Parent Weekly | June 15, 2012

There is a lot going on in your life as a parent and a lot going on in the Greater Houston Education Village. To assist you in staying informed we bring you a weekly list of links for the top education stories and events.

STAAR Standards/Results
“HISD … is the first district in the Houston area to publicly release their scores from the new STAAR exams, which were designed to be much more difficult than the prior state exams, called the TAKS. … HISD’s results give the first look at how the new exams are greatly affecting ninth-graders, the first class of students who must pass 15 of the end-of-course exams throughout high school in order to earn a diploma. Under the old system, students had to pass four TAKS exams to graduate.”

Parents should notice and understand: “HISD is encouraging the students who failed the tests and others who did poorly to attend summer school, though it is not mandatory. Students do not have to pass the exams to be promoted to the next grade level, but [Superintendent, Terry] Grier said Thursday that he is considering requiring students who score particularly low to repeat a course and take it from a different teacher.”
Related Article:
Initial STAAR Results Released (Texas Education Agency)

STAAR has Additional Costs
Poor performance on the new State education assessment (STAAR) has created the need for increases in summer school for school districts. The requirement to pass End of Course examinations (EOCs) will likely add the need for additional summer school attendance in future years, especially if the trends in ninth grade failures on these assessments do not drastically improve. Equitable high-quality instruction remains the ultimate solution.

Latino Achievement: Demographic Imperative
“By 2020, one in every four U.S. schoolchildren will be Latino; their success is key to the nation’s economic prosperity.” Current statistics are not positive, but give definitive areas for ultimate solutions. Education professionals must work collaboratively with all stakeholders to ensure equitable high-quality education.

NCAA to Recruit by Texting
“Text messaging is soon to become a key recruiting tool for NCAA Division I and II men’s college basketball coaches, opening the door for other sports in those divisions to follow the rule change if it works.” Parents, be aware to be eligible, students must have completed their sophomore year.

Addressing Education Loans
Colleges and universities are finally taking the initiative to better inform students of the value and costs of education loans. With the understanding that the financial success of college graduates may be directly related to the amount and interest rates of their accumulated education debt, some post secondary educators now incorporate financial courses into orientation programs.

“2800 Reasons to Read”
“Students at Gregory-Lincoln Education Center and Garcia Elementary School will have plenty of reading material during summer vacation because of a book-drive… ” Corporate sponsors for the campaign are Neuhaus Education Center and HEB.

No More Early Graduation Scholarships
“For years, Texas rewarded thousands of students who graduate from high school early with a scholarship to college. Thanks to state budget cuts, that’s no longer the case.” State budget cuts have a new definable tragedy. When and where will it end?

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