SeaWorld San Antonio is offering K-12 Texas teachers a free Teacher Study Pass for unlimited admission to SeaWorld and its water park, Aquatica, through Sept. 7. Get the details. 

TCTA members now have a valuable new resource from the TCTA Legal Department: the "Removing Disruptive Students from Class" guide. TCTA compiled this outline of key provisions of Chapter 37 of the Texas Education Code as a resource for TCTA members. Download the guide here.

TCTA submitted comments opposing a USDE proposal to rate teacher prep programs based in large part on the test scores of their graduates’ students. Get the details.

Texas’s continued waiver from federal accountability requirements hinges on a proposed statewide teacher evaluation system that relies heavily on student performance. The US Department of Education has rejected TEA’s proposal. Get the details.

Despite TCTA comments that urged against it, TEA recently overhauled many of the commissioner of education’s rules on special education. The changes to the rules, which went into effect Jan. 1, could negatively affect students and educators. Get the details.

SBOE Chair Barbara Cargill released a letter Jan. 9 responding to public concerns over changes in math education occurring this school year due to the implementation of new math TEKS. Of special significance to educators is a section on "what is being done to help teachers, students and parents." Read it here.

The State Board for Educator Certification voted at its Jan. 9 meeting to make TCTA-suggested changes to rules that establish a process to file complaints against educator preparation programs with TEA. TCTA also expressed concerns that the rules limited the types of complaints that TEA/SBEC would act upon and thwarted a proposal that could have significantly delayed the resolution of disciplinary cases brought against educators. Learn more.

For TCTA member Whitney Crews, the 2015 Texas Elementary Teacher of the Year, teaching is all about sharing her love for learning. “My prayer is that my students are learning to learn!” she says. “If they don’t know the answer, how do they find it? Where can education take them, and why is it something kids in other parts of the world are willing to walk miles or risk their lives to get?” Read a Q&A with this top teacher.

On Election Day 2014, voters gave Republicans a larger majority in the U.S. House of Representatives and control of the Senate for the first time since 2006. Many observers say this new Congress will put states in the driver’s seat on education policy, as Republicans say they want to return control over public schools to communities and teachers. Learn more.

As the spring semester begins, we all know the appraisal roller coaster will pick up speed; districts will issue contracts; many districts will elect trustees; and boards will review employee salaries and benefits. So the TCTA Legal Department has a few spring semester suggestions for TCTA members. Learn more.