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TEA

Fort Bend ISD has tried to grow its staff of licensed specialists in school psychology with an aggressive internship program to help meet the soaring demand for special education services.
Laura Isensee | Houston Public Media

In the last three years, Fort Bend schools have seen the demand for special education almost double. More teachers and parents are asking for children to be tested for a disability — which district leaders say is a huge step forward since the end of a Texas policy that denied services to tens of thousands of children for over a decade.

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Allegations of ethical and financial misconduct have put four San Antonio school districts under scrutiny by the Texas Education Agency – an amount of state involvement in local district operations unmatched by any other major Texas metro.


School lockers in a charter school hallway in November 2017.
File Photo |Camille Phillips | Texas Public Radio

When the Texas Education Agency releases its 2018 academic performance ratings Wednesday, school districts will receive a letter grade instead of a pass or fail.


When Walker Goolsby was 3, school officials said he wasn't autistic because he was creative.
Camille Phillips | Texas Public Radio

In 2004, the Texas Education Agency arbitrarily decided the state should shrink special education to 8.5 percent of the student population.

After conducting an investigation, the U.S. Department of Education said the effective cap illegally barred tens of thousands of children with disabilities from a free and appropriate education.

The state agency is trying to enact reforms to make up for breaking the law, but parents and advocates say it will take a lot to regain their trust.


School supplies
Nick Amoscato | Flickr Creative Commons

Four months after the U.S. Department of Education found that the Texas Education Agency had broken federal law by effectively setting a cap on the number of children who could receive special education services, TEA has released the final draft of its plan to comply with federal monitoring requirements.

The state is taking over the Southside Independent School District, following an investigation that found bad management and possible criminal violations.

Credit: Wikicommons http://bit.ly/1CPNiYT

A new method to measure school performance was enacted by the 84th Texas Legislature in the form of A through F letter grades. The controversial ratings, which go into effect August 2018, will replace the state's current pass/fail system.

Credit: Wikicommons http://bit.ly/1CPNiYT


Louisa Jonas / Texas Public Radio

By the beginning of the next school year in the fall, Texas districts must adopt a method for evaluating teachers.  The new state education commissioner’s proposal for doing that has set off a fire storm among some teachers’ groups, because it lists student test scores as one factor that can be considered in the evaluation. It’s not a requirement that test scores be used, but some teachers are concerned. 

Jason Wiseman / Texas Tribune

UPDATE: The Texas Education Agency says Commissioner Mike Morath is allowing school districts to decide whether students affected this week by glitches with the online STAAR test must retake the exam.  In many cases student answers disappeared from computer screens or were not recorded when students signed off.  

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