Spotlight Texas

New School Finance Commission Member Discusses the Road Ahead

After months of fighting on school finance during the regular and special legislative sessions this year, state lawmakers left the Texas Capitol without the new system many say the state desperately needs. Instead, state leaders have put together a 13-member commission to study the issue in the interim. We sat down with Pflugerville Independent School District Superintendent Doug Killian, a longtime school administrator tapped for the commission by Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick.

Dallas ISD Begins Push to Integrate Computer Science Lessons in All 151 Elementary Schools

Frederick Douglass fifth-grader Joeleah Hudspeth made her robot talk, step forward, and march around.

“You get to solve its problem and make it move,” she said.

Closing of Luminant Plant a Tax Hit to Titus County

Titus County began living with the pain of losing Luminant's Monticello Power Plant years before the company officially announced it would close the facility.

Luminant's parent company, Vistra, announced recently that the facility near Mount Pleasant would cease operations in January. The move means about 200 employees will lose their jobs, although some people will continue working there while the plant is dismantled.

Lufkin ISD's Superintendent Awarded "Superintendent of the Year"

Dr. LaTonya Goffney, Lufkin ISD's Superintendent of Schools, was named Superintendent of the Year at the Texas Association of School Administrators/Texas Association of School Boards convention on Saturday.

According to a statement for Lufkin ISD, Goffney, who was selected from a finalist group of five superintendent's, is the first African-American woman to receive the award since its creation in 1984.

Study Examines Effect of Funding Cuts on Texas Schools, Students

Funding cuts by state lawmakers left a five-year, $5 billion hole in the budget for Texas public schools between 2011 and 2016.

A new University of Texas study analyzes the effect of those cuts, made because of state revenue shortfalls, which forced many districts to operate with less money despite a growing number of students.

4 Houston-Area Schools Earn Prestigious Blue Ribbon Award

Four Houston-area schools have received the prestigious 2017 National Blue Ribbon School award, a federal honor recognizing superior academic achievement.

Eastwood Academy (Houston ISD), Lyons Elementary School (Houston ISD), KIPP Shine Prep and Jennie Reid Elementary School (La Porte ISD) were among the 26 Texas schools and 342 schools nationally to earn the honor.

Texas Education Officials Finalize Federal Achievement Plan

Texas education officials have submitted their plan for implementing the Every Student Succeeds Act, a federal law passed in 2015 that gives states more authority to set accountability standards.

The Texas proposal largely aligns with already-established procedures and state laws, including the "A-through-F" grading scale and accountability standards set by state legislators in the past three years.

Respected Houston ISD Finance Chief Melinda Garrett Dies at 65

As chief financial officer of Houston ISD for 11 years, Melinda Garrett helped pilot the state's largest school district through one of its most tumultuous times, an era marked by budget cuts, bond votes, teacher layoffs and administrative upheaval.

Through it all, Garrett earned accolades from all corners. Her deep knowledge of the school finances, no-nonsense attitude and well-timed warmth ensured HISD's money was well managed and students had a stable learning environment.

Appeals Court Sides With Texas Cheerleaders Who Sued to Display Bible Verses at Football Games

Texas cheerleaders can display Bible verses at high school football games, a state appeals court ruled Thursday.

The Ninth Court of Appeals sided with students from Kountze High School, who sued after the district barred Christian messages from cheer banners at football games. The cheerleaders' choice to display Bible verses is protected as "private speech," the appeals court ruled.

Experts: School Funding Woes Largely Unchanged During Latest Lege Session

Despite meeting for a special session this summer, some experts and legislators said the 85th Texas Legislature provided little relief to schools and taxpayers in regard to school finance and property tax reform.

Sen. Paul Bettencourt, R-Houston, authored the Senate’s property tax reform bill, Senate Bill 1, which failed to pass during the Legislature’s special session. House Bill 21—which transfers $351 million from Health and Human Services to public education—did pass this session and was signed by Gov. Greg Abbott.

Teacher Recovering From Gunshot Wound in Temple Shooting

A St. Mary’s Catholic School teacher was recovering from a gunshot wound Friday after being struck during a Thursday incident.

The teacher, whose name was not released, was shot in the leg, a statement from Austin-based Bishop Joe S. Vasquez said.

East Versus West: Who Wins With The Austin ISD Bond?

The Austin Independent School District is asking voters to approve a $1 billion bond this November. The bond would pay for projects at schools all over the district, but there's a difference between funding for schools on the East Side versus the West.

If approved, some campuses would receive money to do regular maintenance or improve technologies. For Eastside Memorial High School, that means a new school with state-of-the-art technology.

Report: Most Texas High Schools Aren’t Registering Students to Vote

No private high schools and just 14 percent of public high schools in Texas requested voter registration forms from the secretary of state’s office in 2016, a report released Wednesday found, even though a state law requires them to do so.

The report by the Texas Civil Rights Project and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law found that 198 out of 1,428 public high schools requested the forms.

DISD teams up with FC Dallas to bring mobile STEM labs to Pleasant Grove middle school

Learning has become more accessible at Ann Richards Middle School after it received three new mobile science, technology, engineering and math labs Friday morning. The labs allow students and teachers to connect to the internet and access their coursework from anywhere on campus.

Hunger in the Classroom: 1 in 4 Kids Not Getting Proper Nutrition

Hunger here in the borderland is a bigger problem than many people think. Even the youngest in our population - the school kids - have food insecurity.

Trying to learn on an empty stomach is a struggle for 25 percent of borderland kids, who go to bed hungry at night.

New School Buses to Have Seat Belts Under Texas Law

Starting this month, Texas school districts in the market for new school buses must ensure they have shoulder-to-lap seat belts for all riders.

The three-point seat belt law replaces a 2007 law that offered money to districts that opted to install seat belts in their school buses. Few districts took advantage of the funding, leaving most Texas school buses belt-less.

In Beleaguered La Marque Schools, Harvey Stirs Up Old Anxieties

As hundreds of parents sat nervously in the La Marque High School auditorium last Thursday, Nicole Gardner stood from her seat and raised her hand to ask what was on everyone's minds.

"I was wondering how long this relocation is going to last."

How Hurricane Harvey Evacuees Can Get Help in Dallas


Texas Districts Preparing to Take in Students Displaced By Harvey

When Hurricane Harvey swept across the Texas coast, it decimated Port Aransas ISD’s buildings, forcing the district to close indefinitely — and immediately leaving more than 450 students without a place to attend school.

Just 20 miles away on the mainland, Flour Bluff ISD is preparing this week to enroll every one of those students next Tuesday, if necessary. Across the state, as school district officials along Texas' Gulf Coast determine whether they can open their schools on Tuesday as expected, their neighbors are sending the message that they will accept displaced students with open arms, no matter what it takes.

TRS Board Adopts Legislative Changes to TRS-Care

The Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS) Board of Trustees met Friday, September 1, 2017 to approve the new TRS-Care retiree health insurance plans as laid out during the first called Special Session of the 85th Texas Legislature. As members of the Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) may recall, Governor Greg Abbott added TRS-Care to the special session call this summer after retirees across the state expressed serious concerns about high deductibles and premiums.

Houston ISD to Delay Start of School Year Until Sept. 11

As Houston ISD continues to sort out which of its schools were damaged in Tropical Storm Harvey, school officials are postponing the start of the school year until Sept. 11, two weeks after school was supposed to start.

In an email to campus leaders, Houston ISD said school administrators in Texas' largest school district will report for duty on Sept. 5, while teachers will report to their schools Sept. 8. Students will return Sept. 11.

Houston Schools Chief: Many Students Will Lose Everything

Public school students in Houston won't be starting school until at least Sept. 5, as the powerful storm dubbed Harvey continues to swirl overhead, dropping epic amounts of rain that's caused severe flooding and has submerged large swaths of the sprawling city.

"Thank goodness it seems like we're pulling through, but the flooding is not over yet," says Richard Carranza, superintendent of the Houston Independent School District. "Probably the most obvious thing is we've had to call off the whole first week of school, but our first concern is the safety of our students, teachers and community."

Commentary: A Second Special Session Would Stir Up a Million Teachers

The 85th Texas Legislature just completed a tumultuous special session, tasked by Gov. Greg Abbott to tackle 20 subjects not addressed to his liking during the regular session. The special session was an engineered opportunity for a legislative bonus round, necessitated after critical sunset legislation affecting medical licensure did not pass in May.

Media reported that Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick worked with a handful of legislators at the end of the regular session to stonewall or take hostage those bills to advance his pet priorities — like private school vouchers and state regulations on bathroom usage — and demand a special session when the ransom wasn’t paid.

Katy ISD Storm Shelters Full Monday Afternoon

Two Katy ISD schools that opened as shelters for flooding victims Monday have reached capacity, the district announced at 4:19 p.m.

Morton Ranch and Cinco Ranch high schools were opened at 7:30 a.m. and by the time of the alert, each had more than 1,000 people, according to district spokesperson Maria DiPetta. People still seeking shelter are encouraged to check the American Red Cross’ website as well as the #HarveyRelief online map.

Legislature OKs $563 Million Bill for Retired Teachers, Schools

The Texas House reluctantly agreed on Tuesday to a $1.5 billion cut to one of its bills that would now inject $351 million into the public education system over the next two years.

"To say I'm disappointed is an understatement," said Rep. Dan Huberty, R-Houston, the author of House Bill 21. "The biggest disappointment that all of us have is that we were unable to find the middle ground that would make sense. But I know for a fact that the things that are in here have to be fixed."

House Bill 22 Overview and Expected Timeline for Implementation

This correspondence is to provide you with a brief overview of House Bill (HB) 22 (85th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2017) and the expected timeline for implementation.

Medicaid Overpaid Texas $18.9 million for School-Based Health Services, Seeks Refund

Texas received $18.9 million from Medicaid for school-based health services that were billed improperly, and the federal government is seeking to get the money back.

The School Health and Related Services, or SHARS program, allows Texas school districts to request Medicaid reimbursement for providing medically necessary health services to qualified children, age 20 or younger, who have disabilities. Among other things, the services can include counseling, physical and speech therapy, transportation and nursing.

School Finance Deal Still Possible as Clock Ticks on Texas Legislature Special Session

The broad outlines of a possible deal on school finance, despite deep mistrust between the two chambers, surfaced Wednesday after the Legislature's two panels with jurisdiction over public schools showed a bit of respect for one another.

The clock is ticking, and many stumbling blocks lie ahead.

Senate Education Chair: House School Finance Plan "Not a Long-Term Solution"

The Texas Senate's education chairman said Tuesday that he would not accept a House proposal to put $1.8 billion into public schools.

During a Senate Republican Caucus news conference, Sen. Larry Taylor touted his plan to create a commission to study the school finance system over the House's plan to reform it by adding more funding. The House gave final approval to that proposal, House Bill 21, on Monday.

HISD Trustees To Meet With State Officials, Vow To Avoid School Closures

State officials are heading to HISD headquarters Thursday to discuss plans to improve the district’s chronically failing schools – or face a state take-over of the board.

As News 88.7 first reported this week, the Houston Independent School District is at risk of a state take-over as soon as next year.

With Retired Teachers' Health Care at Stake, Legislators Clash On Fixes

When David Hatcher got a blood test at his oncologist's office two summers ago, the doctor spelled out his results decisively: "The bad news is you've got leukemia. The good news: It's the kind we can treat with a pill."

A retired public school history teacher, Hatcher might soon be unable to afford the tablets that keep his chronic myeloid leukemia in check - his health care costs are set to rise, whether or not the Texas Legislature can agree in the next two weeks on a temporary fix for the retired teachers' health insurance plan.

Keller School Becomes First 'Storm Ready' Campus in Texas

A North Texas high school has been declared the first and so far only ‘storm ready’ school in the state.

But Keller's Timber Creek High School did not have to make any renovations to earn the title.

Texas Panhandle School Districts Decry School Choice Legislation

A bill that would authorize up to $60 million in grants for special needs students to attend private schools was officially referred on Wednesday to the House Committee on Public Education.

The Senate passed Senate Bill 2 late last month to create thousands of dollars’ worth of scholarships for disabled students, moving forward on a controversial school choice issue that could affect the Texas Panhandle’s educational structure.

Senate Approves Teacher Bonus, Retiree Health Bill

The Texas Senate has tentatively approved a bill on a 28-3 vote that would give many Texas teachers a bonus and reduce health care costs for retired teachers.

Sens. Sylvia Garcia, D-Houston; José Rodríguez, D-El Paso; and Van Taylor, R-Plano, voted against Senate Bill 19.

She Saved Her Choking Student. The State Tried to Revoke Her License.

When Waco teacher Linda Hampton saw that one of her pre-school students had stuffed so much pizza into his mouth that he seemed to be choking, she moved quickly across the room and performed a finger-sweep, pulling the doughy gob out of his mouth.

Analysis: For Lawmakers, Like Kids, Education Can Be Very Difficult

One should avoid the word “never” when trying to describe what might happen in the Texas Legislature — even when talking about things that seem impossible.

Let’s say it is unlikely, then, that the same Texas lawmakers who couldn’t solve school finance during the regular session will work it out in the current 30-day special session, or that using public money for private education is suddenly more acceptable to them than it was a couple of months ago.

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick Unveils Plan for Teacher Raises

Six days before the start of the Special Session, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick (R) held a news conference Thursday to discuss his priorities.

"I intend to pass 20 of 20 of the Governor's priorities," Patrick said. "Which are his priorities, my priorities, the people's priorities."

Tensions Between Texas Legislative Leaders Show No Signs of Cooling

Five days before the Texas Legislature is scheduled to open a special session, it is clear the relationship between the leaders of the House and Senate remains as strained as it was at the end of the regular session.

On Thursday, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick used a press conference to blast fellow Republican and House Speaker Joe Straus, comparing his education funding proposals to a "Ponzi scheme," accusing him of laying the groundwork for a state income tax, and complaining that Straus won't even meet with him one-on-one to bridge their differences.

Dreamers Grateful Efforts to Repeal In-State Tuition Benefit Never Materialized

Houston is the only place Samuel Cervantes considers home. His parents brought him to the United States from Monterrey, Mexico, at the age of five.

As an undocumented immigrant, Cervantes, a rising junior at the University of Texas at Austin, said he never thought college was in his future until he learned of the in-state tuition benefit afforded students like himself.

In a Year of Cuts, the Texas Legislature Boosted Financial Aid For College Students

Attempts to freeze tuition may have stalled out at the Texas Legislature this year, but lawmakers did take one quiet step toward addressing college affordability: They gave the state's biggest financial aid program a boost.

The austere state budget currently awaiting Republican Gov. Greg Abbott's signature includes a 10 percent funding hike for Texas' main method of helping needy students attend four-year colleges. That money will address the aid program's biggest shortfall - that there's not enough money to give grants to everyone who qualifies. Advocates say that's a much-needed boost as cost of college continues to rise.






Classroom Tools

Puerto Rican Students Head To The Mainland For School

It's not exactly how Deilanis Santana planned to spend her 13th birthday: waking up before dawn, packing up her life – and heading to Connecticut to live with her grandma.

Building a Sense of Community—With Math

It’s well known that children learn by playing and that playing has numerous cognitive benefits, including flexibility, focus, self-control, organization, and planning. Playing games may also help children develop logical, executive, and social skills. Some studies show that such benefits can come from video games, as these can strengthen a range of cognitive abilities, including visual and spatial discrimination, memory, reasoning, logic, and problem solving.

Hutto Education Foundation Dare to Dream Gala Raises almost $30,000 for District

The Hutto Education Foundation (HEF) held their eighth annual "Dare to Dream" fundraising gala September 23 at the Gin Building in Hutto. Almost 200 parents, educators, district staff, members of the community and corporate supporters were in attendance.

For Traumatized Children, An Offer Of Help From The Muppets

Cookie Monster is all wound up. The Count has him hold up his furry blue fingers, count them (of course), and blow on each one in turn as if he were blowing out a birthday candle. Afterward, Cookie declares, in his familiar growly voice, that he feels much better.

"Hey! Me feel terrific! Me calm. Me relaxed."

Positive Words Go a Long Way

When I started teaching, I didn’t truly understand the power of words and their ability to influence the lives of students. I quickly learned that the effectiveness of my lessons and the classroom culture are heavily influenced by the language I use and how I use it.

Red Ribbon Week October 23-31

National Family Partnership, formerly the National Federation of Parents for Drug Free Youth, was established as a grassroots, nonprofit organization in 1980 by a handful of concerned and determined parents who were convinced they should begin to play a leadership role in drug prevention. Nancy Reagan was an Honorary Chair of NFP. Since its founding thirty years ago, NFP has devoted its efforts to the well-being of youth. Today, NFP is a national leader in drug prevention education & advocacy. Our mission is to lead and support our nation’s families and communities in nurturing the full potential of healthy, drug free youth.

How Schools Are Dealing With Students' Right To Protest

After more than 200 NFL players took a knee on Sunday during the national anthem to protest police brutality, public schools across the country have grappled with how to handle students who chose to protest in the same manner.

With Saturday night football games ahead for Houston, the district was forced to confront the issue head on.

11 Research-Based Classroom Management Strategies

Do unresolved behavior issues keep you awake at night thinking about what strategies might enhance responsible decision making and increase academic learning time? It’s natural to feel personally and professionally challenged—as I have, too many times to count.

The good news is that there are some research-based strategies called kernels that you can add to your classroom management toolkit.

Florence Elementary Schools Use Video Games in Class

Video games are being used as learning tools at three Florence District One elementary schools. The program is called Legends of Learning and is new this year to Royall Elementary School, Sneed Middle School, and Williams Middle School.

Miami 4th-Graders Write About Their Experiences With Hurricanes

When the fourth-graders in Mrs. Marlem Diaz-Brown's class returned to school on Monday, they were tasked with writing their first essay of the year. The topic was familiar: Hurricane Irma.

By Wednesday, they had worked out their introduction and evidence paragraphs and were brainstorming their personal experiences. To help them remember, Mrs. D-B had them draw out a timeline — starting Friday before the storm. Then, based on their drawings, they could start to talk about — and eventually, write about — what they experienced.

Memes, Emojis, and GIFs, Oh My! Teachers Tell How They Use Social Media

Most teachers think that social media and texting have a negative effect on their students' grammar and spelling skills, a new survey finds—but many educators still turn to social media tools to better relate to their students.

The survey, which was conducted by YouGov on behalf of, asked 801 teachers—in elementary grades through postgraduate schools—about their views on social media and pop culture in the classroom.

Texas Persons with Disabilities History and Awareness Month

During the 82nd Legislative Session, HB 3616 was passed which designates October as Persons with Disabilities History and Awareness Month. The bill will encourage public schools and state agencies to celebrate the accomplishments of people with disabilities, highlighting the achievements of Texans with disabilities who made significant contributions to the state and the extraordinary Americans who led the way in the disability rights movement. The bill’s intent is to increase public awareness of the many achievements of people with disabilities, to encourage public understanding of the disability rights movement, and to reaffirm the local, state, and federal commitment to providing equality and inclusion for people with disabilities.

The Most Popular High School Plays And Musicals

The brilliant script, the "really fun" music and the exciting tech and staging feats were just a few of the reasons John Minigan decided to have his students perform The Addams Family.

"A lot of the students didn't know The Addams Family TV show at all," says Minigan, the drama teacher at Weston High School, just outside Boston. The nostalgia may be more for the adults in the audience, but the show, he says, still asks an increasingly relevant question for students: "What is the American family?"

The Missing Autistic Girls

On a recent hot summer afternoon, eight women sat at a table drawing and crafting at Felicity House, the world’s first community space devoted solely to women with autism. Opened just two years ago, the historic town house in the middle of New York City is a haven for women with a condition that limits their ability to communicate and interact with others.

Walk to School Day

oin students, families, school leaders, community partners and mayors around the country on October 4 to celebrate the benefits of walking to school during International Walk to School Day.

Teaching Sept. 11 To Students Who Were Born After The Attacks

"Never forget" became a national rallying cry after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Yet America's schools — where collective memory is shaped — are now full of students who never knew because they weren't alive then. Many teachers now struggle with whether and how to teach the attacks and their aftermath.

When We Listen to Students

As you are beginning to think about returning to school, I have a suggestion that can drastically impact your year (and it's simple): brainstorm questions to ask your students.

The kids right in front of us often have the most useful information within them -- information that can help us reach and teach them, help us engage them, and that can help us have a fantastic year together.

These Oklahoma City Schools Are Named For Confederate Generals ... Or Are They?

District leaders in the Oklahoma City Public Schools will soon head out into the community to ask this question: Should the four elementary schools they believe are the namesake of Confederate generals be renamed?

The origin of that question goes back several weeks. Right after the violence broke out in Charlottesville, Va., Charles Henry, a school board member in Oklahoma City, voiced his concern about the name of Jackson Elementary, which he says had been bothering him for a while.

This is Your Brain on Snapchat

Do you spend a lot of time on Facebook? Do your students spend every spare minute on Snapchat? Have you wondered how this affects your mood or your students' moods? If so, KQED and PBS Learning Media have a resource that you should share with your students.

What Should We Be Teaching Young Children?

Early-childhood and elementary school programs reflect a diverse set of commitments about what children ought to learn, and about how they ought to do so.

Some focus on academic preparation and advancement, with extra attention to reading and mathematics. Some emphasize social-emotional development and community values. Others tout their language classes, or their music program, or the opportunities for children to engage in extended projects of their choosing. Some praise structure and discipline; some prize autonomy and play.

7 Outstanding K-8 Flexible Classrooms

In March, with the end of the school year rounding into view, we asked our Facebook community to show us their flexible seating arrangements. Photos and comments poured in from hundreds of teachers across the country. We sifted through the submissions, identified educators with outstanding flexible classrooms from kindergarten through eighth grade, and asked for tips, classroom features, and plenty of visuals. We feature seven of those classrooms below.

Hurricane Harvey Resources for TRTA Members

Members of the Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) are aware of Hurricane Harvey’s shocking and pervasive effects, as the storm ravaged the Texas coast over the weekend and caused significant flooding and damage to inland cities as well.

While we do not have any information on how TRTA have been affected by the storm so far, TRTA wants to remind members of valuable resources and aid that may be available to them.

Five Years In, What's Next For DACA?

Demonstrators came from across the country to gather at the White House in support of undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as toddlers and children.

Five years ago today, President Obama signed an executive order protecting them from deportation. It's known as DACA — Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.

Tools for Creating Stop Motion Movies

Kevin Hodgson recently updated his excellent Making Stop Motion Movies website on which he features examples of student projects and provides good information about the process of making stop motion movies. I particularly like the page about claymation movies. Looking at Kevin's site got me to revisit some of my own posts about tools for creating stop motion movies. Here are four that I have used at various times over the years.

6 Non-Teaching Books Every Teacher Should Read

A book promises the chance to escape the noise and busyness of our daily lives. In its pages we are never alone, yet we are also shut off, shut off from the thousand decisions and distractions that attack us at any moment. When we open ourselves up to a book we are embedded in the preciousness of ideas, growth, and mindful stimulation.

My Son Is In Special Education and I Want Him To Be Challenged

By the time my younger son is midway through third grade, I realize that his academic progress has stalled. He's stuck somewhere between kindergarten and first grade.

School is a struggle for him. He has a language-based learning disability, which affects how long it takes for him to process new information before he can respond.

10 Free Apps and Tools for Starting Out (and Staying) Organized

The start of a new school year is a great time to reflect on what’s really working for you and what isn’t quite cutting it. When it comes to staying organized, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. It’s all about finding a system that works for you and picking apps or tools that you will actually use. There isn’t a tool that will work perfectly for everyone—you may love a particular feature of one tool but use another that colleagues prefer to connect and collaborate with them.

UT Harry Ransom Center Invites Applications for 2018-19 Research Fellowships

The Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas, Austin encourages discovery, inspires creativity, and advances understanding of the humanities for a broad and diverse audience through the preservation and sharing of its extraordinary collections. Its extensive collections provide unique insight into the creative process of writers and artists, deepening our understanding and appreciation of literature, photography, film, art, and the performing arts.

Why Kids Can't Write

On a bright July morning in a windowless conference room in a Manhattan bookstore, several dozen elementary school teachers were learning how to create worksheets that would help children learn to write.

Judith C. Hochman, founder of an organization called the Writing Revolution, displayed examples of student work. A first grader had produced the following phrase: “Plants need water it need sun to” — that is, plants need water and sun, too. If the student didn’t learn how to correct pronoun disagreement and missing conjunctions, by high school he could be writing phrases like this one: “Well Machines are good but they take people jobs like if they don’t know how to use it they get fired.” That was a real submission on the essay section of the ACT.

There's a National Teachers Hall of Fame? Who Knew?

If you've ever driven south into Kansas on Interstate 35, past rolling prairies and wheat fields, eventually you'll run into the town of Emporia, population 25,000 and home to the National Teachers Hall of Fame.

I took that drive recently, curious about what I would find but also wondering, why Emporia?

Students Can Gain Wisdom From a Senior

Across the country, youngsters in all grades are connecting with senior citizens on projects that transcend community outreach to provide students with true curricular value.

While doing research for National History Day, students in Tea McCaulla’s Florida high school stumbled upon Women’s Airforce Service Pilots and Letters from Home, a book by World War II veteran Bernice “Bee” Haydu, now 96.

A Case for Finger Counting

Teachers generally start telling children to stop counting on their fingers around the end of first grade—they’re learning to do math in their heads, and finger counting is sometimes seen as a crutch or even a sign of weak math ability.

A new British study published in Frontiers in Education suggests that this may be a mistake because finger counting seems to boost math learning when paired with number games.

Teachers With Student Debt: These Are Their Stories

Teachers have one of the lowest-paid professional jobs in the U.S. You need a bachelor's degree, which can be costly — an equation that often means a lot of student loans. We've reported on the factors that make this particular job even more vulnerable to a ton of debt, including chronically low teacher pay, the increasing pressure to get a master's degree and the many ways to repay loans or apply for loan forgiveness.

Sales Tax Holiday Upcoming

This year’s Sales Tax Holiday is Aug. 11 - 13. As in previous years, the law exempts most clothing, footwear, school supplies and backpacks priced less than $100 from sales and use taxes, which could save shoppers about $8 on every $100 they spend.

Subject to the criteria explained below, all sales of qualifying items made during the holiday period qualify for the exemption, including items sold online, or by telephone or mail. Shoppers can use layaway plans to take advantage of the sales tax holiday.

Cell Towers At Schools: Godsend Or God-Awful?

School districts — hard up for cash — are turning to an unlikely source of revenue: cell towers. The multistory metal giants are cropping up on school grounds in Chicago, Milpitas, Calif., Collier County, Fla. and many other places across the country.

The big reason: money. As education budgets dwindle, districts are forming partnerships with telecom companies to allow use of their land in exchange for some of the profits.

What It’s Like To Be a Teacher With an Anxiety Disorder

We all feel anxious sometimes. Maybe it is going into a new situation such as starting a new job, or having to have a difficult conversation. The feeling of nervousness and anxiousness is completely normal, and an evolutionary necessity. However, for some people, like me, that feeling of anxiousness never goes away. You live with it day in, day out, and it can have quite a detrimental effect on your life and mental health.

National Day of the Cowboy

National Day of the Cowboy is observed annually on the fourth Saturday in July.

5 Neat Things You Can Do With Google Sheets

Once you get the hang of working with Google Sheets there are a lot of great ways to use spreadsheets as a teacher or as a student. Here's a run-down of some of my favorite things to do with Google Sheets in the classroom.

School Leaders: Top Tips For Keeping Your Morale High

Leading a school is a privilege, and a tremendous opportunity to have a positive influence – to lead in the way you think it should be done, to focus on the priorities you believe to be the right ones and to create an environment where it is possible for those you lead to be their best selves. You have the chance to make a difference to the lives of students, and of staff, on a scale unlike any other you have ever known. There’s huge reward and satisfaction in this, and, in my experience, joy.

Celebrating Best Friends, Both Real and Fictional

Today is National Best Friends Day, which has me thinking about what it means, exactly, to be a best friend. Among my closest friends, I know that I can count on them to be there for me no matter what. We laugh together until we cry, and we sometimes cry together until we're laughing again. No matter how far away from each other we live or how long it's been since we've talked, I know that we can pick back up like nothing's changed whenever we want to. And we all know each other's favorite ice cream.







Deserving Teacher Receives An Emotional Surprise Video Message From His Students

For Wyatt Oroke, being a teacher also means showcasing empathy and support for his students. And it's an honor.

Libraries Offer Resources During National Cyber Security Awareness Month

Online security is a growing concern, especially in the wake of the alarming cyber attacks that have compromised the personal information of millions.

Mini Everything Pretzel Dogs Recipe

Mini everything pretzel dogs to celebrate the days getting chillier! Every morning before we go to work, Mike and I get up early to take a morning walk together. It’s kind of a new ritual Mike invented so I could start my day with something active and fun. We don’t get a huge amount of light in our bedroom and I’m very susceptible to feeling gloomy with a lack of sunshine, so it’s perfect for me. We get fresh air, a brisk walk, and plenty of morning sun. It makes me happy in a way that sets me up to have a great day.

Pearl Named One of 15 Great Places in America

The Pearl has been named one of 15 great places in America by the American Planning Association (APA).

Nobel Prizes 2017: Facts About the Secretive Process and Peculiar Past

The mere mention of the Nobel Prize conjures images of inspired scientists, exemplars of peace, and meditative writers. Though the prizes are well respected, a rich tangle of lore has grown around them during the 116 years they have been awarded, driven in part by the secrecy inherent in the selection process.

Dubbed The 'ICU Grandpa,' He's Been Comforting Preemies For The Last 12 Years

Approximately half a million babies are born premature, or with birth defects, in the U.S. each year, according to March of Dimes. Many of these babies end up spending weeks, and sometimes months, in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) or pediatric intensive care unit (PICU).

In the Age of Streaming TV, Who Needs Title Sequences?

There was an establishing shot: a barrel wave off the coast of Hawaii, or choppers carrying wounded vets over a mountain in Korea. Then a theme song swelled, an earworm that would echo in your brain like an advertising jingle: “Here’s the story, of a lovely lady…” Some names appeared alongside corresponding actors, who often turned to smile — or brood, depending on their character — in a weirdly stagey way. The audience was told the central premise in no uncertain terms. The nanny is named Fran. In the criminal justice system the people are represented by two separate yet equally important groups. The truth is “out there.” Then the cartoon family converged on the couch, and finally the show began.

30 Healthy Fish Recipes

rom superstar chef Rick Bayless's tuna ceviche with avocado to perfect barbecued salmon, here are delicious healthy fish recipes.

10 Kids Were Asked To Draw What They Think Cars Of The Future Will Look Like. Here's What They Came Up With.

We all have ideas about what the cars of the future will look like, but kids may have the best ones. Their limitless imaginations are not confined by what's logical or realistic. They don't care about the laws of science, mechanics, or design. They care about the things that excite them, such as mystical characters, vibrant colors, and robots.

Dinosaurs Laid Blue Eggs—And That's a Big Deal

Robins may be famous for their beautiful blue eggs, but ancient feathered dinosaurs beat them to the punch.

Looking at fossil eggshells from China, researchers have found evidence that an omnivorous, ostrich-like dinosaur laid clutches of blue-green eggs, potentially helping to camouflage them in open nests dug into the ground.

6 Surprising Things You Didn't Know About North Korea

There’s a lot about North Korea that the world doesn’t know, largely because of the governing regime’s intense control over its citizens and its wary approach to outsiders. But between satellite images, North Korean citizens who fled to other countries, and the small number of people who have managed to visit, a picture of everyday North Korea has slowly emerged.

Chasing Cures for Deadly Scourges, and Getting in Our Own Way

Most Americans, it seems safe to say, derived a healthy measure of satisfaction from the news in 2011 that a team of Navy SEALs had killed Osama bin Laden. The cheers faded soon enough, however, for one group: public health professionals. That’s because killing the archterrorist had the unintended consequence of undermining their campaign to finally wipe polio off the face of the earth.

Over $20,000 Raised As Thank You For Local Meteorologist's Reliable Reporting During Harvey

Jeff Lindner, the Harris County Flood Control District meteorologist, has been working some long days recently. Since Hurricane Harvey hit Texas last week, Lindner has been updating residents via news conferences and Twitter updates about the water levels in Houston and the surrounding areas. His tweets about flooded roads and responses to worried Texans have extended late into the night, and he admitted on Twitter this weekend that the last night he had a decent night's sleep was Aug. 22.

Pace Picante Sauce: 70 Years of Texas-Made Tradition

Established in 1947 by David Pace, Pace Picante Sauce was the first to commercially use the “P” word (“picante,” which means “spicy” or “flavorful” in Spanish) for its salsa, which was originally made in the back of a San Antonio liquor store. Proud of their Texas roots, this award-winning condiment company (if you could call it that – it’s more like the main dish if you ask us!) was bought by Campbell’s in 1994. What was the selling price? A “picante” $1.115 billion! Remaining one of the top sellers in their sector, the company has moved to Paris, Texas, where it continues to produce some top-of-the-line product.

Pictures Reveal Hurricane Harvey's Catastrophic Destruction

On Friday evening, Texans braced for the intense winds and surging tides expected to accompany Hurricane Harvey, which was a Category 4 hurricane with 130-mph winds by the time it hit Rockport, Texas.

The Summer Salad You Should Make Right Now: Peach Melon Basil and Burrata

We’re in Colorado! Well, wait, we’re not exactly in Colorado anymore, but we were and I made a stunning peach, cantaloupe, basil, and burrata salad. Before this trip I knew nothing about Colorado, except that it’s kind of sort of in the middle of the US. But, as I learned, and as Mike told me, Colorado is a big deal.

Mom Studying To Be A Dentist Celebrates First Day Of '22nd Grade' With Her Son Starting Pre-K

Parents love to photograph their kids going off to their first day of school and all of the emotions that go along with it — whether their feeling, happy, sad, nostalgic, all of the above, or anything in between.

Drive-Thru Barbecue Available at New San Antonio HEB

True Texas BBQ is located within HEB stores in eight different locations across the state. (See the list here.) Normally, Texans need to come inside of the grocery store to pick up their dinner or “party pack,” but KSAT reports that newest True Texas BBQ at “Bulverde Marketplace on the corner of Loop 1604 and Bulverde Road” will break the mold and offer a drive-thru. It’s a first for HEB.

Bird Filmed Feeding Goldfish-Here's Why

First it was the hawklet adopted by bald eagles. Then it was the lioness nursing the leopard cub. And now in the latest example of interspecies care, there’s video of a cardinal feeding goldfish.

Mom's Letter To Her Son On His First Day Of Preschool Reveals How Hard The First Drop-Off Is For Parents, Too

Saying goodbye to kids on their first day of preschool can be as hard for parents as it is for kids. But parents have to try and keep it together for their kid's sake and explain why it's a good thing they're leaving them at school — even if they're too young to fully understand it.

It's Official: Stunning Fossil Is a New Dinosaur Species

About 110 million years ago in what’s now Alberta, Canada, a dinosaur resembling a 2,800-pound pineapple ended up dead in a river.

Austin Barber Sets Up Downtown to Offer Free Haircuts to the Homeless

On the last Sunday of each month from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., Roger Lopez sets up shop downtown to lend a helping hand to Austin’s homeless population. As a barber, Lopez knows the importance of a clean shave and a trim, so he offers haircuts free of charge under the underpass at 7th Street and I-35 downtown.

A+ For Teachers Anthropologie Sale

Frico Eggs: Crispy Fried Cheesy Eggs

How do you guys like your eggs? When I was little I was a straight-up scrambled egg girl. And no soft slow scramble either – nope, I LOVED those rubbery scrambled eggs that they used to serve up in those styrofoam containers at McDonalds. That was a long time ago. Now, I’m all about sunny eggs, runny yolks please. It’s funny how food tastes change. I’m pretty much a lover of all kinds of eggs now, but I still get really egg-cited (heehee sorry, not sorry!) when I see a new way to make eggs.

After Doctors Told Her She's At Risk For Alzheimer's, This 70-Year-Old Started A YouTube Channel To Document Her Life

If you think YouTube is just for millennials, my oh my are you wrong. While it is true the platform attracts lots of young creators, people of all ages and backgrounds have taken to YouTube to express their opinions, creativity, and more.

'Mountain of God' Volcano Preparing to Erupt

An active volcano in northeastern Tanzania known to the Maasai as the “Mountain of God” has been quietly rumbling—and it is showing signs that an eruption is imminent.

Meet the Coach Who Devotes His Life to a Deadly Motor Race

A deadly road race around an island in the Irish Sea draws motorcycle riders seeking a buzz they can’t get anywhere else. With the help of a former winner, two local rivals prepare to compete for the first time.

How Filmmakers Captured a Daring Escape From ISIS Territory

This week, U.S.-backed forces launched an attack to retake an ISIS stronghold in Syria, beginning what is expected to be a long and difficult fight in the midst of international terror attacks and diplomatic discord. In a new documentary, Hell on Earth: The Fall of Syria and the Rise of ISIS, filmmakers Sebastian Junger and Nick Quested examine the horrific conditions created by ongoing violence in the region, and how its effects reverberate around the world.

Cheesy Baked Spaghetti Recipe

Something magical happens when you bake spaghetti - it turns into a whole other dish with flavors that are completely different. If you have leftover bolognese or meat sauce on hand, try this. You really can't go wrong with cheese, noodles, and sauce baked to perfection.

Beached Baby Dolphin is Saved on Texas Gulf Coast

A stranded baby dolphin was given a second chance at life thanks to a good Samaritan in Texas. Spotting the baby floundering in the surf, the gentleman, whose video of the incident was aired on the Weather Channel, gently assisted the dolphin back out into the ocean without causing additional strain to the animal. Posted to the channel’s Facebook account on June 3, it was clear that the animal was in need of some help.

Fort Worth's Weston Gardens Features English Styling with a Texas Twist

Amongst 17 acres of peaceful sanctuary, amidst evergreens, ferns, birds, and creatures, framed by an assortment of blooms and supple grasses, sits Weston Gardens in Bloom in Fort Worth. A year-round natural space to visit and “get away from it all,” these gardens offer up a remarkable beauty in springtime in particular. Dedicated to plant species that are native to Texas and acclimated to their environs, their lush landscape has been developed in the historic English style of demonstration gardens, with a Texas twist.

This Dad Raised Enough Money To Pay Off An Entire School District's Lunch Debt

When Seattle father of three Jeffery Lew heard about the "lunch shaming" that was occurring in schools around the country, he decided to take action.

The World's Softest Wool Comes From This Remote Isle

At one-and-a-half miles in diameter and home to just 55 people, Fair Isle is the most remote inhabited island in the United Kingdom. Mati Vetrillon lives in a small, weather-worn stone house on the island where she knits and sells Fair Isle sweaters, continuing a tradition passed on by generations.

Chris Cornell: 15 Essential Songs

The singer's most memorable moments: Soundgarden's grunge classics, Audioslave's hits and his poetic solo material.

Philly Cheesesteak Recipe

I feel like every city wants a food item to claim as their own. Chicago has pizza —but then again, so does New York— Boston has clam chowder, and Philadelphia has cheesesteaks. I don’t know how a city gets to lay claim to a specific food item, but I do know that people will defend said food items with a fierceness that is usually reserved for first born children.

The Amazing Dinosaur Found (Accidentally) by Miners in Canada

On the afternoon of March 21, 2011, a heavy-equipment operator named Shawn Funk was carving his way through the earth, unaware that he would soon meet a dragon.

That Monday had started like any other at the Millennium Mine, a vast pit some 17 miles north of Fort McMurray, Alberta, operated by energy company Suncor. Hour after hour Funk’s towering excavator gobbled its way down to sands laced with bitumen—the transmogrified remains of marine plants and creatures that lived and died more than 110 million years ago. It was the only ancient life he regularly saw. In 12 years of digging he had stumbled across fossilized wood and the occasional petrified tree stump, but never the remains of an animal—and certainly no dinosaurs.

Newly Discovered Species Resembles Yoda, Just In Time For 'Star Wars Day

May 4 is the unofficial "May the fourth be with you" Star Wars holiday, While many celebrate by dressing up as their favorite characters, re-watching the films, and paying tribute to the films on social media, conservation groups are using the day to announce a newly discovered species of tarsiers, a nocturnal primate.

Center Point: Discover a Secret Treasure in the Center of the Hill Country

Located in the heart of the Hill Country lies Center Point, Texas, one of the largest unincorporated communities in the state of Texas with all the charm expected of the picturesque towns you come across.





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