Counting down to the 2015 TASA/TASB Convention
Preregistration closes September 18 for the 2015 TASA/TASB Convention. This year's conference is set for October 2–4 in Austin. With training, exhibitors, a field trip, special seminars, and more, Convention is an event school leaders won’t want to miss. Reserve your spot today to take advantage of early registration pricing.
September 18 deadline to apply for Advocacy Institute stipends
Trustees are invited to apply for a stipend to attend the 2016 Advocacy Institute. The National School Boards Association's (NSBA) conference, set for January 24–26, 2016, in Washington DC, is the only national legislative event exclusively for school trustees. TASB's goal is to have a representative from each Texas congressional district at the conference.
Final call for delegate registration
The preregistration deadline has passed, but there is still time to register your board's representative for the 2015 Delegate Assembly. Set for October 3 at the Austin Hilton Hotel, Delegate Assembly is your board's opportunity to stand up for Texas public schools and be a part of forging the shared vision. Take action now to ensure your district's voice is heard.
New postings in School Law eSource
Several new memos for school district leaders have been prepared by TASB Legal Services. The new and updated articles, available in TASB School Law eSource, cover issues related to safety, student rights, and governance.
District personnel survey in progress
HR program and salary survey contacts are encouraged to participate in the District Personnel Salary Survey
. The second in the salary survey series, the questionnaire covers teachers and more than 120 benchmark district jobs. Deadline to complete the district personnel survey is October 9. The final survey, which is on extra-duty stipends, opens October 27. For more information about the salary surveys, contact TASB HR Services
LTASB alumni invited to annual reunion
The annual Leadership TASB (LTASB) Reunion and Celebration of Leadership Awards Reception is set for October 2, 5:30–7:30 p.m., at the Austin Convention Center. Hosted by the LTASB Alumni Association and the class of 2015, the celebration will be held in conjunction with the TASA/TASB Convention.
Millennial meet up at Convention
This year’s TASA/TASB Convention will feature a special gathering for millennial board members (born after 1980), providing a chance to network with other millennials and share with TASB staff how the Association can best serve them. Additionally, since the meet up is scheduled at breakfast time, Saturday, October 3, 7–8:30 a.m. at the Austin Convention Center, attendees get coffee and pastries. Millennial board members not planning to attend Convention can contact email@example.com
to get in on the conversation and future events.
Learn how to improve educator effectiveness
A special symposium, Optimizing Educator Effectiveness: A Multifaceted Approach, will highlight the work of Texas school districts that are actively working to find better ways to develop, evaluate, utilize, and reward talented educators. The event is set for October 27–28 at the Embassy Suites in San Marcos.
Time to register for administrative staff training
Registration is now open for the 2015–16 TASB Conference for Administrative Professionals
. Scheduled for October 22–23 and repeating February 11–12, the conference provides focused training for administrative support personnel at the district level. Session topics include elections, open government issues, HR records, social media, policy updates/archives, agenda preparation, and much more
. The event is held at TASB Headquarters in Austin.
Forecast5 offers data analytics tools for schools
TASB, the Texas Association of School Administrators, and the Texas Association of School Business Officials have entered into affinity partner agreements with Forecast5 Analytics, a company that provides data tools that can assist in district decision making. With Forecast5, school leaders can compare district performance data with benchmark peer groups across the state, prepare "what-if" simulations to facilitate multiyear financial planning, and integrate user-specific data overlaid on a Google map. Learn more about these tools at forecast5analytics.com
Early registration deadline for HR Academy
October 19 is the deadline to take advantage of early registration pricing for the 2015 Texas School HR Administrators Academy
. Set for November 9–10 at the Austin Marriott North, the training covers the resource functions and critical issues every human resources administrator encounters, helping them meet the challenges of a career in HR. The event is cosponsored by TASB and the Texas Association of School Personnel Administrators. Cost is $385 for early registration and $450 for regular registration. Visit the HR Services training page
for more information and to register.
Statewide legal training begins in November
Registration is now open for the 2015–16 TASB Legal Seminar Series
. This year's training will cover such topics as student discipline, financial decision making, advertising in schools, nonrenewals, and an update on education-related legislation recently enacted. Seminars are scheduled at the following locations: Austin, November 6; Abilene, November 10; Amarillo, November 12; Commerce, November 18; Nacogdoches, November 19; South Padre, November 21; Tyler, February 16; and El Paso, February 18. The full-day sessions offer a total of five hours of focused training. Registration fee is $160.
Honor your district's human resources staff
Texas Education Human Resources (HR) Day is set for Wednesday, October 14. TASB and the Texas Association of School Personnel Administrators (TASPA) encourage school leaders to recognize and honor the important contributions made by their HR departments. Districts are invited to use two sample templates in planning celebrations: a board resolution
commemorating the work of school HR people and a certificate of appreciation
. Also posted is the governor's official proclamation
School boards recognized as 2015 Honor Boards
Five Texas school boards have been selected as the 2015 Honor School Boards as part of the Texas Association of School Administrators' School Board Awards. Each year, the program recognizes outstanding Texas school boards for commitment and service that has made a positive impact on students.
More Texas students taking college admission tests
Participation rates for SAT, AP, and ACT exams continue to climb. The number of Texas students who took the SAT in 2014–15 increased 9.2 percent from 2013–14
, and for the third consecutive year, more Hispanic students than white students took the test. Texas students also set new marks in ACT participation
; Texas saw a 22.8 percent increase in test-taking graduates, and almost 40 percent were Hispanic students. In addition, the average ACT scores for Texas students surpassed national averages in mathematics and science. Finally, the number of students taking AP exams in 2014–15 increased 13.3 percent
from last year—more than double the national growth.
TASA announces Teacher of the Year finalists
Six outstanding educators have been chosen as finalists in the 2016 Texas Teacher of the Year program. The program, facilitated by the Texas Association of School Administrators (TASA) since 2011, annually recognizes teachers who have demonstrated outstanding leadership and excellence in teaching. The finalists were selected from the 40 regional Teachers of the Year—two from each of the 20 education service centers.
2015 state finalists named for math and science teaching awards
en Texas teachers are finalists for the 2015 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST). The 2015 PAEMST awards recognize seventh through 12th grade mathematics and science teachers whose innovative methods bring teaching to life in the classroom.
Poll shows that 'testing doesn't measure up'
Americans believe there is too much emphasis on standardized tests, according to the recent PDK/Gallup Poll of the Public's Attitudes Toward the Public Schools. Respondents said that student engagement in classwork and the percentage of students who feel hopeful about their futures were better measurements for the effectiveness of schools.
SBOE recognizes school volunteers
who provide hundreds of hours of volunteer service to Texas public schools will be honored with the State Board of Education's (SBOE) Heroes for Children award. The Heroes for Children honorees are selected by the State Board members and recognized for volunteering their time, talents, and skills in support of the public schools in their communities. The awardees were recognized at the SBOE meeting on Friday, September 11.
TEA posts 2015 campus and district accountability ratings
Texas school districts and charters are meeting accountability standards, according to numbers released by the Texas Education Agency (TEA). The 2015 report shows that 94 percent of districts and charters achieved the rating of Met Standard, and 86 percent of campuses received the top rating.
H-E-B accepting Excellence in Education nominations
School districts and community members are invited to submit nominations for the 2016 H-E-B Excellence in Education Award
. The awards program offers cash prizes ranging from $5,000 to $100,000 in the following categories: teacher, principal, district, school board, and early childhood facility. Deadline for applications is December 6. Nominations are not required for participation in the awards. Educators, school districts, early childhood facilities, and school boards are invited to complete the applications.
New award focuses on ideas to improve education
Submissions are being accepted for a new prize aimed at finding the best ideas to improve Texas education. The Rather Prize offers a $10,000 award and is open to current or recent students and Texas state-certified teachers and administrators (current or retired). Launched in August, the new award was developed by Martin Rather, a Rice University student, and his grandfather, longtime CBS Evening News anchor and journalist Dan Rather.