Student Writing Scores Earned More Zeros

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There are a number of theories on why so many Texas students received zeroes on certain question types on this year’s state test. But one thing is for certain: The issue isn’t unique to Texas. In Fort Worth and across the state, the number of students who received zeros on constructed response questions on this year’s State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, or STAAR, exams grew substantially this year over last year. That growth comes following the rollout of a newly redesigned state test and a shift to automated scoring. Texas Education Agency officials say they’re confident the new exam still offers an accurate look at how students are doing.

The Implications from Uncertified Teachers

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Students are losing out on months of learning as Texas becomes more reliant on uncertified teachers to fill vacancies, according to new research.

A study by Texas Tech University’s Jacob Kirksey examined the ramifications stemming from an explosion of uncertified teachers across the state.

Students with new uncertified teachers lost the equivalent of about four months of learning in reading and three months in math, Kirksey’s research found.

Improving Team Meetings

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How To Take Your Weekly Team Meetings to the Next Level

Transforming weekly team meetings from mundane check-ins to dynamic, productive sessions can significantly impact team efficiency and morale. A recent Harvard Business Review study found that 71% of senior managers view meetings as unproductive and inefficient. To counter this trend, it’s essential to revitalize these gatherings with strategies that engage and invigorate team members. As an executive leadership coach, I advocate for a more holistic and interactive approach to team meetings. Here’s how you can elevate your weekly team meetings to foster better communication, collaboration, and productivity.

Does HISD have the “Secret Sauce” to Improve Education?

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The changes in HISD rival some of the most significant shakeups to a public school system ever.

Todo cambió. Everything changed.

That’s how Arturo Monsiváis described life this year for his fifth-grade son, who attends Houston ISD’s Raul Martinez Elementary School. Teachers raced through rapid-fire lessons. Students plugged away at daily quizzes. Administrators banned children from chatting in the hallways.

Sitting in the parent pickup line on the last day of school, Monsiváis said his son often complained that the new assignments were too difficult. But Monsiváis, a construction worker, wouldn’t accept any excuses: Study hard, he advised.

Superintendents Requesting more Money

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District leaders are traditionally hesitant to engage in political debate

Stephanie Elizalde was clear in her recent State of the District address: Dallas students’ accomplishments have happened without adequate funding for education from state lawmakers.

Elizalde, in her second year at the helm of Texas’ second-largest district, was frustrated.

The Dallas district was in the process of approving a $1.9 billion budget, offsetting a $187 million shortfall by pulling from its reserves and cutting more than 700 positions. At the same time, there was a nearly $33 billion surplus in the state budget—none of which was given to schools. The state legislature hasn’t approved an increase in per-student funding in five years, according to The Dallas Morning News, while Republicans who dominate state politics have set their sights on legislation to start a private school choice program and accused public schools of indoctrinating students.

Bilingual Psychologists are Needed

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As Schools Serve More Immigrant Children, Demand Grows for Bilingual Psychologists

A couple of years ago, as schools that had been forced to go virtual due to the coronavirus pandemic began to bring students back on campus, Pedro Olvera noticed that his phone started ringing more.

Olvera spent much of his career as a school psychologist in Santa Ana Unified School District, just a stone’s throw from Disneyland, where about 40 percent of students are English learners who speak Spanish.