Mathematics Update

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Describe a #Teacherin3words

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week! There are many ways to describe teachers, but how would you describe one in three words? Tweet your response using the hashtag #teacherin3words!

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What is the Role of a Mathematics Teacher?

A math teacher is someone who inspires their students to look beyond the pages of the textbook to become problem solvers and critical thinkers. Every day your boundless passion and dedication impacts each and every one of your students. As a math teacher, you are ensuring that your students will have the knowledge and skills that will help them not only succeed in the classroom, but also be empowered by mathematics to become productive citizens of our democratic society.

In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, NCTM thanks you for your continued passion and dedication to mathematics education. We share common goals and are here to support your journey as a mathematics educator.

Thank you for your steadfast commitment to your students and to high-quality mathematics teaching and learning.


Matt Larson
NCTM President
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Math Academies to Begin this Summer

SB 934 establishes mathematics achievement academies for teachers who provide mathematics instruction to students at the kindergarten or first, second, or third grade level. The Texas Legislature has appropriated funding to pay stipends to eligible teachers who successfully complete academies. The agency is required to grant priority for academy participation and stipend eligibility to teachers employed at campuses at which 50% or more of the students enrolled are educationally disadvantaged (eligible to participate in the national free or reduced-price lunch program). A list of priority campuses by ESC region is posted at

The agency does not anticipate that funding will be sufficient to allow all teachers at all priority campuses to attend an academy this summer. Consequently, additional prioritization will occur to allow teachers from as many priority campuses as possible to attend academies.

ESC 11 staff are currently working with district administrators regarding registration of teachers for the summer 2016 academies. For questions regarding the academies, please contact the Laura Carson, Coordinator of Teaching and Learning, by telephone at (817) 740-7573 or by email at

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STAAR results for first 2016 administration of fifth and eighth grade reading, mathematics released

Approximately three-quarters of the state’s fifth and eighth graders successfully passed the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR®) reading and mathematics tests, according to preliminary results released today by the Texas Education Agency. The results reflect passing rates for the spring 2016 administration of STAAR in March.

Seventy-five percent of fifth and 82 percent of eighth-grade students passed the STAAR reading test on their first attempt. Seventy-nine percent of fifth and 73 percent of eighth-grade students passed the STAAR mathematics test on their first attempt.

Under state law, Texas students in grades 5 and 8 must pass the STAAR reading and mathematics tests to be promoted to the next grade. Students who did not pass these exams have the opportunity to retake the tests in mid-May and will have a third opportunity in June. State law requires students who do not pass these tests to be retained in their current grade – unless a parent appeals the retention and a local, campus-based grade placement committee unanimously agrees to promote them.

To review STAAR state-level reports for all grades, visit the Texas Education Agency website at

Use of Test Results Affected by March 2016 STAAR® Online Testing Issues

The purpose of this communication is to provide information about how March 2016 State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) test results affected by online testing issues will be used in state accountability and performance-based monitoring. The decisions summarized below will help ensure districts are not penalized because of these issues.

State Accountability

The test results of the affected students (grades 5 and 8 reading and mathematics; grades 4 and 7 writing; and the English I and English II EOCs) will be excluded from all index calculations. In addition, any results from the May Student Success Initiative (SSI) retest administration for the affected students will also be excluded. Prior to the August 12 ratings release, TEA will conduct an analysis to determine whether including the affected results would change a district or campus rating from Improvement Required to Met Standard.Should that analysis result in a campus or district receiving a Met Standard rating, the data reported for the district or campus will not change; only the rating will be raised.

The results evaluated for distinction designations and system safeguards will also exclude the affected results. The Division of Program Monitoring and Interventions will provide further guidance on campus improvement plan requirements for affected campuses in August after the 2016 ratings are released.

Performance reports, such as the Texas Academic Performance Report (TAPR) and the School Report Card (SRC), will also exclude the affected results. This also applies to the legislative report required by House Bill 2804 (84th Texas Legislature, 2015) that will be released by January 1, 2017.

Performance-Based Monitoring (PBM)

The affected test results will only be included in the Performance-Based Monitoring Analysis System (PBMAS) if the student meets or exceeds the applicable standard for Satisfactory Academic Performance. In addition, the PBM Student Assessment Data Validation selection process will ensure districts are not held accountable for the affected results.

Contact Information

If you have questions about state accountability, please contact the Performance Reporting Division at 512-463-9704 If you have questions about PBM, please contact 512-936-6426 or

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TxAIR Tutorials

Teachers and administrators can now learn more about the Texas Achievement Items Repository (TxAIR) system with the TxAIR video tutorials, now available on the Texas Gateway. The TxAIR system allows teachers to create TEKS-aligned assessments for math and science (grades 3–8), Integrated Physics and Chemistry, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Algebra I, Geometry, and Algebra II. For more information, contact

Math is Figure-out-able

Math is Figure-out-able

Have you seen the Math is Figure-out-able website? Be sure to check out her blog, "Pam's Brain Today....." and her YouTube channel, "Figuring Math"!!

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Toshiba America Foundation Grants

The Toshiba America Foundation is dedicated to promoting quality science and mathematics education in our nation’s K-12 schools. The Foundation provides grants through the following two initiatives: The Grants Program for K-5 Science and Math Education provides grants of up to $1,000 to teachers in public or private schools to help them bring innovative hands-on projects into their classrooms. The application deadline is October 1, annually. The Grants Program for 6-12 Science and Math Education provides small grants of up to $5,000 and large grants of over $5,000 to teachers who are passionate about making science and mathematics more engaging for their students. Applications for small grants may be submitted throughout the year. The annual application deadlines for large grants are February 1 and August 1, annually. Visit the Foundation’s website for details about each of the grant programs.