Local News
Statewide News
Texas board adopts sex ed material but rejects health textbooks for elementary students
The Texas State Board of Education approved one set of health materials for middle school and high school; however, with a 6-6 vote, failed to authorize materials for K-5 students. Districts remain responsible for teaching all health state standards even without an approved textbook, and ensure that whatever they choose meets accessibility standards, a process that can cost up to $130,000 per title. 
Texas’ ban on mask mandates in public schools back in place after federal appeals court ruling
The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has restored the governor’s executive order prohibiting mask mandates in Texas schools. The panel states that there had been “no concrete or imminent injury as a result of the enforcement.” The case was originally filed in August by Disability Rights Texas with the argument that the ban put disable children at risk.
Are divided Texas politics killing school bond packages?
Texas voters rejected more school bond proposals than they approved for the first time in over a decade. Only 47% of district-led propositions passed on the November ballot. School bond packages are now required as of 2019 to have separate ballot propositions when asking for money to improve athletic and performing fine arts facilities or technology improvements.
National News
What This Week’s Mass Shooting Can Teach Us About School Safety
Following the recent school shooting in Oxford, Mich., 2021 has reached a record 29 school shootings this year. Data shows an uptick in violence at schools as students returned to in-person learning this year, as districts attempt to respond to the current mental health crisis among youth. In this case, lockdown procedures and active-shooter drills may have saved lives.
Efforts to Toughen Teacher Evaluations Show No Positive Impact on Students
Nationally, new research from Brown University suggests that efforts to strengthen teacher evaluation systems over the last decade have had no positive effects on student outcomes. The implemented systems decreased job satisfaction among teachers and added significant demands to administrator workloads. Education experts from multiple universities suggest that future reforms need to address the fundamental barriers that keep teachers from being their best professional selves.
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