Some school districts in Texas pushing back against governor’s mask mandate ban
The Texas State Teachers Association is applauding Dallas Independent School District and Austin ISD after announcing they will require masks amid a surge in COVID-19 cases across the state, defying Gov. Greg Abbott’s ban on mask mandates.
Alarming failure rates among Texas students fuel calls to get them back into classrooms
The problems are concentrated among students trying to learn from home, more than 3 million of the state’s 5.5 million public school students, according to administrators’ accounts. According to KVUE-TV, about 11,700 Austin ISD students are failing at least one class this year, a 70% increase from last year. San Antonio’s Northside ISD has not changed its expectations for virtual students, despite seeing higher failure rates, said Superintendent Brian Woods. Since many students learning from home are low income, Black and Hispanic, lowering academic standards for those students could end up deepening existing inequities, he said. Bizuayehu has dyslexia and dysgraphia, which impacts his ability to write clearly by hand, and he’s found virtual learning much easier.
Texas teachers caught in the middle of political battles over schools reopening
Pu Ying Huang for The Texas TribuneTeachers like Jennifer Boyer have become the rope in a political tug of war over reopening Texas schools. Black and Hispanic Texans, who are disproportionately susceptible to the virus, were more likely than white Texans to say in-person instruction was unsafe. Student and teacher safety is number one.When Texas unveiled its final plan for reopening schools this fall, the Texas Pediatric Society praised Gov. Across the state, local health authorities and teachers are refusing to comply with the states orders, arguing its not safe to go back as cases rise. By Thursday, Laredos local health authority mandated local schools close their buildings until cases subside.