According To A Recent Survey, 70% Of The Teachers In Texas Are Thinking About Leaving Their Positions

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According To A Recent Survey, 70% Of The Teachers In Texas Are Thinking About Leaving Their Positions

An unsettling report on teachers and other education professionals in Texas was just published by the Texas State Teachers Association. It happens at a time when there is a critical shortage of educators throughout the nation. The study found that the majority of teachers in Texas — 70 percent — were giving serious consideration to leaving their jobs as teachers in 2022.

That’s the highest proportion ever recorded in the study that’s been keeping tabs on Texas teachers’ worries for more than four decades. When this study was last taken in 2018, 53 percent of teachers said they were thinking about leaving the profession. There were 688 educators polled in all.

According to the poll, a 16-year teaching veteran in Texas can expect to make $59,000 a year, which is $7,000 less than the national average. They say that stress associated with the pandemic, political pressure from state politicians, reduced support from parents, and financial constraints have all contributed to many educators’ feelings of burnout.

Texas: State Rep. Jared Patterson Wants To Ban Minors From Using Social Media

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Representative Jared Patterson (R-Texas) intends to submit legislation in 2023 prohibiting the use of social media by minors.

According to Patterson, the purpose of the measure is to safeguard the mental health of children. A conversation with school administrators after the massacre at Uvalde High School in Texas inspired the creation of a new measure. Patterson expressed worry about the influence of social media on children’s well-being as well as school safety.

In a previous post on Twitter earlier this month, Patterson announced his intention to submit legislation that would prohibit social media companies from allowing users under the age of 18 to use their services.

His comment was a reaction to an article that had been distributed by the Texas Public Policy Foundation. On the basis of a report of a young girl who was subjected to a bombardment of films on unhealthy body image, eating disorders, and self-harm, the hardline group proposed preventing children from using social media.

Twitter users were quick to oppose the notion, with some arguing that weapons, not social media, should be outlawed as a means of communication. Others argued that parents, not the government, should make the decision about their children’s social media use.

Patterson argues that parents are up against a massive business that promotes highly addictive products in the home. In the period from 2007 to 2017, there was an increase in the number of suicides and acts of self-harm, which is consistent with the rise in the use of social media. There was a decrease in suicide rates prior to 2007.

Cyberbullying and school shootings have been related to social media, but the law would not be a cure-all for mental health concerns, he added. “Look, I’m not saying if we ban social media providers that we will have no more mass shootings. What I am saying is this is absolutely a piece of it. “

According to him, it is illegal for minors to purchase firearms, cigarettes, or alcohol, and he went on to say that the legal system does a far better job of protecting children’s physical safety than it does their mental safety.

Using social media now is like smoking cigarettes back in the 1960s, according to Patterson. “They are built to hook you in longer, just like a drug,” he said.

Patterson said that the concept has been met with ambivalent responses from other legislators, with some expressing the belief that a ban would be difficult to pass. According to a press release, companies including TikTok, Facebook, and Twitter have been asked to attend an Aug. 8 discussion on the subject.

Patterson said that he had no desire to imprison anybody, even children or their parents. The measure would punish social media corporations for permitting minors to use their sites. “I think there’s broad bipartisan support,” he said. “I think there’s going to be broad bipartisan opposition.”

Texas: Schools Are Switching To Four-Day Weeks Because Of The Teacher Shortage

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School districts all around Texas have devised a new strategy to cope with their current teacher shortage: shortening the school week to four days.

Some people will benefit greatly from this, but parents may find it difficult.

Students in Channing ISD, a school district located in West Texas, attend the same school from kindergarten through high school.

Graves is now the head of the Channing school. “Four-day school weeks” will alleviate some of that burden, he asserts.

“That’s one of our major selling points—it’s one less day. We’re only going to bring the teachers in maybe a couple of times throughout the year on a Friday,” Graves said. Several rural districts in the state, including Channing ISD, have now made the changeover to the new model of teaching.

It’s difficult to compete with larger schools that pay their teachers around $7,000 more, according to Superintendent Dr. Misty Heiskell. “When inflation hits and things go up, we need to be able to find ways to compensate our teachers or offer benefit packages that will draw them back to the school setting,” Heiskell said.

Increased enrollment is another goal of the shift. Heiskell said that they live in a small community. Transfer students make up the bulk of their student body. Parents living in the school districts that have implemented the move are now making plans to find out how they will handle child care on Fridays. According to Heiskell, Channing Independent School District is focused on finding a solution to that problem. “We did lose a couple of students because parents working five days,” Heiskell said. “One of the things we want to look at… is have some type of activity or be able to open our building on those Fridays for kids who don’t have a place to go.”

He believes this will help the district be reimagined so that families will want to send their children there. “It’s going to save a lot a lot of people’s energy,” Graves said.

It was in 2016 that the Olfen Independent School District in West Texas made history by becoming the first in the state to implement a four-day week.

According to the Texas Education Agency, this practice is not presently documented. However, as long as a school district fulfills the criteria of 75,600 in-person operating minutes for the school year, it is stated that the district does have the ability to do whatever is best for the communities it serves.

Teachers In Texas And Louisiana Have The Lowest Retirement Benefits, According To A Latest Report

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According to a nonpartisan foundation that studies public pension systems, Texas teachers have the worst retirement choices in the nation, except for Louisiana.

A 13th monthly pension check for teacher retirees was signed into law by Gov. Greg Abbott last year as a treat to the state’s retired teachers. Some retired teachers believe the cheque was good but not enough in light of historically high inflation. Texas retired teachers haven’t had a cost-of-living increase in their monthly salaries since 2004.

Equable conducted a nationwide assessment of teacher pension schemes, including those in every state plus the District of Columbia. Each state’s strategy was examined to see how effectively it served new teachers, those with 10 to 20 years of experience, and those who had worked in the classroom their whole careers. States such as South Carolina, Tennessee, and Oregon occupied the top three spots.

With no cost-of-living adjustment, Texas’ plan offers a lower benefit value for instructors with fewer than 20 years of experience.

According to Harris County Republican State Sen. Paul Bettencourt, this year’s and last year’s 13th checks permitted by the Legislature are not properly accounted for in the report. Annuitants get 12 regular checks each year, but they are just cost-of-living adjustments for the year they were issued. Regardless, they are in effect for the year in which they were issued.

“The study ignores” benefit boosts worth an average of 5.55 percent allowed by the Legislature during the past three years.

To meet their promises to pensioners, conventional pensions—both those funded by the state and those funded by private companies—have been unable to achieve high enough rates of return. An average of 80% of the promised benefits are guaranteed by money in the pension plans themselves throughout the country. There is an additional 20%, known as the unfunded liabilities, which in the United States amounts to around $1 trillion.

At 76%, Texas’s Teacher Retirement System (TRS), the state’s biggest pension plan, is funded at a level that is somewhat below the national median. Despite the fact that TRS and other funds grew rapidly last year due to the stock market and other investments, this year’s investment returns are expected to be significantly less bright as the financial markets prepare for a storm. According to the findings of the research, prospective teachers take into account pension benefits when deciding where to work or whether or not to engage in education at all.

This year, Gov. Greg Abbott formed a task committee of specialists, school administrators, and teachers to examine the teacher shortage in Texas and provide recommendations on how to address it. Several experts outside the task team have argued that improved compensation and benefits are all that is needed to solve the problem.


The following article was originally published by: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/education/article/Texas-and-Louisiana-rank-lowest-in-teacher-17274223.php

Texas: Forney ISD Bans Hoodies And Dresses For Older Students

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Forney Independent School District has placed a blanket ban on all hooded apparel throughout all 18 campuses, as well as a prohibition on dresses and skirts for children in grades six through twelve.

T-shirts and denim trousers will also be prohibited in the area, which is roughly 25 miles east of Dallas. Students in prekindergarten through fourth grade are permitted to wear skirts, while those in higher grades are not.

The changes to the clothing code are part of FISD Superintendent Justin Terry’s effort to instill “workforce skills” in the district’s pupils for the future, according to a video. There have already been some protests from students over the new rules. When asked about the “reset this bar,” Terry responded, “We are excited to work together to take our schools and classrooms back for the future of our kids in order to make sure that they have a safe, enjoyable, and exciting learning experience.”

This week, a petition opposing the dress code gained more than 3,400 signatures, encouraging people to “join the fight against these unfair policies.”

One petitioner stated, “I feel all female students are being denied the freedom to dress as young ladies.”  “Every profession has a dress code, whether it’s scrubs, a welding helmet or a chef’s apron,” the girl said. “The way I dress plays an important role in professionalism and safety, both in the classroom and on the job site.”

According to the district’s website, the purpose of the dress code is to “improve student self-esteem, bridge socio-economic differences among students, and promote positive behavior, thereby improving school safety and improving the learning environment.  In the event that students do not adhere to the dress code, they may risk on-campus suspension until they alter their behavior or a designated adult provides them an authorized change of clothing to school.”


Featured Image Credit: Officials said the dress code will help improve the learning environment. (Source: WFAA/FAMILY PHOTO/CHANGE.ORG/CNN)

From Texas To Alaska: UT Cycling Team Take Part In The Texas 4000, To Raise Awareness And Funds In The Battle Against Cancer

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On Friday, a student cycling team from the University of Texas in Austin started its 19th annual bike ride, which will cover more than 4,000 miles, looking to raise awareness and money in the fight against cancer.

In preparation for the ATLAS Ride, the Texas 4000 for Cancer team conducted a 2022 Day Zero send-off ceremony at the Engineering Education and Research Building at the University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin) (EER).

After a two-year pause due to pandemic restrictions, the life-altering 70-day campaign is back.

Student and cancer survivor Chris Condit established Texas 4000 in 2004. Every year, this charity bike ride covers the world’s longest distance and raises money for cancer research and patient support services, as well as developing future student leaders by disseminating cancer prevention knowledge to communities along the route.

Alumnus Chris Brubaker, the head of the Texas 4000 board of directors and a 2015 Texas 4000 graduate, stated, “These students have spent more than a year preparing for this once in a lifetime experience, and we’re thrilled the team can hit the road to complete the mission.”  It begins at Stoneledge Winery in Lometa, Texas at 8:30 a.m. June 4th for the ATLAS ride.  There are several ways that friends and family members of cancer patients in Central Texas may assist generate money for the team. You may join the ATLAS ride by picking a 25- or 50-mile ride, paying the registration cost, and then raising $100 or more.  All of the money raised will be used to further the goals of Texas 4000.


Featured Image Credit: University of Texas students embark on 4K mile bike ride from Austin to Alaska, https://www.fox7austin.com/news/university-texas-students-cancer-bike-ride-austin-alaska

Uvalde School Shooting: Gunman Kills At Least 18 Children And A Fourth-Grade Teacher

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On Tuesday, a shooter opened fire at a Texas elementary school, killing at least 18 children and a teacher, authorities said, making it the deadliest school shooting since the Sandy Hook massacre ten years ago.

In Uvalde, a small community west of San Antonio, students in the second through fourth grades of Robb Elementary School were getting ready for summer break when the shootings occurred shortly before noon.  The shooter, an 18-year-old student from a local high school, was also found dead at the site, according to investigators, who confirmed him as the gunman.

Gov. Greg Abbott described the shooting as “horrifically, incomprehensibly” at a media briefing.

On Tuesday night, while worried Uvalde parents anxiously awaited news on their children’s safety and law enforcement authorities worked feverishly to piece together how the atrocity occurred, the mass shooting reopened a national political discussion over gun restrictions and the ubiquity of guns.  An expletive was used by a citizen of Uvalde named Rey Chapa as he spoke about the deaths that occurred on Tuesday. He remarked, “This is just evil.” According to Chapa, his nephew was at the school when there was a gunshot, but he was unharmed. He awaited word from family and friends on the health of the other children. The father of a fourth-grader at Robb Elementary School in San Antonio said he couldn’t locate his daughter when he went to the school or a reunification facility in the municipal center. No one has told him anything, and “I’m trying to find out where my baby’s at.”

“Any and all assistance” has been extended to the governor “in the wake of the horrific shooting in Uvalde” by President Joe Biden, according to a White House official. After he returned to the White House late on Tuesday, Biden was set to speak about the shootings.

Texas High School Prank Goes Out Of Control, Costing Thousands Of Dollars In Damages

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School officials in Texas had to stop classes for the rest of the year after a senior prank went awry and caused thousands of dollars in damage.

At Frisco’s Memorial High School in Frisco, Texas, some students devised a prank that entailed pasting post-it notes all over the walls. School authorities said the act developed into a building-wide act of destruction.

In order to clean the campus, the high school had to postpone its last two days of courses on Thursday and Friday, which resulted in a shortened senior year, according to Fox 4.

School officials have stated that they intend to penalize the students who caused the mess.

A letter from school officials said that “paint on the walls, furniture destruction, fire extinguisher discharge, and more” had caused “thousands of dollars” of damage.

“Every surface on the 300,000 sq. ft. campus must be cleaned,” he said. Administrators at Frisco ISD said that pupils will be held liable for the cleanup charges.

Staff had been at the school to supervise the prank, but after the situation got out of hand, they summoned police and the fire department.

As other kids documented the mayhem in the cafeteria in a video posted on social media, smoke plumes from fire extinguishers filled the room. According to reports, no one was hurt.

The police and the school are working together to track out the individuals. They might be charged with a crime.

In an interview with Fox 4, student Katelynn Mabrey said, “It was another level of embarrassment for me because I was expecting just to go to school the next day and sticky notes be everywhere.”

She expressed her disappointment that she won’t be able to visit her favorite professors again as a student in the building. “They canceled school because of everything that happened. And now, I don’t get to see those teachers that were a big part of my life,” Katelynn said. “And it’s just it’s not funny. It’s not cool. It’s just sad.” It was said that the high school’s graduation ceremony is scheduled on Friday and will go forward, hopefully, without problems.

Texas: Due To The Length Of His Hair, A Teen Was Suspended From School And Told He Couldn’t Attend Graduation

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At first, Treyvion Gray didn’t know what to make of it since he was heading to gym class in the Needville Independent School District in Fort Bend County when he was accosted.

The assistant principal told him, “Treyvion, your hair is getting too long; you’re going to have to cut it.” And I said, “Why would I have to,” Ma’am? Why am I going to have to cut my hair? There are other kids literally with hair longer than mine, and it’s all past their collar. So why are you talking to me about mine?”

Boys’ hair is not allowed to go beyond their eyebrows or “over the top of a normal collar in the back when combed down” according to the district’s dress code, which was obtained by Insider.

“I was definitely targeted because of my race,” the 18-year-old told Insider. “I did not want to cut my hair because it is a part of my identity. I’ve been growing them for too long [and] it’s how I choose to express myself in my culture.”

As Kyle Ring, the administrator of a prominent hair-themed Instagram account, wrote in Esquire in 2020, “Locs have been worn in cultures extending from Asia and the Middle East to Africa, where they have traditionally denoted power, a spiritual connection or the rejection of conventional ideas.

Early in March, Gray was taken off of the school’s rolls. To get back into the classroom again, he hired an attorney, but he is still pursuing legal action against his institution.

For the first two months of his in-school suspension, the adolescent stated he was secluded from his friends. As a result, he was barred from attending his graduation or other events until he met the school’s regulations.

“I was in a state of deep sadness and depression. Since I’ve been ready to graduate for a long time, I’ve been waiting to go over the stage,” Gray said. Then they informed me that I would not be allowed to walk across the stage. ‘What?’ I was flabbergasted. It came as a surprise.”

Some black students want the Senate to enact the Crown Act, which would prohibit discrimination based on one’s hair texture. Students have been subjected to situations similar to Gray’s in recent months, prompting their demands for action.

When Dyree Williams relocated to East Bernard, Texas, in February, she and her 17-year-old son were told that he couldn’t enroll in school because of his hair, according to reports. Desiree Bullock has been compelled to homeschool her kid because of the school’s clothing policy, she told local media.

Kaden Bradford, a Black adolescent from Mont Belvieu, Texas, was suspended from school because of his long hair, just like Gray. As a result of the district’s tight clothing code, a court ruled that Bradford could not be expelled from school.

The Crown Act, which stands for “Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair,” was enacted by the House in March. Hair discrimination on the basis of race or ethnicity would be prohibited nationwide if a bill introduced in the Senate is enacted.

Gray is suing Needville ISD, its superintendent, and the board of trustees, claiming he was discriminated against and that the school authorities’ decision has caused him “emotional anguish.”

Non-Black children were not singled out by NISD administrators for surveillance, according to the complaint, which claimed Gray’s locs fell just below the eyebrow. “The District’s continuous surveillance and inspection of Gray alienated him and separated him out from his white peers,” he writes. “

The Needville ISD was contacted by Insider but did not reply.

“Seek some immediate relief to provide Treyvion to guarantee he has equal educational chances since he was not obtaining the same educational possibilities as his classmates in alternate school,” said Melissa Moore, Treyvion’s attorney.

Judges agreed last week that Gray may return to college, but his lawyer said they may have to go back before the courts so that Gray can walk in his graduation ceremony on May 19.

At first Treyvion Gray didn’t know what to make of it since he was heading to gym class in the Needville Independent School District in Fort Bend County when he was accosted.

The assistant principal told him, “Treyvion, your hair is getting too long; you’re going to have to cut it.” ‘And I said, ‘Why would I have to,” Ma’am? Why am I going to have to cut my hair?  There are other kids with hair that is actually longer than mine, and it extends all the way to their collars. You’re talking about mine, so why are you talking to me?”

Boys’ hair is not allowed to go beyond their eyebrows or “over the top of a normal collar in the back when combed down” according to the district’s dress code, which was obtained by Insider.

“I was definitely targeted because of my race,” the 18-year-old told Insider. “I did not want to cut my hair because it is a part of my identity. I’ve been growing them for too long [and] it’s how I choose to express myself in my culture.”

As Kyle Ring, the administrator of a prominent hair-themed Instagram account, wrote in Esquire in 2020, “Locs have been worn in cultures extending from Asia and the Middle East to Africa, where they have traditionally denoted power, a spiritual connection or the rejection of conventional ideas.

Early in March, Gray was taken off of the school’s rolls. To get back into the classroom again, he hired an attorney, but he is still pursuing legal action against his institution.

For the first two months of his in-school suspension, the adolescent stated he was secluded from his friends. As a result, he was barred from attending his graduation or other events until he met the school’s regulations.

“I was in a state of deep sadness and depression. Since I’ve been ready to graduate for a long time, I’ve been waiting to go over the stage,” Gray said. Then they informed me that I would not be allowed to walk across the stage. ‘What?’ I was flabbergasted. It came as a surprise.”

Some black students want the Senate to enact the Crown Act, which would prohibit discrimination based on one’s hair texture. Students have been subjected to situations similar to Gray’s in recent months, prompting their demands for action.

When Dyree Williams relocated to East Bernard, Texas, in February, she and her 17-year-old son were told that he couldn’t enroll in school because of his hair, according to reports. Desiree Bullock has been compelled to homeschool her kid because of the school’s clothing policy, she told local media.

Kaden Bradford, a Black adolescent from Mont Belvieu, Texas, was suspended from school because of his long hair, just like Gray. As a result of the district’s tight clothing code, a court ruled that Bradford could not be expelled from school.

The Crown Act, which stands for “Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair,” was enacted by the House in March. Hair discrimination on the basis of race or ethnicity would be prohibited nationwide if a bill introduced in the Senate is enacted.

Gray is suing Needville ISD, its superintendent, and the board of trustees, claiming he was discriminated against and that the school authorities’ decision has caused him “emotional anguish.”

Non-Black children were not singled out by NISD administrators for surveillance, according to the complaint, which claimed Gray’s locs fell just below the eyebrow. “The District’s continuous surveillance and inspection of Gray alienated him and separated him out from his white peers,” he writes. “

The Needville ISD was contacted by Insider but did not reply.

“Seek some immediate relief to provide Treyvion to guarantee he has equal educational chances since he was not obtaining the same educational possibilities as his classmates in alternate school,” said Melissa Moore, Treyvion’s attorney.

Judges agreed last week that Gray may return to college, but his lawyer said they may have to go back before the courts so that Gray can walk in his graduation ceremony on May 19.


The following article is paraphrased from the following: A Black Texas teen was suspended from school and told he couldn’t attend graduation due to the length of his hair, Taylor Ardrey, May 11, 2022, https://www.insider.com/black-texas-teen-suspended-from-school-over-hair-length-2022-5?amp

Texas: A New, More Difficult Teacher Certification Test Is Getting Closer To Being Implemented

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On Friday, a state board agreed to require a new certification test for incoming teachers in an attempt to better prepare them and retain them in the field.

The Educative Teacher Performance Assessment, or edTPA test, was approved by a vote of 8-1 by the 11-member State Board for Educator Certification, which regulates teacher training, certification, and behavior standards. Board member Jean Streepey, who was absent, and board member Tommy Coleman both voted against the motion.

Before the exam may be used for new Texas teachers, it must be approved by the State Board of Education. In June, the board is set to take up the issue.

The Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities exam, a 100-question multiple-choice examination that has been in use since 2002, will be replaced by this new license test. The PPR teacher certification exam has been criticized as a less-than-precise method of evaluating a new teacher’s potential. Because the exam consists entirely of multiple-choice questions, passing it is a lot simpler.

The Stanford University-developed edTPA asks instructors to submit essays, lesson plans, videos of themselves teaching in the classroom, and progress reports on their students.

Those in favor of the new exam think the videos and written analysis offered by the test will better help and retain new instructors because of this. Those who oppose the edTPA claim that the cost of the PPR is about $200 higher than the cost of the edTPA. New York and Washington, two states where it was mandated, have also done away with it.

It will begin as an optional examination in 2022-23, then become a pass/fail exam in 2024-25 if the State Board of Education approves the edTPA.