and professional development seminars, or whether they also should be held accountable for the quality of their “product”— educated students.

Virtual classroom benefits working students

September 11, 2014
WFAA
At age 17, Blake Novacek is already on a promising career track. The stepson of former Dallas Cowboys player Jay Novacek is already working with ESPN Radio, a gig that his mother points out requires a lot of time and travel.

Texas schools pressed to accommodate influx of young immigrants

September 10, 2014
Los Angeles Times
A Year ago, the Las Americas Newcomer Middle School serving the low-income Gulfton neighborhood started the semester with 150 immigrant and refugee students. When the new school year began last month, enrollment skyrocketed to 325 students, most of them newly arrived from Central America.

School districts look to PSJA as model for decreasing dropout rate

September 9, 2014
ValleyCentral.com
The Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ISD is raising the bar as the district continues to increase the graduation rate.

Cen-Tex charter school to support Azleway schools

September 9, 2014
KETK
TYLER — Trinity Charter Schools (TCS) on Tuesday announced a new partnership with Azleway Inc., an organization that operates a residential treatment center in the Tyler-area and provides intensive therapy in a safe, healing environment for at-risk youth.

The Debate on Education Reform: The Battle for New York Schools

September 3, 2014
New York Times
One afternoon this summer, Eva Moskowitz, who runs Success Academy Charter Schools, showed me her senior yearbook. “I was the editor,” she said. We sat in a half-furnished office at the construction site of her charter network’s first high school. A buzz saw shrieked in the background.

Gallup Blog: Blended Learning Can Benefit Students If it is Done Right

September 8, 2014
Gallup
One of the hottest topics in education in recent years has been Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), which deliver all content through the Internet. Depending on who you listened to, it seemed like MOOCs were going to be both the savior and the death of higher education. It turns out they were neither.

Opinion: MARCHAND: Charter schools and school funding

September 8, 2014
Lufkin Daily News
Last week Judge John Dietz issued his final written ruling on what is the latest legal challenge to the system of public school financing in the state of Texas, the sixth such challenge since the 1980s.

Charter Schools Helping Tribes Revive Fading Native Languages

September 9, 2014
Education Week
Preserving indigenous languages and repairing decades of cultural loss is critical to most, if not all, of the nation's tribal communities, and charter schools seem to be playing a notable role in that endeavor.

Grading Teachers, With Data From Class

September 3, 2014
New York Times
Halfway through the last school year, Leila Campbell, a young humanities teacher at a charter high school in Oakland, Calif., received the results from a recent survey of her students.

5 Ways Technology Is Disrupting Education

September 3, 2014
WallStreet Cheat Sheet
In today’s classrooms, stacks of heavy paper textbooks, battered notebooks, and worn-down pencils are giving way to e-readers, tablets, laptops, and a multitude of digital tools, apps, and software that are completely changing the way that students learn. These new tools don’t just change the delivery of the same material, though.

Tens of thousands go to next grade despite Texas law against social promotion

September 3, 2014
Dallas Morning News
AUSTIN — More than 76,000 Texas students in the fifth and eighth grades — about 1 in 10 pupils — were unable to pass the STAAR math or reading tests on the third try this summer. Most were promoted to the next grade only through a loophole in state law.

Rick Hess: Two Schools of 'School Reform:' The Conservative and the Progressive

September 2, 2014
Education Week
Hidy, all. I'm back. My thanks to August's stellar guest bloggers. Meanwhile, I've been working to finish The Cage-Busting Teacher and doing my best to reflect a little. One of the things I've been reflecting on is that a number of people have been asking me (sometimes in a puzzled tone, sometimes in an annoyed one), "Rick, you're a reformer. How can you think X?" I think a lot of the confusion is due to the way "reform" gets defined. As readers know, the education debate today is generally framed as "reformers" v. "anti-reformers."

Harmony charter school nabs Texas STEM designation

August 29, 2014
Community Impact
Harmony School of Political Science and Communication opened in 2011, and already the school has earned the Texas Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Academies designation.

In wake of judge's ruling, uncertainty prevails over school funding

August 30, 2014
Houston Chronicle
AUSTIN - The debate over Texas public school funding will follow an uncertain path in the coming year, as a new slate of leaders decides whether to confront the politically divisive issue or to punt to the state Supreme Court.

State legislator may introduce bill to split up Dallas ISD

September 2, 2014
Dallas Morning News
Frustrated by the slow-moving home-rule effort in Dallas ISD, state Rep. Jason Villalba says he might draft legislation in 2015 that breaks DISD into smaller districts.

Education Post aims to take the sting out of national conversations about school reform

September 1, 2014
The Washington Post
Spend any time on Twitter or in the blogosphere and the national debate about public education quickly resembles a schoolyard brawl, complete with taunts, name-calling and piling on.

Texas Connections Academy, Leading Virtual School, Celebrates First Graduating Class

September 2, 2014
AJ Blog
High school seniors from statewide virtual school make history, celebrate accomplishments with friends, family, teachers and administrators at in-person graduation ceremony.

Texas' new school district rating system gets mixed reviews

September 2, 2014
Dallas Morning News
During the last legislative session, several public school superintendents asked for a rating system that didn’t depend on state STAAR tests. Be careful what you wish for.

Rating teachers not as easy as 1,2,3

September 1, 2014
Politico Pro
The idea seems simple enough: Identify the best teachers and reward them. Pinpoint the worst and fire them.

Texas Leads Nation in Online Higher Education

September 2, 2014
Breitbart Texas
HOUSTON, Texas -- A new study by OnlineColleges.com shows that Texas is the best state for students to receive an online college education.

Public Education Needs a New Conversation

September 1, 2014
Education Post
If parents could ask their leaders for one thing on education this school year, it would be this: stop playing politics with education and work on results. We don’t have time for name-calling and excuses. We just want all of our children to fall in love with learning and have the opportunity to make the most of their potential.

Williams: A new term for school reform

September 1, 2014
The Hill
Here’s Whoopi Goldberg on America’s schools today: “To me, bad teachers don’t do anybody any good. So the unions need to recognize that parents are not going to stand for it anymore.”

Why is Wylie ISD a STAAR star (and pretty much nobody else)?

September 1, 2014
Dallas Morning News
I’ve got a story today that is mostly about the decision of the Texas Education Agency to push higher passing standards for the STAAR tests so far down the road that no prior Texas test has ever lasted that long. And there’s no evidence that scores will go up enough, even with that long delay, so that many Texas kids won’t fail every test. The problem is that the STAAR scores, at least in the first three years, were flat flat flat. And even another seven years doesn’t mean that flat flat flat will change.

New charter school offers alternative approach to education

August 28, 2014
ConnectAmarillo.com
AMARILLO, TEXAS -- Premier High School of Amarillo is a ResponsiveEd®free public charter school offering students a non-traditional approach to education. Responsive Education solutions, the organization behind the Premier High School, has been around for the past 15 years providing educational gateways for students who may find traditional schools challenging or not suitable to their learning needs.

Statesman: State should reconsider some charter school mandates

August 27, 2014
Austin American- Statesman
Every year, American YouthWorks opens its doors to dozens of students who see the charter school as their last hope. Many of them arrive at the school’s doorsteps because of an inability to succeed in traditional high school classrooms or because life obstacles placed the usual academic path out of their reach. The majority come from low-income families.

Virtual schools offer an alternative public education

August 27, 2014
FOXDFW
For about 200 Texas students their school supply list included a computer with high-speed internet, a headset and a microphone. They attend a virtual school.

Space Cadets: STEM Program Gives Students Control of Satellites

August 27, 2014
U.S. News
To spark STEM inspiration, one tech company is reaching for the stars.

Lawmakers grill Texas education chief over STAAR

August 26, 2014
San Antonio Express-News
AUSTIN — In a rare moment of agreement, Dan Patrick and Leticia Van de Putte took a break Tuesday from wrangling over debate dates and policy disputes to grill education officials on the continued feasibility of state testing methods.

How to Get Kids to Class

August 26, 2014
New York Times
ARLINGTON, Va. — FOR the 16 million American children living below the federal poverty line, the start of a new school year should be reason to celebrate. Summer is no vacation when your parents are working multiple jobs or looking for one. Many kids are left to fend for themselves in neighborhoods full of gangs, drugs and despair. Given the hardships at home, poor kids might be expected to have the best attendance records, if only for the promise of a hot meal and an orderly classroom.

Senators to Get Update on State Exam Passing Rates

August 26, 2014
The Texas Tribune
The 2014 results of state standardized exams — and the continued rollout of acomprehensive 2013 law that changed high school graduation requirements — will again be the focus of discussion Tuesday at a Senate Education Committee hearing.

Gloria Romero: Take conflict out of 'Parent Trigger' law

August 25, 2014
Orange County Register
On a recent sunny afternoon, mothers gathered in an apartment complex near the Happiest Place on Earth – Disneyland.

Opinion: Do education reformers have to take an impersonal approach?

August 22, 2014
The Washington Post
Do education reformers rely on “impersonal” solutions, as a recent New York Times op-ed by David L. Kirp argues? Not from what I’ve seen in the District. Teachers care about students, but the effects of their caring are hard to measure. And caring may not be enough.

Education Department to Give Schools Leeway on Test Scores

August 21, 2014
Wall Street Journal
In a conciliatory move to appease opponents of recent testing policies, the U.S. Department of Education will give some states leeway in tying teacher evaluations to students' test scores for the coming school year.

Efforts to Raise Teacher Certification Standards Falter

August 22, 2014
The Texas Tribune
A billboard that periodically springs up along Texas highways asks two questions: Want to teach? When can you start?

McKinney charter school opens academic year as International Baccalaureate World School

August 22, 2014
Dallas Morning News
Julia Brady stands in a hallway beneath rows of international flags strung from the ceiling.

Longtime educator returns to West Texas

August 22, 2014
Standard-Times
SAN ANGELO, Texas - Amid eye-searing Hatch chili factories in the farming community of Arrey, New Mexico, Tonya McDonald assumed her first principal role at the ripe age of 27.

State shuts down Austin charter school

August 23, 2014
Houston Chronicle
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The state has closed an Austin charter school that worked with students who dropped out of high school or were risk for doing so.

Efforts to Raise Teacher Certification Standards Falter

August 22, 2014
The Texas Tribune
A billboard that periodically springs up along Texas highways asks two questions: Want to teach? When can you start?

Charters Push Back Against Measure on School Closures

August 7, 2014
The Texas Tribune
In 2013, when Texas passed its first overhaul of charter school policy since 1995 — the year the publicly funded but privately operated schools were first established in the state — lawmakers included a provision intended to speed the shuttering of poor-performing schools.

Charter school announces red ribbon-cutting ceremony for new lab

August 20, 2014
Lewisville Leader
iSchool High STEM Academy will be hosting a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at building located at 1800 Lakeway Drive for their new iFab Lab. iSchool High STEM Academy launched a “Donate to Innovate” campaign in May to raise funds to build a state-of-the-art Makerspace called the iFab Lab (Innovation Fabrication Laboratory).

Opinion: The Trouble With Tenure

August 18, 2014
New York Times
DENVER — Mike Johnston’s mother was a public-school teacher. So were her mother and father. And his godfather taught in both public and private schools.

The Public Turns Against Teacher Tenure

August 19, 2014
The Wall Street Journal
It's back-to-school season, but teacher tenure has been a hot topic since summer began. In June a California court ruled that the state's tenure and seniority laws are unconstitutional in Vergara v. State of California. Minority students have filed a similar case in New York, with more to come elsewhere.

40 Percent Of Texas Graduates Took ACT

August 20, 2014
CBSDFW
AUSTIN (AP) - A report from the organization that produces the ACT college entrance exam says about 40 percent of Texas’ graduating class this year took the test.

Americans Wary of Federal Influence on Public Schools

August 20, 2014
Gallup
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Americans' trust in U.S. leaders has slipped amid partisan gridlock that has led to federal government inaction on pressing issues at home and abroad. Americans' weak confidence in the federal government extends to issues surrounding public education.

IDEA Allan starts year with 940 students, hundreds on waiting list

August 18, 2014
KXAN
AUSTIN (KXAN) — They parted ways with the Austin Independent School District a couple of school years ago, but the breakup is not slowing down IDEA Allan.

Smart Use of Benchmark Tests is One Way to Mend, but Not End School Accountability

August 18, 2014
Real Clear Education
One inescapable reality from the era of school accountability, whose roots go back at least to the 1980s, is that students were improving - they began doing better on tests in core subjects like reading and math. Long-term trend data on the National Assessment of Educational Progress shows that African American and Hispanic nine-year olds gained the equivalent of one-and-a-half to two grade levels in reading from 1999 to 2008.

Texas Virtual Academy Students Log in August 25th to Start School Year

August 18, 2014
Texas Virtual Academy
LEWISVILLE, Texas, Aug. 18, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Texas Virtual Academy, a public online school serving students in grades 3-12, will have hundreds of students returning to school Monday, August 25 – without ever leaving their homes.

Central Texas charter schools outperform peers as enrollment soars

August 17, 2014
Austin American-Statesman
Austin-area charter schools outperformed their peers statewide in accountability ratings released this month, with fewer failing than the state average.

Hammond: Don’t believe numbers — Texas students aren’t meeting standards

August 11, 2014
Austin American-Statesman
Summer is coming to an end, and school is starting again. There is always hope at the start of a new school year for students and parents alike. Hope for a better year than last and hope for new successes.

LAUSD says it's not subject to state's 'parent trigger' law this year

August 15, 2014
LA Times
A controversial state law permitting parents to petition for sweeping changes in failing schools cannot be used this year in Los Angeles Unified, district officials decided.

Opinion: The Truth About Charter Schools

August 14, 2014
Wall Street Journal
National Alliance for Public Charter Schools President and CEO Nina Rees debunks common myths about charter schools. Photo credit: Associated Press.

Dept. of Education Awards Texas $3 Million Grant to Pay for AP Tests for Low-Income Students

August 12, 2014
NBCDFW
The U.S. Department of Education announced Tuesday that Texas has been awarded more than $3 million in grants to help low-income students pay for advanced placement tests.

IDEA schools ace accountability ratings

August 14, 2014
The Brownsville Herald
IDEA Public Schools outperformed statewide and district results for the 2013-2014 school year in every district where they operate, accountability ratings released last week by the Texas Education Agency show.

Rhode Island‘s Blended Approach to Blended Learning

August 14, 2014
Learning Accelerator
Sometimes, educational innovations are top-down af- fairs—policymakers at the federal or state level adopt regulations that eventually filter down to local schools. Other times, innovations that start in school buildings gradually work their way up to the level of policy.

In the accountability ‘Twilight Zone’

August 13, 2014
Star-Telegram
The new Texas public school accountability system will take a while to get used to.

AISD Accountability: Good News and Bad

August 14, 2014
The Austin Chronicle
Good news for Austin ISD: 70 of its schools earned a total of 205 Distinction Designations from the Texas Education Agency under the new accountability system. Now hands up if you have any idea what that means.

Charter Schools Booming in Arlington

August 12, 2014
NBCDFW
By Tim Ciesco A growing number of families are turning to charter schools, because they feel their children aren't being challenged enough in public schools.

YES Prep at Northbrook Middle School names new program director

August 13, 2014
Houston Chronicle
Texas native Jeremy Jones has been named new director of the YES Prep at Northbrook Middle School program.

New charter school aims to be inspiration

August 12, 2014
San Antonio Express-News
By Joni Simon On Aug. 25, 150 students will continue their education at a school totally different from any they've ever attended.

Digital Learning Makes Rewards Fun, Effective

August 12, 2014
The American Thinker
By Herbert J. Walberg & Joseph L. Bast Children today are much more comfortable using information technology than are those of previous generations. Many grow up playing video games offering strong visual and audio stimulation, instant feedback on decisions, and nonfinancial rewards for achievement, such as winning competitions, accumulating points, and being able to move to the next level of a game.

TEXAS VIEW: TEA must find better way

August 12, 2014
Midland Reporter-Telegram
By Midland Reporter-Telegram The Texas Education Agency released its accountability ratings last week, and for the 2013-14 school year, Midland ISD was rated as having “met standards.” While we would have liked to report that all of the district’s 35 campuses were rated as having met standards, that’s not so.

Several area schools improve state accountability ratings

August 10, 2014
news-journal.com
By Bridget Ortigo Several Longview-area school districts and campuses saw an improvement in state accountability ratings released Friday by the Texas Education Agency.

Editorial: School transformation in Midland is taking place right now

August 2, 2014
Midland Reporter-Telegram
The past three Sundays, Education reporter Tessa Duvall has offered reports on the choice of schools offered in Midland. Private, charter, public school -- you name it; Midland probably has it. For a city our size, Midland likely has more choices than just about any community in Texas.

D.C. charters deserve the same funding as traditional public schools

August 4, 2014
The Washington Post
By Editorial Board A STUDY by the D.C. government examining how public money is appropriated to students in the city’s traditional and charter schools concluded there were great disparities between the two sectors. Not only is this unfair but, as the study determined, it is “contrary to D.C. law.”

Achievement Improves in New Orleans Schools, Challenges Remain, Says Report

August 6, 2014
Education Week
By Denisa R. Superville In the nearly 10 years since Hurricane Katrina flooded New Orleans, the school system has undergone a series of dramatic changes, chief among them the decentralizing of the school system in which 91 percent of the children now attend charter schools.

Amarillo welcomes new charter school to area

August 7, 2014
News Channel 10
Amarillo, TX - A new charter school in Amarillo is aimed to help struggling students find education past high school.

Dallas ISD tops HISD in graduation rate

August 6, 2014
Houston Chronicle
By Ericka Mellon As we reported Tuesday, the Texas Education Agency released the state’s graduation rate for the Class of 2013 — 88 percent. Looking back, the state’s rate has risen 7.4 points over the last five years — steady progress, yet it has started to slow. For the Class of 2012, the graduation rate was 87.7 percent, about the same as for the 2013 class (though the TEA and Gov. Rick Perry touted a record-breaking rate).

Charters Push Back Against Measure on School Closures

August 7, 2014
The Texas Tribune
By Morgan Smith In 2013, when Texas passed its first overhaul of charter school policy since 1995 — the year the publicly funded but privately operated schools were first established in the state — lawmakers included a provision intended to speed the shuttering of poor-performing schools.

Sibling's Blended Schools Network Division K-12 Content Now Available on Gooru

August 6, 2014
Wall Street Journal
AUSTIN, TX--(Marketwired - Aug 6, 2014) - Sibling Group Holdings, Inc. (OTCQB: SIBE), (www.siblinggroup.com) (the "Company"), an educational technology holding company, announced today that its Blended Schools Network ("BSN") division is offering the first unit of each of their K-12 online courses on Gooru, which is the most widely used Open Education Resource (OER) for educators from around the world.

Statesman: Hold Charter Schools Accountable

August 5, 2014
Austin American-Statesman
By Editorial Board Taxpayers rightfully expect accountability from the institutions they pay for. Charter schools are not exceptions.

Does Student Attrition Explain KIPP’s Success?

August 6, 2014
Education Next, Fall 2014
By Ira Nichols-Barrer, Brian P. Gill, Philip Gleason and Christina Clark Tuttle The Knowledge Is Power Program (KIPP) is a network of charter schools designed to improve the educational opportunities available to low-income families. KIPP schools seek to boost their students’ academic achievement and ultimately prepare them to enroll and succeed in college.

Texas Posts Top High School Graduation Rates, Again

August 5, 2014
The Texas Tribune
Texas education officials once again announced top high school graduation rates on Tuesday, reporting that 88 percent of public school students in the class of 2013 received a diploma within four years.

Explaining the Texas public school accountability rating system? Good luck with that…

August 5, 2014
The Dallas Morning News
Last night, I attended the Richardson ISD board meeting. I was there because Elvia Noriega, the district’s champion data analyst, was briefing the board on the accountability ratings that will be issued statewide on Friday. I figured I could use the refresher. At the end of her briefing, a couple of board members asked how the district planned to explain the results to the public in a way that would make the ratings understandable. At one point they looked over at me and suggested I’d be able to help them do that.

High-tech learning is no easy A

August 5, 2014
The Texas Tribune
My nine brothers and sisters and the 25 foster children who rotated through our house when I was growing up made for a diverse, sometimes crazy household. There was a lot of love to go around, but not a lot of experience in navigating higher education. If it wasn’t for the faculty and staff at a local community college who helped and challenged me early on, I doubt I’d have earned a bachelor’s degree, much less a Ph.D.

More on Computer Programming: Train Kids Early

August 5, 2014
Wall Street Journal Blog
Starting this September, every single K-12 student in Great Britain will start taking classes in computer programming. That is, kids at the age of five will take programming, and they won’t stop until they’re 16 at least. A majority of these children will be using the free online learning platform Codecademy, says co-founder Zach Sims. Ditto France, Estonia and Buenos Aires.

New high school graduation marks set by Class of 2013

August 5, 2014
Texas Education Agency
AUSTIN – Commissioner of Education Michael Williams announced today that the Texas high school on-time graduation rate has set another all-time high, reaching 88 percent for the Class of 2013.

TWO-IN-THREE AMERICANS SEE THE NEED FOR MAJOR EDUCATION REFORM

August 1, 2014
Public Opinion Strategies
With recent data revealing near record-low levels of confidence in the public school system, it is no surprise that in the June NBC/Wall Street Journal survey a majority of Americans indicate that they would like to see education reforms.
With recent data revealing near record-low levels of confidence in the public school system, it is no surprise that in the June NBC/Wall Street Journal survey a majority of Americans indicate that they would like to see education reforms.

Texas teachers, principals ignore survey ordered by Legislature

August 3, 2014
Dallas Morning News
AUSTIN — The Legislature and the Texas Education Agency tried to survey the state’s teachers and principals about their classrooms and learning environment. But the effort has been largely ignored, and some educators see a silent protest at work
AUSTIN — The Legislature and the Texas Education Agency tried to survey the state’s teachers and principals about their classrooms and learning environment. But the effort has been largely ignored, and some educators see a silent protest at work.

Charter Schools Gain Ground in Austin

August 4, 2014
Austin American-Statesman
It is no coincidence that more than half of Austin’s charter schools are located east of Interstate 35, near some public schools with a history of low performance, and only one exists west of MoPac Boulevard. Several charter-school operators target underserved students and their families and have carved out a niche in Austin by promoting individualized learning, magnet-like schools and smaller class sizes.
It is no coincidence that more than half of Austin’s charter schools are located east of Interstate 35, near some public schools with a history of low performance, and only one exists west of MoPac Boulevard. Several charter-school operators target underserved students and their families and have carved out a niche in Austin by promoting individualized learning, magnet-like schools and smaller class sizes.

BISD will pilot teacher appraisals

August 4, 2014
Burleson Star
The Burleson ISD will play a significant role in the state's review of performance appraisals in the evaluation of new teachers.
The Burleson ISD will play a significant role in the state's review of performance appraisals in the evaluation of new teachers. "The state is very much building this plane as we fly it," said BISD associate superintendent Dr. Jerry Hollingshead.

Charters Outperform Public Schools in Cost Effectiveness and Return on Investment

August 1, 2014
National Center for Policy Analysis
Researchers at the University of Arkansas' Department of Education Reform have produced a report on the productivity of public charter schools: Do people get more "bang for their buck" from charters than from traditional public schools, the study asks? The six researchers who conducted the study said yes: the average charter school outperforms the traditional public school both in terms of cost effectiveness and return on investment.

Prime Prep Academy appeals charter revocation to Texas Education Agency

July 30, 2014
Dallas Morning News
By Jeff Mosier Prime Prep Academy formally requested an appeal Wednesday of the Texas Education Agency’s effort to revoke the school’s charter.

20 Years of KIPP: Lessons for Success in Public Education

July 30, 2014
Forbes
By Daniel R. Porterfield, Ph.D. This week, we celebrate the 20th anniversary of the education reform equivalent of the Big Bang: Dave Levin and Mike Feinberg’s creation of the Knowledge Is Power Program (KIPP) for 47 Houston fifth-graders in 1994.

Education Reform in 2014

July 30, 2014
Thomas B. Fordham Institute
By Chester E. Finn, Jr. On August 1, Chester E. “Checker” Finn, Jr., will step down from his role as founding president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, passing the baton to Michael J. Petrilli, Fordham’s longtime executive vice president. Finn will remain on staff as a distinguished senior fellow and president emeritus. Here is his “farewell address” as president.

Parent unions: Trigger laws spawn new parent empowerment tool

July 30, 2014
The Butler County Times-Gazette
By Eric Schulzke By any measure, the elementary school in West Athens, California, was a mess.

District-Charter Texas Two-Step

July 29, 2014
Center on Reinventing Public Education
By Robin Lake You may have caught John Merrow’s PBS show featuring a Texas school district’s interesting partnership with KIPP and YES Prep! charter schools. Today in Education Next, Richard Whitmire highlights the same district and other district-charter "compacts."

Margaret Spellings: School Accountability

July 30, 2014
Huffington Post
By Margaret Spellings There are two inescapable realities facing American education: the growing diversity of the nation's students and the unrelenting demand for jobs that require employees to solve problems, innovate and adapt.

New law speeds closure of troubled charter schools

July 29, 2014
Houston Chronicle
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The number of troubled charter schools that are forced to close is accelerating because of a new state law that makes it easier to shutter poorly performing ones.

Inside Successful District-Charter Compacts

July 28, 2014
Education Next
By Richard Whitmire Not far from the heart of Houston, unlikely alliance between a school district and nearby charter schools is bringing the best of both worlds to area students. As with most breakthroughs, the catalyst was simple curiosity. Duncan Klussmann, superintendent of schools for the Spring Branch school district, wondered just what was going on in those high-performing charter schools peppered around Houston, where both YES Prep and KIPP (Knowledge Is Power Program) operated several schools. Did they know something he needed to know?

We Must Relentlessly Fight For Education Reform

July 28, 2014
Huffington Post
By Jean-Claude Brizard I was cleaning out my garage recently and came across a report titled "Left Behind: A Report of the Education Committee." The Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago published the document in 2003. The report was one of many artifacts that I received as CEO of the school district as part of our strategic planning exercise in the spring of 2011. It is always important to understand what has been communicated, attempted and accomplished because system leaders almost always stand on the shoulders of giants.

Success of Recovery School District considered at national conference

July 28, 2014
NOLA.com
By Danielle Dreilinger State takeover districts have been lauded as the savior of children left behind by inept local school boards -- and derided as anti-democratic fireworks shows that don't address the root causes of poor education. Three panelists took an hour during EWA's National Seminar in Nashville to get beyond the flash and noise and discuss the real challenges of state school takeovers, a process all acknowledged is disruptive.

Texas law that speeds shutdown of troubled charter schools is put to the test

July 28, 2014
Dallas Morning News
By Jeff Mosier and Holly K. Hacker A new law designed to make it easier to close down chronically troubled charter schools is getting its first tests this year.

Teacher Tenure Lawsuits Spread From California To New York

July 28, 2014
Texas Public Radio
By Anya Kamenetz Why are so many low-income and minority kids getting second-class educations in the U.S.?

Poor Students in High-Performing Public Charter Schools Less Likely To Display Risky Behaviors: Study

July 28, 2014
University Herald
By Stephen Adkins Low-income minority adolescents enrolled in California's high-performing public charter high schools are less likely to engage in risky health behaviors, according to a new study by the University of California - Los Angeles.

Charter schools on the rise in Midland

July 27, 2014
Midland Reporter-Telegram
By Tessa Duvall Charter schools are taking an interest in Midland, and Midlanders are reciprocating that interest in a big way.

Why Do "Anti-Corporatists" Defend Factory-Style School Leadership?

July 28, 2014
Education Week
By Rick Hess Amidst the summer lull, I've spent a bunch of time over the last month or two talking about "cage-busting" to school and system leaders in a bunch of districts, state gatherings, and university programs. By "cage-busting," I mean finding ways to rethink the web of rules, regulations, contracts, and routines that have accreted over the past century, and to shrug off the self-imposed cage created by urban myths, professional norms, and a "culture of can't." I argue that cage-busting is a necessary (if insufficient) step to escape factory-style bureaucracy and ensure that time, talent, technology, and money are used in ways more likely to promote great teaching and learning.

Improving STEM graduation rates will boost Texas economy

July 25, 2014
Midland Report-Telegram
By M. Ray Perryman For sustained economic growth, a strong presence in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields is essential. Industries and occupations focused in these areas generate many of the innovations which improve productivity across the workforce. They are essential to the modern business complex.

Five reasons districts should love Course Access

July 24, 2014
Clayton Christensen Institute
By Michael B. Horn As Course Access programs, in which students have access to publicly funded courses of their choice across a range of providers held accountable for results, proliferate across the country, gauging the success of these statewide programs will be difficult because of how districts are likely to respond, as I wrote a few weeks back.

New law saves Texas charter schools millions

July 25, 2014
Houston Chronicle
By Jennifer Radcliffe A new law — House Bill 885 — that enables the Permanent School Fund to back charter school bonds has already saved KIPP Houston an astounding $10 million in financing charges.

Work together

July 24, 2014
Houston Chronicle
A child's nightmare: A popular kid moves in across the street and you have to watch the goings-on that you are not invited to. This August, KIPP Connect, a new $25 million school building, at 6700 Bellaire Blvd., will open across the street from Jane Long Academy, built in the late 1950s.

Texas Delays Rollout of New Teacher Evaluations

July 23, 2014
The Texas Tribune
By Morgan Smith Texas will take an additional year to pilot a controversial new state teacher evaluation system, Education Commissioner Michael Williams told federal education officials Wednesday.

State seeks extra year to test new teacher evaluation system

July 23, 2014
Houston Chronicle
By Lauren McGaughy and Ericka Mellon AUSTIN - Texas needs an extra year to try out its new system for evaluating teachers, delaying any statewide use until fall 2016, Education Commissioner Michael Williams told federal officials Wednesday.

Texas asking for more time on teacher evaluations

July 23, 2014
San Antonio Express-News
By Lauren Mcgaughy AUSTIN — Texas needs an additional year to pilot its first new teacher evaluation method in 17 years, Commissioner of Education Michael Williams told federal officials Wednesday.

Renaissance needed in state education model

July 22, 2014
Houston Chronicle
By Susan Combs and Harrison Keller In an information-driven society, nothing is more important to our long-term economic success than a well-educated, well-trained workforce.

In Houston, traditional public school shares ideas and a roof with charter schools

July 22, 2014
PBS
JUDY WOODRUFF: Now a U.S. education story with a twist. Relations between charter schools and traditional public schools have often been hostile, and that’s become a more intense problem in recent years. About 4 percent of U.S. students attend about 5,000 charter schools.

High-Performing Charter Schools May Improve Students' Health

July 21, 2014
Texas Public Radio
By Patti Neighmond Many people are intensely interested in how publicly funded charter schools affect children, and that includes not just their academic achievement but their health.

What Can We Learn From Charters? Same Thing We Can Learn From Magnets.

July 21, 2014
Dallas Magazine
By Eric Celeste I went to a crappy public high school in Tulsa, Oklahoma. (Go Cardinals!) During those three years, I also held a full-time job, meaning I missed a lot of school to sleep. By the end of my senior year, I had been absent 101 days of 10th-12th grade. I’d missed so much school that the administrations threatened to withhold my degree. The problem: I had a GPA over 4.0. I was a manifestation of what we all knew to be true: My high school was easy, filled with well-meaning but poor instructors.

Report Finds U.S. Schools Rank Below Average in Innovation

July 17, 2014
U.S. News
By Caroline Porter The U.S. ranks below average when it comes to innovation in primary and secondary schools, while countries such as Denmark, Indonesia and South Korea top the charts, according to an international report released on Thursday.

Why Are Teachers Unions So Opposed to Change?

July 20, 2014
The Wall Street Journal
By Antonio Villaraigosa President John F. Kennedy said, "Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future." This message has apparently been lost on some people in our teachers unions who used their recent national conventions in Los Angeles and Denver to argue against desperately needed changes in our public schools.

State PTA hears from Abbott, Davis

July 19, 2014
Houston Chronicle
By Patrick Svitek The gubernatorial candidates pitched their education proposals Saturday to the Texas Parent-Teacher Association, broadly agreeing in separate speeches that Texas has room to improve.

EDITORIAL: Charter school trips, like charters themselves, need balance

July 21, 2014
beaumontenterprise.com
By Enterprise editorial staff The Texas Board of Education is divided about as sharply as the Legislature along partisan lines, but it was good to see the board vote unanimously last week to allow its members to take privately-funded trips to see such schools in other states. The board's 10 Republicans and 5 Democrats feel that the trips could be beneficial, especially to review charter schools in other states that want to expand into Texas.

Williams Discusses Decision to Approve Charter

July 16, 2014
The Texas Tribune
By Morgan Smith Speaking to members of the State Board of Education on Wednesday, Texas Education Commissioner Michael Williams said that when he approved an Arizona-based charter school's expansion into the Dallas area, he was following the spirit of a 2013 law intended to encourage high-quality charter operators to come to the state.

Competency-Based Learning Provides Perks for Online Students

July 11, 2014
U.S. News and World Report
By Devon Haynie Imagine going to school in an online environment separate from any time requirements – where you could test out of a course in a day if you proved you mastered the content.

UTPB STEM Academy working out final details

July 16, 2014
Midland Reporter-Telegram
By Tessa Duvall ODESSA — The “unique” nature of the STEM Academy at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin continues to become more apparent as the school is nearing the beginning of its first year.

Teachers group loses a round in Dallas ISD home-rule case

July 15, 2014
Dallas Morning News
By Tawnell D. Hobbs The Alliance-AFT teachers association has been denied temporary relief by an appeals court while it seeks to rescind the appointment of four teachers to Dallas ISD’s home-rule commission.

Leander charter school to open in August

July 16, 2014
Community Impact Newspaper
By Stephen Burnett Founders Classical Academy staffers have been working to recruit parents, enroll students and order supplies for the Aug. 25 opening of Leander’s first full-time classical charter school.

Charter Approval in Crosshairs at SBOE Meeting

July 16, 2014
The Texas Tribune
By Morgan Smith After the approval of an Arizona-based charter school’s expansion into the Dallas area, the role of the state’s education chief in the charter school application process is under scrutiny.

Longview University Center to house charter campus

July 15, 2014
news-journal.com
By Bridget Ortigo A charter school offered by the University of Texas at Tyler will soon have a new building on the Longview University Center campus.

Opinion: How D.C. got to be an education hot spot

July 11, 2014
Washington Post
By Richard Whitmire The news this month that D.C. Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson dispatched her principals to recruit students in house-to-house canvassingsounds like a declaration of war with the charter schools. What if they bump up against charter principals doing the same thing — clipboard duels at 20 yards?

Abbott, Davis & Van De Putte Court Texas Educator Vote

July 14, 2014
Texas Public Radio
Three of the four candidates vying for the top two offices in Texas spent the day in Austin last Thursday laying out each of their visions for public education at an teachers conference in Austin. Republican lieutenant governor nominee Dan Patrick was invited but declined the invitation.

Panel advances parent trigger bill in Tenn. House

March 19, 2014
Fox 13 News
A proposal that would allow parents to decide the fate of a struggling school is advancing in the House.

Boston: Schools choose adults over kids: Column

July 10, 2014
USA Today
If you know anything about Boston you've heard of Roxbury, Dorchester and Mattapan, some of the city's toughest neighborhoods. That's where Brooke Charter Schools operates three K-8 schools. Despite that, Brooke students turn in startling results.

As Teacher Pay Lags, Attrition and Class Size Grow

July 11, 2014
Texas Tribune
Stacked up against other states, Texas public schools could win the best-bang-for-your-buck competition. The state has consistently ranked among the bottom five nationally in per-student spending. And even with a growing population of economically disadvantaged and English-language learning students, some academic performance measures are on the upswing.

Advantage Academy Becomes One of the First Charter Schools in Texas to Access Permanent School Fund Guarantee

July 8, 2014
PR Web
Eagle Advantage Schools, Inc., a 5013 non-profit organization which operates Advantage Academy and its three public charter school sites, has become one of the first in Texas to access the Permanent School Fund (PSF) guarantee. Advantage Academy currently has over 1,700 students enrolled in grades pre-kindergarten through 12th grade.

Learning-Disabled Siblings Graduate Thanks To Online Classes

July 1, 2014
KERA News
A brother and sister in their 20s finished high school last month in Richardson even though learning disabilities slowed them down. They got high school degrees by taking online classes at home.

President Obama Asks Teachers for Help With Ed. Policy. What Did They Tell Him?

July 8, 2014
Education Week
What if you got a chance to sit down with the president of the United States and the secretary of education over lunch and tell them where you think the nation is going wrong—and right—when it comes to K-12 policy?

Academic Gains Slowing; No Consensus on Why

July 10, 2014
Texas Tribune
In January 2013, as he stood before an Austin gathering of about 3,000 Texas public school officials, the state’s education commissioner issued a plea.

Vista Academy to open K-2 campus in Midland

July 7, 2014
Midland Reporter-Telegram
A new charter elementary school will open its doors in Midland this fall. Lewisville-based Responsive Education Solutions, which operates more than 65 public charter schools across Texas, is opening a Vista Academy for kindergarten through second grade, said Abilene-based Sue Pond, regional director of operations for ResponsiveEd in West Texas.

DISD home-rule panel starts with rules, questions

July 7, 2014
Dallas Morning News
At their first meeting Monday, the members of Dallas ISD’s home-rule commission were reminded of the serious job they face as they write new rules for governing the district.

Obama highlights push for better skilled teachers

July 7, 2014
Houston Chronicle
President Barack Obama brought forward a new administration effort Monday to place quality teachers in schools that need them the most.

Texas' school reform law of 1984 still touches millions of students

July 6, 2014
Dallas Morning News
Three decades after it became law, the landmark schools package passed by the Legislature in the summer of 1984 still affects Texas children and teachers every day — and fuels ongoing debates about education in the state.

Houston area school districts boast low construction costs

June 30, 2014
Houston Chronicle
The Houston area boasts the lowest school construction costs in Texas at just $135 a square foot, nearly $20 lower than the state average, the Texas Comptroller's Office reported Monday.

UT speaker points to White House effort to empower young men of color

June 27, 2014
Austin American Statesman
Young men of color from across Texas were called upon Friday to close the achievement gap in their communities through education, reducing violence and giving second chances.

TEA Chief Circumvents State Board Charter School Veto

July 2, 2014
Texas Tribune
Texas Education Commissioner Michael Williams has used his waiver authority to effectively overrule a vote by the State Board of Education to deny an Arizona-based charter school's expansion into the Dallas area, according to an email obtained by The Texas Tribune on Wednesday.

D’s and F’s: Irving ISD’s dismal scores on statewide report draw gasps, vows of change

July 2, 2014
Dallas Morning News: Irving Blog
When Children at Risk grades a school from A to F, it considers whether students’ test scores are better or worse than other schools with comparable populations. The nonprofit also considers whether students are improving year after year, no matter how low or high their test scores are to begin with.

Texas schools begin new rating system

July 1, 2014
My Fox Lubbock
Test scores and graduation rates are always under scrutiny. However, a new state law is shifting the focus to other categories. The law now requires school districts to rate their performance at the district and campus level.

What 8 States Are Doing to Build Better Pathways From High School to Careers

July 1, 2014
The Chronicle of Higher Education
Eight states are tackling a growing disconnect between the nation’s education system and its economy by exposing more middle-school and high-school students to jobs, making education relevant to careers, and beefing up alternatives to the four-year college degree, according to a new report from the Pathways to Prosperity Network.

Officials: Kansas City charter school improving

June 30, 2014
Houston Chronicle
A Kansas City charter school that sued the state last year in order to remain open is being praised for improvements it made during the last school year under a new leadership team.

KIPP Schools win coveted Broad Prize

July 1, 2014
Houston Chronicle
Houston-based KIPP schools won a coveted prize Tuesday, as the Broad Foundation named it the best public charter in the nation.

Parents seeking innovative education alternative can learn about virtual public school

June 28, 2014
Atascocita Observer
Texas Connections Academy is offering parents throughout Texas the opportunity to learn more about this highly accountable, high-quality virtual public school during local information sessions.

Students earn academic credit for San Jacinto College in high school

June 26, 2014
Houston Chronicle
The concept of "dual credit" is a hot topic among Texas educators, according to Pamela Campbell, assistant vice chancellor for educational partnerships at San Jacinto College.

Ignite charter school fills career-oriented niche

June 24, 2014
Brownsville Herald
A new welding program at the Ignite Public Schools campus on East Elizabeth Street in Brownsville has students on track to graduate with a high school diploma and a head start on a high-paying career.

Mark Martin of Premier High School Talks About Read More: Mark Martin of Premier High School Talks About Charter

June 26, 2014
KFYO
During Thursday’s edition of Lubbock’s First News on KFYO, Mark Martin of Premier High School told us about his charter school program.

Opinion: America is finally wising up about teacher training

June 20, 2014
Dallas Morning News
By Amanda Ripley In a handful of statehouses and universities across the country, a few farsighted Americans are finally pursuing what the world’s smartest countries have found to be the most efficient education reform ever tried. They are making it harder to become a teacher. Ever so slowly, these legislators and educators are beginning to treat the preparation of teachers the way we treat the training of surgeons and pilots — rendering it dramatically more selective, practical and rigorous.

Graduating Against the Odds

June 23, 2014
US News & World Report
June is graduation season and this year, in particular, it’s nice to take a step back from often contentious debates over Common Core, teacher tenure, school choice and an array of other education reform issues, and recognize those students who have overcome the odds by graduating from high school and being the first in their families to attend college.

Middle School Girls Geek Out On Science At UT Dallas

June 25, 2014
KERA News
About half of the U.S workforce is female, but only 1 in 4 jobs in STEM fields go to women. We checked out a summer camp at the University of Texas in Dallas that aims to get girls excited about science, technology, engineering and math.

Where Teaching Meets Technology

June 26, 2014
Wall Street Journal
Scott Larsen's first assignment in front of a New York City classroom might have daunted even the most experienced educator: Lead a health class for high-school seniors—the day before prom.

Candidates talk school choice, testing at Fort Worth convention

June 26, 2014
Ft. Worth Star-Telegram
The major party candidates for Texas governor, in Fort Worth Thursday to talk to educators, both said they oppose heavy testing, but disagreed on the issue of school choice.

SAT scores drop as more Dallas ISD students take college admissions test

June 23, 2014
Dallas Morning News
The SAT scores for Dallas ISD high-school students fell this year, with only 13.3 percent of them receiving a grade considered to be college ready, according to data obtained by The Dallas Morning News.

SISD students get ready and set to teach

June 21, 2014
East Montgomery County Observer
With the strong success of the Early College High School program at Splendora High School, administrators and program coordinators have been working to add continuing education programs to the curriculum to allow students to get a jump-start on life after graduation.

North Carolina: Betting Big on Personalized Learning

June 18, 2014
Education Week
The sign welcoming travelers to Iredell County, N.C., labels it as "Crossroads of the Future," but that might not be assertive enough for the people living there. The county, home to Iredell-Statesville school district, prides itself on innovation and direct action in responding to the needs of children. The system sees itself as a model for the future, not just a pit stop.

California: Parent Revolution holding a forum to spread the ‘trigger’ word

June 18, 2014
LA School Report
Emboldened by the Vergara v. California ruling, which struck down state teacher tenure and seniority protections last week, Parent Revolution is trying to expand its reach.

WGU Teacher Education Program Ranked Number One by National Council on Teacher Quality

June 18, 2014
Digital Journal
Western Governors University (WGU) Teachers College —parent university of WGU Texas—has earned top honors for its teacher preparation programs from the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ).

Texas does well in teacher training rankings

June 20, 2014
Houston Chronicle
Texas universities took four of the top 10 spots in recent rankings released by the National Council for Teacher Quality. Dallas Baptist, Texas A&M, the University of Houston and the University of Texas all earned spots for their elementary undergraduate programs.

Dallas ISD’s graduation rate climbs to 84 percent

June 17, 2014
Dallas Morning News
Dallas ISD Superintendent Mike Miles announced Tuesday that the district’s graduation rate for the Class of 2013 hit 84 percent, marking six consecutive years of increases.

Schools ranked among best in Austin by Children At Risk

June 18, 2014
Austin American-Statesman
Children At Risk—a nonprofit organization which aims to improve the quality of life for children across Texas through strategic research, public policy analysis, education, collaboration and advocacy—has ranked the Lake Travis school district and each of its campuses among the top schools in the Austin area based on student achievement, campus performance and growth.

Highland Park ISD trying to cope with rapid growth

June 16, 2014
Highland Park ISD Trying to Cope with Rapid Growth
The number of Highland Park ISD parents who say the district’s most critical problem is crowding and class size spiked by nearly 40 percentage points in one year — an apparent reflection of rising student enrollment.

KFDM Learns Judge Has Denied Temporary Injunction To BISD

June 20, 2014
KFDM
AUSTIN/BEAUMONT - Scott Lawrence and Justin Hinton KFDM News has learned an Austin judge denied a Temporary Injunction sought by the Beaumont ISD to block the Texas Education Agency's planned takeover of the district.

Eastfield College receives grant to start career and tech early college high school programs

June 12, 2014
Mesquite News
Eastfield College was named as one of four Texas community colleges to receive state funding to launch new career and technical educational early college high school programs.

Richardson Elementary School Teacher Recognized As A Digital Innovator

June 10, 2014
KERA News
Leslie Hirsh Ceballos is not afraid to use technology in the classroom. She’s so good at it that PBS selected her as one of its 2014 LearningMedia Digital Innovators. The Richardson teacher is one of 100 educators tapped for the year-long professional development program.

Texas Republicans Discuss Education Policy

June 12, 2014
Breitbart
It was an education summit of ideas when key influencers and legislators got together to discuss the future of Texas public education before an enthusiastic room of several hundred delegates during a breakout session at the 2014 Texas state Republican Party convention in Fort Worth on Friday, June 6, 2014.

Lawsuit: Texas' English Language Programs Fall Short

June 10, 2014
Texas Tribune
Texas has failed to properly monitor public school programs intended to help students with language barriers learn English, according to a federal lawsuit brought by a Hispanic legal advocacy group Tuesday.

Using Entrepreneurship to Transform Student Work

June 9, 2014
Edutopia
As my colleagues and I were building curriculum for our ninth grade project-based program, we found that most of our conversations centered not on potential projects themselves, but rather on building student self-motivation and self-mastery. We realized that our program's measure of success was whether the students learned to take charge of their own learning and find a joy in it.

Mercury News editorial: Vergara decision quantifies the harm done by inadequate teachers

June 12, 2014
San Jose Mercury News
Tuesday's decision by a Los Angeles judge finding the state's teacher tenure and discipline laws unconstitutional was a concise summation of the obvious. You'd think people would be up in arms to demand change. But this is California, and that's not how we roll.
Tuesday's decision by a Los Angeles judge finding the state's teacher tenure and discipline laws unconstitutional was a concise summation of the obvious. You'd think people would be up in arms to demand change. But this is California, and that's not how we roll.

Teacher Tenure Ruling in California Is Expected to Intensify Debate

June 11, 2014
New York Times
The landmark court decision on Tuesday finding California’s teacher tenure laws unconstitutional is likely to lead to a flood of copycat lawsuits in other states, shifting the battleground on the issue from the legislatures to the courts.
LOS ANGELES — The landmark court decision on Tuesday finding California’s teacher tenure laws unconstitutional is likely to lead to a flood of copycat lawsuits in other states, shifting the battleground on the issue from the legislatures to the courts.

Gaps in Texas STAAR exam scores widen among races, income levels

June 8, 2014
Dallas Morning News
If STAAR results are any measure, Texas is failing its lowest-performing students. Despite government-mandated programs for many thousands of test-challenged kids, three years of scores show no benefit.

HISD to change how it grades teachers again

June 5, 2014
Houston Chronicle
HISD Superintendent Terry Grier confirmed this week that the district plans to lower the emphasis given to students’ test scores in evaluating teachers, a move that follows three years of criticism by teacher groups.

First class: Alamo Colleges high school program celebrates first graduation ceremony

June 5, 2014
New Braunfels Herald Zeitung
For Alamo Colleges-Memorial Early College High School in New Braunfels, Thursday marked a major milestone for the new school — the first graduating class walked across the stage to receive their diplomas.

College completion rates rising across Texas

June 4, 2014
Houston Chronicle
Which county in the Houston area produces the largest percentage of college grads? TexasTribune.org has compiled the completion rates for every county in the state for students who started eighth grade in 2001 and are in their mid-20s now.

California School 'Parent Trigger' Deemed 'Historic' Step in Power Movement: 5 Questions

May 23, 2014
Real Clear Education
A group of California parents are set to announce a deal this afternoon with the Los Angeles Unified School District to bring changes to their school, West Athens Elementary. The resolution marks one of just a handful of victories in the movement for parental power in schools.

Vista Academy charter pursuing Midland school

June 3, 2014
Midland Reporter-Telegram
Midland parents may soon have another option for kindergarten through sixth grade if demand is high enough.

HCC to start 2 early college high schools

June 2, 2014
Houston Chronicle
Houston area high school students hoping to get a jump on college will have more options to earn credit before graduating. Houston Community College is set to launch two new early college high schools with new state grant funding announced Monday.

First-year program curbs ‘summer melt’ for high school grads

June 1, 2014
Austin American-Statesman
Months after he was accepted into college, Josue Rios was still grappling with whether to go. Having spent his high school days working construction or busing tables, leaving home for college meant one less income to help his family pay the monthly rent.

Dallas School Board Starts Process to Pick Charter Commission

May 30, 2014
KERA News
With the clock ticking, the Dallas school board Friday afternoon began the process of picking those who will write the new home-rule charter that could change how the district is run. The task may seem simple, but isn’t.

Iowa: Students able to earn high school, college credit

June 1, 2014
Houston Chronicle
Sparks cascaded around Conner Troy's outstretched feet in a high school classroom. With meticulous focus, Troy cut metal with a welding torch's flame time and again to sharpen his skills. A desire for challenge brought the Dubuque Senior High School senior to the school's oxyacetylene welding concurrent course. Taught with the same rigor as a Northeast Iowa Community College course by a college-approved teacher, the class allowed Troy to receive college credit for free while still a high-schooler.

Top issue for Hispanics? Hint: It’s not immigration

June 2, 2014
Pew Research
A broad overhaul of the nation’s immigration laws has been debated and discussed among policy makers for a dozen years, but Congress has yet to pass a bill. Last month, several Hispanic advocacy leaders criticized the president for policies that have contributed to the more than three million immigrants deported since 2004. Yet now, some Latino leaders are wondering if immigration reform is perhaps “crowding out other issues facing the Latino community.”

Early College High School Students Earn College Degrees

May 27, 2014
Tarrant County College News
When Madison White was in the eighth grade, just four years ago, she began the biggest challenge of her life. It’s one that has paid off. White made history recently by being among the first students in Tarrant County to earn her Associate of Arts from Tarrant County College before receiving her high school diploma.

An Unusual Pairing: In This Texas District, Public School Kids Mix With Charter School Kids

May 29, 2014
KERA News
Public schools and charter schools often have relationships that range from wary to downright hostile. But in the Spring Branch school district, covering parts of Houston, they’re co-existing -- in the same buildings. Could this unusual partnership be a model for North Texas?

Early college experience opens doors for Splendora ISD students

May 27, 2014
The Montgomery County Observer
Splendora Independent School District administrators and educators have been working diligently to inspire high school students to take part in the Splendora Early College High School program that has grown continuously in recent years.

Opinion: The Texas Miracle depends on our students

May 26, 2014
TribTalk
By Michael Williams, Raymund Paredes and Andres Alcantar Texas’ economy is still the envy of the nation. The state has added 310,000 jobs across its 11 major industries in the last year. Monthly job growth has remained positive for more than three years. Our unemployment rate is well below the national average and continues to fall.

Virtual school offers info session

May 28, 2014
Valley Morning Star
Texas Connections Academy, a virtual public school for Texas students in grades three to 12, will host an information session for Harlingen students and parents Thursday.

'Cutting edge’ investment

May 28, 2014
Odessa American
New Superintendent Kevin Badgett is completely invested in the new kindergarten through sixth-grade charter school at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin.

In New Orleans, major school district closes traditional public schools for good

May 28, 2014
Washington Post
NEW ORLEANS — The second-graders paraded to the Dumpster in the rear parking lot, where they chucked boxes of old work sheets, notebooks and other detritus into the trash, emptying their school for good.

Video-Opinion: Charter School Honor Roll

May 23, 2014
Wall Street Journal
National Alliance for Public Charter Schools President Nina Rees on a new report on charter school enrollment. Plus, a bipartisan bill to expand choice passes the House.

Dallas ISD trustees approve new evaluation system tying teacher pay to performance

May 23, 2014
Dallas Morning News
Dallas ISD trustees made a major change to the way teachers are paid on Thursday by approving a new evaluation system that ties their pay to performance.

Editorial: Effort to tie teacher pay to performance a good start

May 21, 2014
Dallas Morning News
Teaching is hard work. And teaching poor children of immigrant families is probably one of the most serious career challenges a person could take on. That’s the situation most Dallas Independent School District teachers face day in and day out.

U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan lauds 'courage' of Tennessee amid reform pushback

May 21, 2014
The Tennessean
At multiple stops in Nashville Tuesday, President Barack Obama's top education official showered Tennessee with praise for "controversial but common-sense decisions" he contends are having a profound effect on achievement.

Opinion: New Orleans schools’ success holds lessons for Abbott-Davis race

May 20, 2014
Austin American-Statesman
By Neerav Kingsland I read with puzzled interest Jason Stanford’s commentary earlier this month about so-called privatization reforms in New Orleans’ Recovery School District. As CEO of New Schools for New Orleans — and as someone with no personal or political stake in the Texas race for governor — I feel compelled to respond.

Perry praises Texas' education record during Tuesday morning CNBC appearance

May 20, 2014
Dallas Morning News
Gov. Rick Perry countered criticism of the state's education spending Tuesday by declaring "Texas is second in the nation in graduation rate."

Charter school networks KIPP, IDEA are contenders for $250,000 Broad Prize

May 19, 2014
San Antonio Express-News
IDEA Public Schools, the Rio Grande Valley-based charter operator that began opening schools in San Antonio in 2012 and plans to run 20 campuses here by 2017, is one of three charter management organizations up for a prestigious award from the Broad Foundation that comes with a $250,0000 grant.

US Education Secretary Duncan visits Nashville

May 20, 2014
Houston Chronicle
U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan said Tuesday that 60 years after segregation was outlawed in public schools, civil rights still remains a critical issue in education.

Four US Senators Introduce Charter Schools Act

May 13, 2014
Education News
U.S. Senators Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.); Mark Kirk (R-Ill.); Mary L. Landrieu (D-La.); and Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) have introduced the Expanding Opportunity Through Quality Charter Schools Act, a bill aimed at improving educational opportunities for all U.S. students through the expansion of high quality charter schools; giving assistance to charter schools searching for suitable facilities; and by giving support to the innovation and research needed for continued improvement in the charter sector.

New campus for Harmony Science Academy

May 19, 2014
KGNS
A new campus for a local charter school continues its progress to open before the end of the year.

New charter school finds location near Downtown El Paso, prepares for opening day

May 18, 2014
El Paso Times
With less than four months to go before the start of classes, charter school El Paso Leadership Academy is closing a deal on a property just east of Downtown.

Three Charter School Systems Named Top in Nation, in Running for 2013 Broad Prize for Public Charter Schools

May 15, 2014
PR Newswire
The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation announced today that the top three charter school systems in the running for the 2013 Broad Prize for Public Charter Schools are Achievement First, KIPP Foundation and Uncommon Schools. The three charter systems are up for the top prize of $250,000 for college readiness efforts for their students.

Who Gets to Graduate?

May 15, 2014
New York Times
For as long as she could remember, Vanessa Brewer had her mind set on going to college. The image of herself as a college student appealed to her — independent, intelligent, a young woman full of potential — but it was more than that; it was a chance to rewrite the ending to a family story that went off track 18 years earlier, when Vanessa’s mother, then a high-achieving high-school senior in a small town in Arkansas, became pregnant with Vanessa.

Frisco charter school focuses on leadership principles, continues rapid growth

May 16, 2014
Dallas Morning News
From the time it opened its doors in 2011, Leadership Prep School in Frisco has had more students on its waiting list than on its rolls — and that doesn’t look like it’s going to change any time soon.

Group pushing home rule for Dallas ISD ready to move forward

May 14, 2014
Dallas Morning News
Board members for Support Our Public Schools, a group that wants to turn Dallas ISD into a home-rule charter district, said Wednesday that they have enough signatures on a petition to move the process forward.

Charter School Bill could boost funding for start-up schools in El Paso

May 15, 2014
KFOX 14
A new piece of legislation set to increase funding for charter schools passed the U.S. House on Friday.

Julie Linn: Achievement districts for schools are positive

May 14, 2014
Houston Chronicle
The establishment of an achievement school district in Texas would allow a turnaround team to take over a failing public school after two years, and the idea deserves support.

Garland ISD graduation rates above average

May 13, 2014
Star Local Media
Recently, the National Center for Education Statistics released data showing that the national high school graduation rate reached 80 percent in 2012, the highest number in U.S. history. At that time, the high school graduation rate for Texas students was 87.7 percent.

In Texas, Battle Brewing Over Teacher Evaluation Rules

May 13, 2014
Texas Tribune
When Texas education officials announcedan updated teacher evaluation system in May, it ended a nearly two-year stalemate with the Obama administration and brought the state closer to securing a final waiver from federal No Child Left Behind requirements.

Technology learning poised to take off in New Orleans public schools

May 14, 2014
The Times-Picayune
The digital bell sounds, and students at Arthur Ashe Charter School in New Orleans' Gentillyneighborhood file into the classroom. They sit down and immediately get to work: Put on headphones, pull up the Internet browser, click into their program, choose "math."

Reading Report Shows American Children Lack Proficiency, Interest

May 12, 2014
Huffington Post
Although American children still spend part of their days reading, they are spending less time doing it for pleasure than decades ago, with significant gaps in proficiency, according to a report released on Monday.

What Charter Schools Want

May 12, 2014
TribTalk
The debate over public education in Texas has been loud and heated. There’s nothing wrong with that, as long as we debate productively. But we’ve been bogged down in trivial fights that have prevented us from finding real solutions. If we want to set children up for success in the future, we need to think bigger.

Texas Education Agency changes how it grades public schools

May 11, 2014
Dallas Morning News
Most Texas public school students are done with this year’s standardized tests, with school officials awaiting the state accountability ratings. This year’s version will be different from last year’s, and very different from the ones used for several years before that.

Texas teachers face uncertainty over evaluations

May 11, 2014
San Antonio Express-News
Texas' more than 380,000 public school teachers are girding for a tumultuous few years as a new method of grading their performance is expected to generate heated legislative debates and perhaps legal challenges.

House passes bill in support of charter schools

May 9, 2014
Washington Post
The House on Friday passed a bill boosting support for charter schools as part of a GOP-led push to promote school choice.

KISD awaits word on new career/tech high school

May 7, 2014
Kilgore News Herald
In a recent development in Texas education, high school students will earn their high school diplomas while gaining skills in an interest that could become a career.

Nation's Report Card Shows Stagnant Scores For Reading, Math

May 7, 2014
Texas Public Radio
The government released the latest national test scores on Wednesday, and the news isn't good: 12th-graders are headed toward graduation, but many don't have the skills they need to succeed in college or work.

Barbic: Texas school takeover plan can succeed with right approach

May 6, 2014
Houston Chronicle
I read with interest Lisa Falkenberg's recent column on Greg Abbott's proposed Texas Achievement School District: "Not sold on Abbott's school takeover plan" (Page B1, April 24). As a Houston resident for 20 years, the founder and leader of YES Prep for close to 15 years, and currently the superintendent of Tennessee's Achievement School District, I have an informed perspective on how an achievement school district in Texas might work effectively.

Texas Charter School Teacher Announced as Finalist in 2014 National Teaching Award Competition

May 6, 2014
PR Newswire
National parent organization, PublicSchoolOptions.org, today announced Texas Virtual Academy teacher Priscilla Metting has been selected as a national runner up in its annual American Pioneer of Teaching award competition. Now in its fifth year, the annual competition is held to recognize top performing K-12 teachers who work in nontraditional public schools, such as virtual, charter and magnet schools.

Charter chain takes H-E-B school prize

May 3, 2014
Houston Chronicle
The Houston-born KIPP charter school system won a $50,000 prize in H-E-B's annual Excellence in Education Awards Saturday night.

Three CISD schools named best in the country

May 5, 2014
Woodlands Online
Three schools in Conroe ISD were named some of the best in the country. The US News & World Report ranks more than 19,000 schools across the nation. Based on performance in state assessments, college preparation, and how well the students are served across a range of "performance indicators," schools are then awarded gold, silver or bronze medals.

For most teachers, the new Texas evaluation system is not about STAAR

May 6, 2014
Dallas Morning News
As part of the No Child Left Behind waiver process, Texas is obligated to come up with a new teacher evaluation system. Truth to tell, the old one used by most school districts was pretty much useless in that almost every teacher got the same rating. The federal mandate includes a requirement that the state demonstrate that it is “committed to developing, adopting, piloting, and implementing teacher and principal evaluation and support systems that support student achievement….”

WPLN Interview with Chris Barbic, Head of Tennessee's Achievement School District

May 5, 2014
Nashville Public Radio
Chris Barbic, head of Tennessee's Achievement School District on poverty, charter schools, and blowing up public education.

Uplift Education Seniors Achieve 100% College Acceptance for Fifth Consecutive Year

May 1, 2014
PR Web
For the fifth consecutive year, 100% of graduating seniors at Uplift Education, the largest network of free public charter schools in North Texas, have been accepted to college.

Catholic Schools Benefit From Converting to Charter Schools, Study Finds

April 30, 2014
Education Week
Roman Catholic schools that converted from private schools to public charter schools experienced a significant increase in student enrollment, as well as a "meaningful" increase in the percentage of minority students at those schools, finds a recent analysis from the Friedman Foundation, an Indianapolis-based, pro-education choice group.

In New Ranking, Seven Of North Texas' Top 10 High Schools Are In Dallas ISD

April 28, 2014
KERA News
The Texas nonprofit Children At Risk ranked the state’s top schools, and in North Texas, four of the top five high schools are in the Dallas Independent School District. Most are magnet schools.

Graduation Rates Inch Upward, But Achievement Gaps Remain

April 28, 2014
Education Week
The four-year graduation rate in the United States ticked upward slightly during the 2011-12 school year, to a historical high of 80 percent, up from 79 percent in the 2010-11 school year, according to a report released today by the Institute of Education Sciences, the U.S. Department of Education's research arm.

Home-rule leaders have experience with Dallas ISD

April 28, 2014
Dallas Morning News
The five people leading a home-rule initiative for Dallas ISD have been thrust into the spotlight over the controversial proposal. But they aren’t new to the school district.

Supporters Of Home-Rule Proposal Explain Why They Want To Reform Dallas Schools

April 28, 2014
KERA News
Dallas schools could be at a turning point. As officials consider a “home-rule” proposal that would remake the district, here's a look at how the process works and why supporters believe DISD needs it. On Tuesday, we'll report on the arguments against the effort.

New Website to Detail Cost of New Public School Construction

April 29, 2014
KBTX
The Texas Comptroller announced the launch of a new online database (see the link to the right of this article) that detailspublic school construction costs since 2007, which Comptroller Susan Combs says will reportedly give taxpayers more insight into how Texas public school districts have accumulated a third of all outstanding debt issued by local governments.

Florida: A-F Bill Passes on Anniversary of Historic A+ Reforms

April 30, 2014
The Foundation of Excellence in Education
Fifteen years ago, Florida’s A+ Plan for education passed from the Florida Legislature, creating a pathway for student-centered policies that led to education achievements surging upward in the years that followed. Today, the Florida Legislature once again demonstrated its commitment to providing every Florida student with a quality education by passing Senate Bill 1642 to improve Florida’s accountability system. Lawmakers voted to restore focus, clarity and confidence to one of the A+ Plan’s hallmark principles, A-F school grading.

Report: 4 in 5 US high school students graduate; Texas rate above average

April 28, 2014
Lubbock Avalanche-Journal
U.S. public high schools have reached a milestone, an 80 percent graduation rate. Yet that still means 1 of every 5 students walks away without a diploma.

School rankings offer peek at performance

April 26, 2014
Houston Chronicle
With Texas' population boom comes a challenge: how to successfully educate the rising number of students - many of them poor, with first languages other than English - in the state's public schools.

Wermund: Early college high schools a popular trend, successful reform

April 26, 2014
Houston Chronicle
Sophomores at Clear Horizons learn chemistry in a high school classroom, then walk down the hall to do experiments in a college lab.

Texas drops in college attainment rankings

April 23, 2014
San Antonio Express-News
While the percentage of adult Texans with at least a two-year college degree has increased a smidge, the state hasn't kept pace with improvement in other states and still lags behind the national average, according to rankings released this week by the Lumina Foundation.

Opinion: Dallas ISD’s teacher of the year demonstrates winning formula for engaging students

April 21, 2014
Dallas Morning News
By William McKenzie Chatter is the first thing you notice in Josh Newton’s class at Townview High School’s Science and Engineering Magnet. Constant and lively chatter. His 10th-grade calculus students aren’t hamming it up. Rather, they banter back and forth about the work in front of them.

New Arlington Collegiate High School Set to Open in August

April 21, 2014
My Arlington Texas
Arlington ISD and Tarrant County College District officials signed a memorandum of understanding Monday at the TCC Southeast Campus Ballroom creating a new school, the Arlington Collegiate High School at TCC Southeast Campus, which will open in the fall of 2014.

Study: 2 In 5 Americans Earning Degrees After High School

April 22, 2014
NPR
America may have a shot at rejoining the world's most educated nations by 2025, according to a report released Monday by the Lumina Foundation.

Opinion: It’s the college degree that lifts earnings

April 21, 2014
Dallas Morning News
By Dennis Ahlburg A college education is seen as a key to success in America. But more correctly, it is a degree — graduation from college — that is the key. The earnings of workers who complete some college are only slightly higher than those of high school graduates.

House panel urged to create state district for low-rated schools

April 22, 2014
Dallas Morning News
AUSTIN — An education advocacy group that is spending nearly $1 million on legislative races this year told a House committee Tuesday that it favors the creation of a special statewide school district to take over low-performing campuses.

Monarch School's new classroom has net-zero energy use goal

April 21, 2014
Houston Chronicle
Building a completely sustainable classroom was about more than meeting a rare and rigorous construction challenge for the Monarch School.

Khan Academy Launches Blended Learning 101

April 21, 2014
Broad Way World
While online learning continues to grow in popularity, implementation and training for teachers and administrators has unfortunately remained a stumbling block—until now. The Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation and the Silicon Schools Fund are partnering with the world-renown Khan Academy to offer free online content on “High-Quality Blended Learning."

Founding Principles in the Digital Age

April 21, 2014
Wall Street Journal
Something important happened in education last month. The College Board announced a new design for the SAT exam. And in doing so the organization made a commitment that every student who takes the new exam will read a passage from America's founding documents or the great global conversation they inspired. This news was eclipsed by another important announcement: The College Board and Khan Academy—a nonprofit digital education platform—will partner to provide "free, world-class test prep" for the new exam.

Odessa American: New charter school a good thing for Odessa

April 20, 2014
Odessa American
Tuesday’s announcement that a new player was on the horizon to educate elementary students in Odessa is a good thing all the way around.

Texans Can Academies Hits the Charter-School Jackpot, Picking Up an Old Wilmer-Hutchins School Cheaply

April 18, 2014
Dallas Observer
There's a reason you find so many charter schools in decrepit strip centers and old Walmarts. Decent, school-appropriate real estate is hard to come by. When it is available, it's expensive, and charter operators, who don't get facilities funding from the state like public schools do, are often forced to make do with whatever space they can find.

Student group looks to provide reliability and academic support to low-income high school students

April 17, 2014
Daily Texan
During an after-school study session at John H. Reagan Early College High School, students struggled to finish their geography homework because the school wouldn’t allow them to take textbooks home. One student, a senior named Ivan, worked on an Austin Community College application with the help of two UT student mentors, who are members of the student-run group Project Activate. Ivan said he wants to go to art school one day, but he is undocumented. He is looking to his mentors to help him apply to college and for financial aid.

San Antonio ISD to open second early college high school

April 16, 2014
KSAT
The San Antonio Independent School District plans to open its second early college high school this year, giving more students a chance to earn college credit while earning their high school diplomas.

Texas senators voice concern over poor high school test scores

April 15, 2014
Dallas Morning News
AUSTIN — The most difficult high school end-of-course tests have been eliminated, but several senators voiced concern Monday about the poor performance of many students on the five remaining end-of-course exams required for graduation.

How To Reduce Dropouts? It’s All About Building Relationships, Education Expert Says

April 10, 2014
KERA News
The Texas Education Agency says there’s only one program with meaningful effects on reducing dropouts, and it’s Community In Schools. That was reason enough for the Tarrant County branch to bring its founder Bill Milliken to town. He talked to a Fort Worth lunch crowd organized for CIS volunteers and donors.

Life School officials break ground on new high school

April 15, 2014
Waxahachie Daily Light
Varsity cheerleader Courtney Stacy will be one of the first seniors to graduate from Life School’s new high school, in 2016.

UTPB opening K-6 charter school

April 15, 2014
Odessa American
In four months time, the University of Texas of the Permian Basin will start teaching kindergarten through sixth-grade students on campus as part of a science, technology, engineering and math charter school.

Texas Education Agency to take over Beaumont ISD

April 14, 2014
ABC Local
A troubled Southeast Texas school district that has been investigated over its finances and its handling of services to disabled students is being taken over by the Texas Education Agency, officials announced Monday.

Life School becomes first charter school in Texas to access permanent school fund

April 14, 2014
Waxahachie Daily Light
Life School, with over 4,500 students on six campuses, is positioning itself to be the first charter school in Texas to access the Permanent School Fund (PSF) when it sells nearly $100 million tax-exempt and taxable bonds in early May. The PSF is a state-run pool of money that insures bonds sold by public schools. In January, the State Board of Education, which oversees the fund, allowed the fund to back bonds for charter schools, which receive public money and operate independently of traditional public schools.

Looking at the Best Teachers and Who They Teach

April 11, 2014
Center for American Progress
We want to get the best teachers to the students who need them most, but a review of data from the newest teacher evaluation systems show that that is not always what happens. In an analysis of the newest data, we find that in some areas, poor students and students of color are far less likely than others to have expert teachers.

Bush stresses education at core of civil rights

April 10, 2014
Dallas Morning News
Before George W. Bush was an ex-president and a president, he was a governor who talked one afternoon about the issues of race, justice and civil rights.

Bush fears 'soft bigotry of low expectations' is returning

April 10, 2014
San Antonio Express-News
AUSTIN — Former President George W. Bush, citing equal education as central to civil rights, said Thursday that poor and minority children are the ones who suffer when accountability is weakened.

Polling Center: Threading the Needle on Education

April 10, 2014
Texas Tribune
The trench warfare of the 2014 gubernatorial election has recently turned to education, as Republican Greg Abbott and Democrat Wendy Davis lob proposals and criticisms back and forth. Normally in American politics, education tends to be a reliably Democratic issue. There are certainly exceptions to this rule, as George W. Bush showed with No Child Left Behind in 2000. However, it’s most often the case that if voters are deciding an election based on education, Democrats possess a built-in advantage.

Spellings: Education must remain a civil right

April 9, 2014
Austin American Statesman
On Sept. 17, 2007, members of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s family, along with leaders of President George W. Bush’s administration, gathered to name the U.S. Department of Education in the late Democrat’s honor. Before then, the building was simply known as FB 6, a bureaucratic-sounding term that did nothing to capture the importance of education to our country’s progress.

Three area schools among top five “most challenging” in nation

April 8, 2014
Dallas Morning News
Three Texas schools made the top 10. All three are in North Texas: Uplift Education North Hills Preparatory in Irving was second on the list, and two Dallas Independent School District schools at the Yvonne A. Ewell Townview Center – the School for the Talented and Gifted and the Science and Engineering Magnet – were four and five.

LAUSD outlines plan to spend $837 million on disadvantaged students

April 8, 2014
Los Angeles Times
Disadvantaged students in L.A. Unified stand to benefit from a multimillion-dollar infusion for more tutoring, counselors, English language coaches, nurses, librarians and other support under a budget plan presented Tuesday.

Illinois Charter Onslaught

April 9, 2014
Wall Street Journal
Illinois Governor Pat Quinn faces an election challenge from Republican businessman Bruce Rauner, who has made charter-school expansion a personal and political cause. Democrats in Springfield are trying to kneecap the Republican with a burst of anti-charter legislation. Stuck in the jam is Mr. Quinn, who claims to be a reformer.

Opinion: New appraisals will raise value of DISD superhero teachers

April 3, 2014
Dallas Morning News
By Stacey Hodge Teaching is a noble profession. Those who choose to be educators dedicate their lives to preparing others for their future. Teachers should be valued, respected and rewarded for their good work.

SBOE May Get Private Funds to See Out-of-State Charters

April 8, 2014
Texas Tribune
Charter school operators looking to open campuses in Texas may soon have new help making their case to the elected officials charged with overseeing their expansion into the state.

Why Aren't Minority High School Grads College-Ready?

April 7, 2014
Huffington Post
It seems that graduating from high school is no longer the end goal of P-12 learning -- earning a college degree has replaced it. By 2018, 60 percent of jobs will require a college degree. On Monday, I wrote about the nationwide average high school graduation rate being 80 percent -- which is admirable but also means that at least 1 in 5 kids won't make it to college classes. When you factor in the high school graduates that bypass college completely, it seems that at some point America's workforce will simply not be able to meet the demands of its employers.

Editorial: Texas’ surging school enrollment requires even greater attention to funding needs

April 4, 2014
Ft. Worth Star Telegram
The latest public school enrollment figures, released by the Texas Education Agency this week, show an increase in student population of more than 19 percent during the past 10 years.

Opinion: Texans must prepare for a different Texas

April 4, 2014
San Antonio Express News
By Peter Clark Steve Murdock has worn many hats over the years. Gov. Rick Perry appointed him as the first official state demographer of Texas. He ran the U.S. Census Bureau for President George W. Bush. He now teaches at Rice University.

TEA recommends board of managers take over Beaumont ISD

April 1, 2014
Beaumont Enterprise
In a final report to Beaumont ISD, the Texas Education Agency recommended a board of managers take over the district. The report was sent to Beaumont ISD Superintendent Timothy Chargois as well as the seven trustees on Tuesday afternoon.

Performance Gaps Widen as High-Achieving Students Progress in High School

April 2, 2014
Education Week
New research out today from The Education Trust chronicles the performance of students who start high school as high achievers and finds that students of color and from disadvantaged backgrounds, on average, graduate with lower grades, pass fewer Advanced Placement exams, and don't do as well on the ACT or SAT as their peers from wealthier, white families.

Report: Texas Public School Enrollment Tops 5 Million

April 1, 2014
Texas Tribune
Surpassing the 5 million mark, student enrollment in Texas public schools has hit a new record, according to the Texas Education Agency. And Hispanic enrollment continues to mark the majority.

Bill Aims to Boost Growth of High-Quality Charter Schools; Cross-Aisle Support Seen

April 1, 2014
Education Week
States and districts would be encouraged to help grow high-quality charter schools—and ensure that they enroll and retain English-language learners and students in special education—under a rare, bipartisan bill introduced Tuesday by Rep. John Kline, R-Minn., the chairman of the House education committee, and Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., the top Democrat on the panel.

North Forest High School measures improvement in baby steps

March 30, 2014
Houston Chronicle
While most schools measure progress by test scores and scholarship dollars, North Forest High School students point to the lack of bathroom fires as a sign that their campus is improving.

BASIS charter school slated to open second campus

March 28, 2014
San Antonio Express-News
BASIS, an Arizona-based charter operator, will break ground for a second campus in San Antonio on Saturday.

Opinion: The Charter School Performance Breakout

March 28, 2014
Wall Street Journal
By Karl Zinsmeister Many have been puzzled by New York Mayor Bill de Blasio's skepticism toward charter schools, his calls for ending space-sharing and charging them rent, and his $210 million cut of a construction fund important to the schools. Education reformers are also anxious about the failure of President Obama and Education Secretary Arne Duncan to defend charter schools in the face of these prominent reversals of New York City policy. Is this just about teacher-union politics, or are there perhaps legitimate performance reasons for tapping the brakes on charter schools in public education today?

New Caney ISD’s Infinity Early College High School earns TEA designation

March 28, 2014
The Montgomery County Observer
New Caney Independent School District’s Infinity Early College High School received final approval from the Texas Education Agency to be designated as an official Early College High School in Texas.

State to conduct large survey of educators

March 28, 2014
Houston Chronicle
Teachers, the Texas Education Agency wants to know your thoughts. Actually, state lawmakers are the ones who ordered up a survey coming to you soon.

Building a college-ready culture in the Rio Grande Valley

March 27, 2014
Educate Texas
In February 2013, two school districts in the Rio Grande Valley, Brownsville and Pharr-San Juan-Alamo (PSJA), received a $5.6 million federal grant to expand the early college high school (ECHS) model in the region as part of the Early College Expansion Partnership. The Partnership includes the two districts as well as Educate Texas and Jobs for the Future (JFF), a national nonprofit based in Boston.

2014 Pillar of Success: Making college a priority for all students

March 26, 2014
The University of Texas-Pan American
He has been called a “Valley treasure” and has twice been named the most outstanding school superintendent in Texas. He is known nationwide as a visionary and an innovator in college readiness and dual-language education, and he has been singled out by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for his exemplary work.

Knowledge Motivates Preschoolers More Than Stickers, Study Says

March 25, 2014
Education Week
Preschoolers work harder at seemingly mundane tasks if rewarded with meaningful new knowledge rather than by being given stickers, a new report states, news that should have implications for the way in which teachers and parents motivate young children.

Celebrating Early College High School Week and life-long success

March 24, 2014
Educate Texas
Educate Texas is proud to celebrate Early College High School Week. While education reformers across the nation have tried to develop programs and curriculum that will lead to a college-ready student, in Texas, thousands of low-income, minority, and first-generation high school students are participating in schools that are specifically designed to not simply prepare them for college, but to actually have them enroll and take up to 60 college credit hours and/or earn an Associate’s degree while still in high school.

KISD, KC applying for grant for career-focused high school, would use existing buildings

March 22, 2014
Kilgore News Herald
Kilgore ISD and Kilgore College will work together to create a new kind of career-focused high school.

Grand Prairie, Lancaster schools fight flight with technology

March 22, 2014
Dallas Morning News
Tucked between large urban districts, high-performing suburban districts and an ever-growing network of charter schools, the Grand Prairie and Lancaster school districts are trying to stand out.

Jeb Bush, Hillary Clinton to discuss education

March 24, 2014
The Modesto Bee
Their presidential plans may be uncertain but one thing is clear: Jeb Bush and Hillary Rodham Clinton keep bumping into each other.

Big Data Enters the Classroom

March 23, 2014
Wall Street Journal
With the shift to computerized testing, tablets in the classroom and digitized personal records, schools are collecting more data than ever on how children are doing.

Demographer: Education key to Texas’ economic future

March 23, 2014
Ft. Worth Business Press
The future of Texas’ economic prosperity could rest with Hispanics, a forecast that has its author beating the drum for education.

Nation Falls Far Short on Educational Equity, Data Show

March 21, 2014
Education Week
New federal civil rights data show persistent and widespread disparities among disadvantaged students from prekindergarten through high school on key indicators—calling into question whether the national push for educational equity and college and career readiness for all students is working.

Districts boost salaries as competition for teachers heats up

March 20, 2014
Houston Chronicle
After years of struggling not to lay off teachers, Texas public school districts suddenly are competing to hire new ones - with some Houston-area districts boosting starting salaries to the $50,000 level.

Editorial: Dual credit hopes

March 19, 2014
Houston Chronicle
The college report card is in. Texas needs improvement. The Texas Tribune reports that among Texans who started eighth grade in 2001, fewer than one-fifth went on to earn a higher education credential within six years of high school graduation. And rates were lower among African-American and Hispanic students and the economically disadvantaged.

Weighted Admissions Lotteries: Will They Reshape Charter Demographics?

March 20, 2014
Education Week
New federal regulatory guidance that now allows charter schools to hold weighted admission lotteries in favor of disadvantaged students may affect a small number of charters now, but could have a greater impact in the future, experts say.

State drafting new way to evaluate educators

March 15, 2014
San Antonio Express-News
It has been 17 years since Texas last overhauled how most public schools evaluate teachers, but that's about to change as state education officials must soon meet a May deadline in explaining to the federal government how they will revamp the way educators are evaluated.

Opinion: Illogical hostility toward charter schools

March 17, 2014
Washington Post
By Richard Cohen In the war between the rich and the poor, I’m enlisting on the side of the underdog — the rich. What a drubbing they’ve been taking! Across the nation, but particularly in cities such as New York and Washington, the rich are incessantly accused of being slyly manipulative and self-serving. For instance, they support charter schools. Apparently, there is nothing worse.

Texas Comptroller releases new website for measuring school district academics and financial responsibility

March 17, 2014
Community Impact Newspaper
A new website by the Texas Comptroller's office allows Texans to compare school districts and campuses statewide on key academic and financial measures.

Texas to get big bucks to help low-performing schools

March 17, 2014
KFOX TV
Texas is one of 10 states that will get millions of dollars from the government to help turn around low-performance schools, and districts in the Borderland are hoping to get a piece of the pie.

Efforts To Close The Achievement Gap In Kids Start At Home

March 17, 2014
NPR
When Andrea Riquetti taught kindergarten in Providence, R.I., the disparity between more affluent students and those from poor families was painfully clear.

Editorial: Academic shift is crucial for Texas

March 15, 2014
Ft. Worth Star Telegram
The Texas Legislature, under pressure to relax standardized testing in public schools, last year threw in the towel for its decades-long fight to steadily increase academic standards.

Los Angeles charter schools record among the biggest learning gains in nation

March 18, 2014
EdSource
Students in independent charter schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District significantly outperform similar students in traditional schools in the district, according to a report released last week by the Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO) at Stanford University. The gains were particularly large for schools serving low-income Hispanic students.

LA charter says sharing lessons leads to success, but traditional schools aren't keeping up

March 18, 2014
Southern California Public Radio
Charter school advocates have long held their more autonomous, flexible school models will work as laboratories, allowing best practices to be worked into traditional public schools.

Opinion: L.A. Charter Schools Earn Straight-As

March 18, 2014
Wall Street Journal
Video: National Alliance for Public Charter Schools president Nina Rees on a new study that shows charter school students outperform their peers.

Early Colleges Expand Access for Minority, Low-Income Students

March 12, 2014
U.S. News & World Report
Students who attend early college high schools, particularly women, minority students and those from low-income backgrounds, have better academic outcomes than students in traditional high schools, according to a recent review conducted by the Department of Education's research arm.

States Graded on Legislative Efforts to Improve Digital Learning

March 13, 2014
Education Week
A flurry of state-level legislative activity during 2013 sent a strong signal that support for digital-learning initiatives and "next-generation" educational models is growing, according to a prominent advocacy group.

Howard's Daily: One Clear Advantage of Charter Schools

March 11, 2014
Huffington Post
Mayor de Blasio's threat to pull public support of charter schools has elicited powerful reactions, none more so than Peggy Noonan's column this past weekend: "When a school exists for the students, you can tell. When it exists for the unions, you can tell that too."

Q&A: Trustee Mike Morath on home rule for DISD

March 7, 2014
Dallas Morning News
Each year, DISD graduates less than 10 kids out of 100 who are ready either for college or some kind of trade school, and this has been the case for at least the last 20 years.

TEXAS VIEW: Dallas ISD needs a change

March 13, 2014
Odessa American
The stark numbers are no secret. If you ever lived within the Dallas Independent School District, you know. Despite well-intentioned effort over decades, fewer than 1 in 10 DISD students graduate ready for college. That number shrinks to microscopic levels outside some magnet schools and especially south of downtown.

When Fewer Than 20% Of Freshmen Finish High School Ready For College, What's The Answer?

March 11, 2014
KERA News
Fewer than one in five freshmen graduate area high schools ready for college in four years. That’s according to research from Commit!, the Dallas County education non-profit. It’s founder, Todd Williams, came into KERA’s studios and talked about the report and the controversial attempt to turn DISD into a home-rule charter district.

Mike Rawlings: Breaking Dallas’ educational doom loop

March 11, 2014
Dallas Morning News
Numbers don’t lie. And when I look at our public schools in Dallas, it is clear to me that numbers represent the foundation of the wall between the haves and have-nots in our city. The haves live in cocoons that afford them educational choices that continue to propel them and their families ahead of the have-nots. The have-nots are in an educational doom loop that foreshadows their difficult economic and social statuses.

What Dallas ISD might look like with home-rule: Support Our Public Schools offering more thoughts

March 10, 2014
Dallas Morning News
The initial revelation that a committee has been working to turn Dallas ISD into pretty much the legal equivalent of a multi-campus open-enrollment charter school blew up a couple of weeks ago without many details.

Early College High Schools Proliferate

March 11, 2014
Texas Tribune
Last Monday, Anabel Garza received news that a student was out sick. She wasn’t convinced. She called the boy’s mom and said, “I’m going to come check how sick he is.” She got in her car, drove to his house and brought him back to school.

How to fix the drop-out epidemic

March 9, 2014
Odessa American
Too many students in Odessa are dropping out. It was that which everyone at the meeting Monday night could agree. “We may be coming into this 10 years too late,” Jeff Russell said, a father of two teen boys in Ector County Independent School District. “We need to start thinking about this at kindergarten… first grade.”

The Ideologue vs. the Children

March 6, 2014
Wall Street Journal
What a small and politically vicious man New York's new mayor is. Bill de Blasio doesn't like charter schools. They are too successful to be tolerated. Last week he announced he will drop the ax on three planned Success Academy schools. (You know Success Academy: It was chronicled in the film "Waiting for Superman." It's one of the charter schools the disadvantaged kids are desperate to get into.) Mr. de Blasio has also cut and redirected the entire allotment for charter facility funding from the city's capital budget. An official associated with a small, independent charter school in the South Bronx told me the decision will siphon money from his school's operations. He summed up his feelings with two words: "It's dispiriting."

Tech-Supported Learning is Focus of SXSWedu Conference

March 7, 2014
Education Week
Is the term "ed tech" a dinosaur? While it defines a delivery system for education, it also has become fraught with nuances of meaning—advancing learning, making money, requiring devices, stretching budgets, and challenging the traditional teaching model.

Rawlings, Support Our Public Schools unveil home-rule goals for Dallas ISD

March 6, 2014
Dallas Morning News
Mayor Mike Rawlings and leaders of an effort to transform Dallas ISD presented some of their reasons for a shake-up on Thursday.

2015 Budget: Boosting Broadband for Schools

March 4, 2014
Wall Street Journal
The Obama administration’s 2015 budget proposal includes a $200 million down payment to make good on the president’s commitment to provide high-speed broadband Internet access to 99% of American students.

Some North Texas Students Opt For A Virtual Classroom

March 3, 2014
KERA News
A group of North Texas students did something unusual recently – they met face-to-face. They’re enrolled in the iUniversity Prep school, one of the few in the state where learning is done entirely online.

Obama to Propose Race to the Top for Educational Equity

March 3, 2014
Education Week
The Obama administration wants to focus the next round of the Race to the Top program on bolstering educational equity for disadvantaged students, according to sources.

Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings throws his support behind Support our Public Schools

March 3, 2014
Dallas Morning News
Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings has voiced strong support for an effort that could shake up Dallas ISD by making it a home-rule charter district.

New All-Digital Curriculums Hope to Ride High-Tech Push in Schoolrooms

March 3, 2014
NY Times
English language curriculums built entirely on a digital platform — replacing written textbooks, worksheets or printed study guides — are about to enter the market from several companies, with promises that they will change the nature of classroom learning across the country.

Group pushes for election to remake Dallas ISD as freer home-rule district

March 1, 2014
Dallas Morning News
Dallas voters will be met at the polls Tuesday by petitioners seeking support for an effort that could radically change how the Dallas Independent School District is governed and operated.

Expert: Texas needs to address growth of Hispanic population

February 28, 2014
El Paso Times
The growth of the Hispanics in Texas needs to be addressed through education, economic improvement and job training or the state will become one of the poorest in the nation, a former U.S. Census Bureau official said Thursday.

The Ripple Effect

February 26, 2014
Huffington Post
Debates about education often start with -- and stick to -- abstract notions of opportunity and equity. So when economists take a hard look and crunch the numbers on reform, we take notice.

Growing interest in charter schools as an alternative to traditional public education

February 26, 2014
Impact News
On a recent morning the tiled halls of Harmony Science Academy echoed with the sound of a leaf blower. In the foyer of the charter school, on the northeast corner of the Grand Parkway and Westpark Tollway, freshman Shervin Hosseingholi Nouri sat balanced atop a hovercraft he had built, floating on a cushion of air from the electric blower. In a nearby science lab, freshman Lynn Al-Emam used different chemicals to demonstrate osmosis and diffusion, and Suha Siddiqui, a freshman, explained the operation of the right human lung.

PSJA Proves that a School District Can Assure that All Students are College Bound

February 25, 2014
Intercultural Development Research Association
Today, IDRA is releasing a new report, College Bound and Determined, showing how the Pharr-San Juan Alamo school district in south Texas transformed itself from low achievement and low expectations to planning for all students to graduate from high school and college. In PSJA, transformation went beyond changing sobering graduation rates or even getting graduates into college. This school district changes how we think about college readiness.

Editorial: Education reform big, bold, together

February 27, 2014
Dallas Morning News
Free community college. That was a big idea laid down by the governor of Tennessee recently, and for the right reasons. Gov. Bill Haslam, a Republican, leads a state with a mediocre college-going rate. Improving those numbers would upgrade that state’s workforce and, therefore, its economy. Tennessee’s proposal is a dramatic gesture intended to spur action.

Here's Why We're Optimistic About The American Classroom

February 26, 2014
Huffington Post
Most teachers have some pretty selfless and inspiring reasons for going into education. A new survey released this week by Scholastic and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation asked more than 20,000 teachers various questions about their feelings on their job, including why they were motivated to become teachers. Most respondents gave answers that make us feel optimistic about American classrooms.

Comptroller Announces More Texas Schools Achieving High Academic Progress While Keeping Spending Low

February 26, 2014
Window on State Government
Texas Comptroller Susan Combs released the new interactive Financial Allocation Study for Texas (FAST) website today, which shows an increase in school districts earning the highest ranking of five stars. Five-star districts succeed in improving student achievement while keeping spending relatively low.

Computer Science: Not Just an Elective Anymore

February 26, 2014
Education Week
Computer science education is getting something of a fresh look from state and local policymakers, with many starting to push new measures to broaden K-12 students' access to the subject.

Texas education commissioner ‘impressed’ with New Tech High

February 24, 2014
Killeen Daily Harold
BELTON — Texas Education Commissioner Michael Williams visited Belton New Tech High School @ Waskow on Friday, and came away impressed with the technology, the student-driven projects and the educational model on-site.

Charter School in Early Offers A Unique Education Experience

February 21, 2014
Big Country Home Page
One school in Brown County offers a unique learning experience. Premier High School is a charter school in Early. It only has thirty-six students total and it helps students get a second chance.

Charter School in Early Offers A Unique Education Experience

February 21, 2014
Big Country Home Page
One school in Brown County offers a unique learning experience. Premier High School is a charter school in Early. It only has thirty-six students total and it helps students get a second chance.

Unique charter school among 2014 Blue Ribbon nominees

February 24, 2014
Your Houston News
Houston ISD’s unique, globally-focused early college high school has been nominated for the 2014 Blue Ribbon Schools honor from the U.S. Department of Education.

Middle school students encouraged to think early about college

February 23, 2014
Valley Morning Star
Colin Giloon sits at his desk each day with his mind set that after he graduates from high school that he’d like to attend the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) and study Television and Film Production.

East Texas high school on the list of approved early college high schools

February 24, 2014
KLTV
Commissioner of Education Michael Williams today announced final approval of 44 Early College High School (ECHS) designations for the 2014-2015 school year. With these designations, Texas will become home to 109 ECHS campuses across the state.

Commissioners Commit $3 Million to Build Specialized, Career-Focused Early College High Schools

February 12, 2014
Educate Texas
For the first time, Commissioner Michael Williams from the Texas Education Agency, Commissioner Raymund Paredes of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and Chairman Andres Alcantar from the Texas Workforce Commission joined together to address many of the state’s most pressing education issues at the 2014 Educate Texas Leadership Forum, announcing a collaboration to build specialized, career-focused early college high schools and a $1 million commitment from each of the three agencies to support the effort. The commissioners also announced their plans to hold meetings with business and education leaders across the state to hear directly from them what is needed to better prepare students for the careers of the future.

On the 'Quest' for new school in Bastrop County

February 19, 2014
Austin American Statesman
Bastrop Charter Initiative, a local non-profit formed to provide charter options for students in Bastrop County, introduces a new charter opportunity for students at the intermediate level.

Charter schools must measure up

February 18, 2014
The Courier of Montgomery County
The Texas Education Agency is expanding the number of charter schools as the Legislature instructed — and working to close schools that don’t meet academic or financial criteria.

Fort Worth program finds the fun in science, technology, engineering and math — seriously

February 16, 2014
Ft. Worth Star-Telegram
John Brennan has a robot that can turn school into a game and he’s eager to show other kids how to build their own.

Initiative aims to make more students college ready

February 15, 2014
Killeen Daily Herald
Suzanne Morales-Vale wants to look at students on an individual basis. And with her help, Texas educators are working on an initiative to help students who may not be ready for college.

Few Texas 8th Graders Getting Post-Secondary Degrees

February 13, 2014
Everything Lubbock
Texas eighth grade students fall behind much of the country when it comes to getting a post-secondary degree.

Juan Williams: Education's grand bargain?

February 10, 2014
The Hill
A third of the nation’s black and Hispanic students do not graduate from high school. That makes any deal on education between two of the nation’s most politically powerful black men, President Obama and Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), a breakthrough waiting to happen.

States Fall Short on Linking Data for Youngest Children, Study Says

February 18, 2014
Education Week
States could—and should—do far more to provide governmental institutions, teachers, and families with a comprehensive view of student populations, according to the study entitled "2013 State of States' Early Childhood Data Systems," released Wednesday by the Bethesda, Md.-based Early Childhood Data Collaborative.

Transforming Education Requires Talent at Every Level

February 13, 2014
Huffington Post
In 2011, just hours after being offered the Tennessee State Commissioner of Education position, Kevin Huffman made a phone call to Texas. He called Chris Barbic, the founder and CEO of award-winning YES Prep Public Schools in Houston, and offered him a job: Superintendent of Tennessee's Achievement School District (ASD). Huffman believed that Barbic was the best person in the world to lead the ASD's work to bring the bottom 5 percent of Tennessee schools into the top 25 percent within five years.

Julia Steiny: Determined Parents Start A School For Atypical Kids

February 13, 2014
Education News
By Julia Steiny Dr. Amy Pratt looks me dead in the eye when she says, “The Greene Charter School would not exist if it weren’t for me and the parents.” Christa Andrews, another co-founding-Board member of Greene, looks a little exhausted from it all, but nods approvingly. Parent-created charter schools are a rare breed, and for good reason.

Opinion: 3 Things That Should Be Done to Help Rural Schools

February 10, 2014
U.S. News & World Report
By Nina Rees Urban schools command the vast majority of attention from policymakers and school reformers. With consistently poor performance and cross-cutting problems such as poverty, lack of health care access and hunger, inner-city schools have been the blinking light on the dashboard of American education for more than a generation.

International Leadership of Texas to open high school in Garland

February 14, 2014
Dallas Morning News
Garland’s International Leadership of Texas charter school has been breaking language barriers since it opened in August, with students learning English, Spanish and Mandarin simultaneously. Now the school has broken ground on a new high school building, too.

Number of Texas students taking Advanced Placement has more than doubled over the last decade

February 12, 2014
Tomball Potpourri
Commissioner of Education Michael Williams announced today that the number of Texas graduates taking at least one Advanced Placement Program (AP) Exam has more than doubled during the past decade.

Texas adds 52 charter schools, 4th most nationwide

February 12, 2014
Dallas Morning News
Texas added 52 new public charter schools and 36,000 students statewide this school year, fourth most in the nation.

Education agencies commit $3 million to build early college high schools

February 11, 2014
KXAN
The Texas Education Agency, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and the Texas Workforce commission committed $1 million each to build specialized, career-focused early college high schools in the state.

A new antidote for snow days: 'e-learning days'

February 9, 2014
USA Today
For a small but growing number of students across the country, the words snow day no longer necessarily mean a day of sleeping late and goofing off.

Paige: Digital classrooms are reshaping education

February 8, 2014
Houston Chronicle
The Houston Independent School District recently announced a massive technology initiative, equipping every high school student with a laptop by 2016. Superintendent Terry Grier announced the advent of "anytime-anywhere" learning, an exciting step toward modernizing a school system designed for a factory economy more than 100 years ago.

Teaching math together

February 6, 2014
Odessa American
The largest single-year grant ever seen on campus is coming to the University of Texas of the Permian Basin to bridge collaboration among college professors with junior high school math teachers, who will pass on the skills to students.

Opinion: Charter school inequality?

February 3, 2014
Houston Chronicle
By David Dunn and Mike Feinberg The topic of school finance is back in the pages of this paper with last month's start of Round Two of the school finance trial after a yearlong delay.

Getting Ready To Go Blended In North Texas

February 3, 2014
Ed Surge
One of Texas’ largest charter networks, Uplift Education--with 28 K-12 schools in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex that serve 9,600 students--will be making a big investment in blended learning. Thanks to a $360,000 grant from the Morris Foundation, Uplift will start blended learning pilots in two of its K-3 schools and another school serving grades 6-9.

Uplift Education District, Campuses Receive Texas Honors Circle Award from Comptroller

February 3, 2014
PR Web
The Uplift North Hills charter district, Uplift Peak Preparatory Primary School, and Uplift Summit International Primary School received the Texas Comptroller’s 2013 Texas Honors Circle Award, which recognizes districts and campuses that achieve academic success through cost-effective operations. Award recipients achieve strong academic performance while spending relatively less compared to their fiscal peers and received notification on Jan. 21.

Are Gifted Students Being Challenged Enough?

February 3, 2014
Education News
Andy Smarick, a partner at the non-profit Bellwether Education Partners and author of the guidebook, “Closing America’s High Achievement Gap,” states that the American public school system’s policies support focus on struggling students to get them up to speed, but leaves high achieving students without a challenging education.

District plans Wi-fi expansion for students

February 2, 2014
Valley Morning Star
First, the Lyford school district bought iPads for all of its 1,600 students. Now, officials plan to install Wi-Fi in about half of the district’s buses and at three public sites, Superintendent Eduardo Infante said.

New college placement test includes tougher college readiness standards

February 1, 2014
Waco Tribune
More local college students have been identified as needing in-depth academic help as a result of a new college placement exam rolled out statewide.

More control for school districts with Texas’ new graduation requirements

January 31, 2014
Austin American Statesman
Texas began tightening its grip on school districts more than 30 years ago in an effort to raise the overall quality of public education and stop local “no-pass, no-play” abuses.

Editorial: With its online high school, Hallsville again in the lead

January 30, 2014
Longview News-Journal
When East Texans hear of a development that makes us feel good about the state of public education in Texas, chances are it is happening or being planned at Hallsville ISD.

Aldine, YES Prep win $100,000 grant to work together

January 29, 2014
Houston Chronicle
A partnership between Aldine ISD and the YES Prep charter school network has won a $100,000 grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, officials announced Wednesday.