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Statewide News
Texas Education Agency aims to improve teacher retention coming out of pandemic
In his annual report to the State Board of Education, TEA Commissioner Mike Morath explained how the state of Texas plans to address the teacher shortage in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on student learning. The Teacher Vacancy Task force is specifically focused on retention and recruitment, as more novice teachers are leaving the profession.
Texas leaders adjust school funding for districts facing low attendance and budget woes
TEA and Gov. Greg Abbott announced that Texas schools facing pandemic-related attendance drop-offs may be eligible to drop poorly attended school days from the funding formula. By providing this adjustment, the hope is that school systems will have the funding they need to retain teachers and provide quality education to all public school students across the state. The average daily attendance rate before the pandemic was 95.4% with some districts dropping as low as 70% at times during the last year.
National News
Math Anxiety Weakens How Students Study. Here’s What Teachers Can Do
A student in the Journal of Experimental Psychology suggests that math-anxious students often freeze on exams due to less effective preparation. Students with high levels of anxiety about math often engage in more passive study habits, while those with less anxiety around the subject tend to challenge themselves by practicing their skills. A 2021 study showed that the presence of math anxiety caused college students to underperform their more confident peers with the same ability.
More books are banned than ever before, as Congress takes on the issue
PEN America found there have been 1586 book bans in schools over the past 9 months, the most occurring in Texas with 713. The American Library Association reported that this is the highest number of book challenges or removals in the 20 years they have tracked book censorship. According to PEN, 41% of targeted books featured prominent characters who are people of color.
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