Local Education News

(See footnotes as indicated.)

  • Continuing campus construction cause for concern?2 “Some parents are concerned that ongoing construction at one area school could put students’ health at risk. But that’s not the only concern at Wilson Elementary.”
  • Two bills may revive school reform efforts. The measures churned out by House panel are in a race against the end of the session.1 “A House committee Friday kicked out two bills that could revive flagging efforts to rewrite school finance laws, but major hurdles remain to passing the plan before the special session ends Friday.”
  • GRADUATION AT LAST.1 Diplomas earned with little boost. HISD tutorial program helps nearly 200 seniors master TAKS test. “HISD paid some of its best teachers bonuses to teach the summer program — offering them higher-than-usual hourly wages and $100 for each student who passed a portion of the TAKS test they previously failed.”
  • Teachers Want To Remove ‘Failed’ Word From Classroom. Teachers Propose Replacing ‘Failed’ With ‘Deferred Success’. Some members of the Professional Association of Teachers say that telling students that they’ve failed can put them off learning for life. The teachers propose to replace the word ‘failed’ with the phrase ‘deferred success.'”
  • Federal govt. says two SE Texas districts aren’t making the grade. “La Marque ISD and Beaumont ISD both failed to meet the adequate yearly progress standards laid out in the No Child Left Behind Act.”
  • HISD board approves new student-tracking computer system.1 “The Houston school board approved Thursday spending $18.4 million on a new computer system for tracking student academic performance.”
  • Saavedra ‘excited’ about HISD’s opening day.2 “Superintendent Abe Saavedra spent the day visiting schools. He talked with students, parents and teachers on this first day of classes. One of the locations was the new Empowerment Institute, a college-prep high school where students can gain up to 18 hours of credit that can be transferred to most colleges.”
  • Schools try to draw the line for wired kids. They struggle to balance rules for devices with convenience for students, parents.1 “As classes resume this month, schools across Texas are struggling to create and enforce technology policies that keep pace with today’s children — a generation dependent on cell phones, text messaging and digital music players. Educators have written and rewritten the rules to try to manage all the different devices that ring, beep, flash and otherwise distract class. They’re also guarding against cheating, theft and inappropriate uses.”
  • HISD says there will be fewer testing days for students. “Last year, some students spent 20 days in testing. The district announced Wednesday it is cutting out as many as five of those testing days, depending on the grade level.”
  • HISD: New schools, rules and college credits.2 “Five new schools opened Monday morning as part of a $54 million expansion project. [snip] But by their junior and senior years they’ll be earning college credit through courses at Houston Community College South.”
  • About 750 students suspended for not finishing reading project. “About 750 junior-high and high school students in the Dallas suburb of Lancaster were barred from classes for not completing a summertime reading assignment.”
  • Students to earn college credit at HISD’s new prep school.2 “Called The Empowerment Institute, the school will give students up to 18 hours of credit that can be transferred to the college of their choice.”
  • Two Texas schools called ‘persistently dangerous’. “Two South Texas public schools have been deemed “persistently dangerous” campuses by state education officials. [snip] The schools are the W-A Todd Ninth Grade Campus in the Donna Independent School District and United South High School in Laredo’s United Independent School District.”
  • Two school districts embroiled in a racial tug of war. Ruling lets 70 white students return to school, but questions of legality remain.1 “The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals granted an emergency stay to allow the transfer students to remain until a hearing in early October. Students, some of whom have attended the 460-student Mumford district since kindergarten, were banned earlier this week, after U.S. District Judge William Wayne Justice ruled that their transfers violated federal desegregation laws by significantly altering the racial makeup of the school districts.”
  • HISD has hotline for parents.2 “The number is 713-892-6699 and the hotline is open until 4:00 p.m.”
  • Textbook shortage poses challenge for teachers, students.2 “School officials around the state are hoping they can turn the page on a growing problem — a shortage of textbooks. Some growing school districts have more students than books.”
  • Knock, knock: HISD to get jump on dropouts.2 “The district is asking for the public’s help to go door-to-door looking for dropouts. HISD officials are seeking 1,000 volunteers this year.”
  • Galveston school district rated unacceptable by state.2 “The 2005 state accountability ratings for public and charter schools were released Monday with a vast majority of Galveston County schools meeting the minimum standards set by the state education agency. The Galveston Independent School District was among 44 districts labeled “unacceptable” by the state.”
  • TEA: 77 Percent Of Texas Schools Met Improvement Standards. 149 Districts, 900 Campuses Fail To Meet Guidelines. “About 77 percent of Texas schools and 87 percent of school districts met federal improvement standards this year, the Texas Education Agency announced Thursday. Under the federal No Child Left Behind Act, signed by President George W. Bush in 2001, schools that receive federal poverty aid must show ‘adequate yearly progress.'”
  • Many Texas schools fall short of ‘no child’ goals.1 900 campuses across the state — 52 of them here — fail to meet federal progress targets. “Students at 900 Texas schools, including 52 in HISD, have failed to meet federal improvement standards, state education officials announced Thursday.”
  • Saavedra on HISD ratings: ‘We must do better’.2 “It was a tough year for HISD in the latest accountability report released Monday by the Texas Education Agency. According to the report, the number of academically unacceptable schools more than doubled to 36 this year, up from 14 last year.”
  • HISD Encourages Parents To Enroll Pre-K Students Early. District Expands Program; 1,100 Slots Open To Eligible Students. “Parents of eligible 4-year-olds in the Houston Independent School District were urged Friday to enroll their children early for pre-Kindergarten classes for the upcoming school year.”
  • Grab your bookbag: Pre-k open to more kids than ever.2 “For the first time, HISD says it will be able to place all eligible 4-year-olds in pre-kindergarten.”
  • New HISD school to open.2 “Jean Hines Caldwell Elementary will be one of four new schools opening in HISD this year.”
  • Two education agencies to become one next month.1 Certification board will merge with the TEA. “A single agency again will oversee all aspects of public education in Texas after the State Board for Educator Certification merges with the Texas Education Agency next month.”
  • TEA: 77% of schools meet improvement standards.1 “Sixty Texas schools fell short of federal improvement standards for the third straight year and must now offer free tutoring to students from low-income families, the Texas Education Agency announced today.”

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Reminders:

  1. Houston Chronicle links expire after a few days because they’re archived. If you want to access these articles after that, you either have to be a subscriber or go to the Houston Public Library and access the database using your Library Power Card.
  2. KHOU CBS Channel 11 requires a registration.

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