TCTA just announced the winners of our 13 annual statewide awards, which honor members and other individuals who have made outstanding contributions to public education, the teaching profession or to TCTA. The 2013-14 winners will be honored during TCTA's annual convention in June. And the winners are ...

TCTA wants to share your “aha” teaching moments, your stories of classroom success, the strategies you swear by and other positive teaching-related stories in the summer 2014 issue of The Classroom Teacher. So jot them down (250 words or less, please) and email them to communications@tcta.org by May 30, 2014.

TCTA’s testimony before the Texas Senate Education Committee April 14 focused on benchmark testing violations, accountability rating labels and reducing testing. TCTA was invited to testify before the House Bill 5 implementation panel to provide input that would assist the committee as it works on several of its interim charges. Learn more.

More than 25 percent of the finalists for the 2014 H-E-B Excellence in Education Awards are TCTA members! Find out which eight TCTA members across the state were surprised at their schools in February and March 2014 with $1,000 checks and the news that they may be chosen for these prestigious awards. Learn more.

Texas educators have an important opportunity to tell district- and state-level school leaders if they have the tools needed to do their jobs in the first statewide TELL (Teaching, Empowering, Leading and Learning) Texas survey April 7-May 31, 2014. TCTA was instrumental in making the survey a requirement in state law, and we strongly encourage TCTA members — and all Texas educators — to fully participate. Learn more.

TCTA President Grace Mueller testified before the Texas House Public Education Committee on the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills March 26. She shared her perspective on TEKS as an eighth-grade language arts teacher as well as the feedback provided by more than 1,500 TCTA members who participated in a TCTA online survey on the TEKS. Learn more.

In March 2014, TEA posted PDFs featuring Foundation High School Program FAQs and Endorsement FAQs. Also available: a PowerPoint presentation that provides the details of the Foundation High School Program graduation requirements and endorsements after the State Board of Education finalized the rules Jan. 31 and a side-by-side comparison of the Foundation program with the current graduation programs. Learn more.

TEA announced March 6 that the U.S. Department of Education has advised the agency that Texas' waiver request to address the issue of multiple assessments for students taking Algebra I at the middle school level will not be granted. However, Commissioner of Education Michael Williams discourages school districts and charters from double-testing middle school students taking Algebra I. Get the details.

Are you a high school teacher or counselor with students who have great potential but who aren’t at the top of their class, don’t have other scholarship opportunities, and who face hardships or challenges that may make higher education or career/vocational training difficult or even impossible without financial assistance? Thanks to the generosity of the late Charles and Phyllis Gottlieb, the TCTA Scholarship Program will award nearly $130,000 to these students in fall 2014. Nominations are now open. Details here.

TCTA won five awards in the 2013 Texas School Public Relations Association (TSPRA) Star Awards program, including a Best of Category, two Gold and two Silver Star Awards. The awards were announced at TSPRA's annual Star Awards Celebration held Feb. 19 in Austin. Which TCTA communications efforts were recognized? Find out.