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Rulemaking: How Agencies Change the Rules of the Game

We’re talking about a big change that’s about to wallop Texas school districts. At the end of September, as lawmakers approach an anticipated special session this fall on private school vouchers, about one out of every four public school campuses will see the letter grade that marks their performance in the state’s A-F accountability system drop.

In many cases this will happen despite student achievement at these campuses having gone up. And for high schools, there’s an added hit: a key component of their rating, the Career, College, and Military Readiness Indicator, will be retroactively applied, based on the performance of students who graduated in 2022. So going into the 2023-2024 school year, there’s nothing they can do to change it, even if they could.

So why is this happening? Put simply, it’s because of a paperwork change—or in more precise terms, a “technical adjustment”—in how the Texas Education Agency calculates the accountability ratings. So taking the Career, College, and Military Readiness Indicator, or CCMR, as an example—instead of requiring 60 percent of kids to meet the standard to receive an A rating, now 88 percent of kids must meet it.

The roll out of new standards was not directed by the Legislature, it is an agency level decision. And to understand how we got to this point, we have to take a trip to the opaque world of agency rulemaking.

In this episode, we will hear from Todd Webster, Former Interim Commissioner of the Texas Education Agency and Rep. Gina Hinojosa explain the rulemaking process. We will also hear from Dee Carney, Assessment and Accountability Policy Consultant and Dr. Bobby Ott, Superintendent, Temple ISD discuss the process and how it the upcoming changes can negatively impact schools and their local communities.

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Previous Episodes

Rethinking the STAAR Test

How we measure success in Texas public schools? Right now, standardized testing and an A-F accountability system that assigns grades to campuses is used almost entirely to grade our schools. Accountability, and the transparency it brings, is essential. We need to make sure the 5.4 million students in Texas public schools are provided with the […]

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Podcast Episode Speakers Headshots

Recap of the 88th Texas Legislative Session: A Session Out of Balance

The 2023 legislative session started with a lot of promise. Lawmakers had a historic $33 billion dollar budget surplus, and there was energy and consensus to address a number of public education issues. Instead, lawmakers failed to give Texas public schools enough funding to even keep up with inflation, much less provide teacher pay raises […]

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Intersect Ed Podcast Graphic for Teacher Mentoring Episode

Mentoring Teachers to Create High-Quality Classrooms

 The formalized practice of having more experienced teachers coach those newer in the profession has the potential to help with a major challenge facing Texas public schools — teacher shortages. It also benefits everyone involved, from the experienced teachers acting as mentors who now have a chance to learn new skills, to the newer […]

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Intersect Ed Podcast on Teacher Pay

Teacher Pay: Texas Teachers Deserve a Real Pay Raise

With just a few weeks left in the 88th Legislative Session, lawmakers are deciding how to spend a record-breaking $33 billion surplus, with tens of billions more in estimated growth in revenue over the next two years. And, as the hours creep closer and closer to the last day of the 2023 legislative session, they […]

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Vouchers and Education Savings Accounts - what do they mean for Texas?

The School Voucher Debate: Texas Rural Communities

We’re taking on a topic that has become a marquee fight of the 88th Legislature: private school vouchers, which are also known as education savings accounts (ESAs). On one side, we have our state’s two most powerful elected officials, Governor Greg Abbott and Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, who say every parent should get the freedom […]

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Raise Your Hand Texas podcast episode on school finance and the basic allotment in the 88th Session.

How Much Is Your Student Worth to Texas? Learn How the Basic Allotment Impacts School Districts.

 What is the amount of money Texas pays to educate a student in public schools? What’s known as the basic allotment is the per-student sum the state uses as the foundational building block to determine how much money it will pay to educate a student. Learn why it should be increased in the 88th […]

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Podcast 2021 Session Image

Advocacy and the 2021 Legislative Session

Listen to the episode 15 podcast about advocacy and the 2021 legislative session.

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Digital Divide Podcast Part 1

Bridging the Digital Divide: What Challenge Does Texas Face? (Part 2)

Deep in West Texas is the tiny town of Presidio – a remote community that is 90 miles away from the nearest McDonald’s and more than 150 miles away from the nearest Walmart. So what does a remote city like Presidio have in common with more urban areas hundreds of miles away in the Rio […]

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Digital Divide


From students using restaurants’ WIFI to parents spending hundreds of dollars a month on hotspots for their children’s schoolwork, our state’s public education system has been changed forever by the pandemic. In this podcast episode of Intersect Ed (part 1 of 2), we focus on the digital divide — what it is, who is affected […]

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Virtual Schools Podcast Image

The Future of Virtual and Remote Learning

The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically changed what schooling has looked like over the past year. It has entirely upended instructional models and brought about a myriad of new issues regarding the equity and accessibility of online instruction. For some students and families, pandemic schooling has been unimaginably difficult. Other students, however, may have thrived off […]

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