What's happening at State:






Influx of Vaping Related Illness Prompts Official Naming


The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has given a name to vaping-related illness: EVALI, which stands for e-cigarette or vaping product use-associated lung injury, according to new healthcare recommendations the agency released October 11, 2019.

Forty-nine states, the District of Columbia, and one U.S. territory have reported more than 1,299 cases of lung injury associated with the use of e-cigarettes or vaping products. As of October 11, 2019, 26 deaths have been reported from 21 states.

The CDC recommends individuals not use e-cigarettes or vaping products -

• containing THC
• outside of their described labeled use
• if not already using

For more information and updates on EVALI, read the CDC’s recently released MMWR report.


Select Committees in Senate and House to Address Mass Violence


Both the Texas House and Senate have established select committees to address incidents of mass violence in Texas. These committees will conduct hearings throughout the state, including Austin, to help develop a set of recommendations to expand legislation passed during the 86th legislative session. 

Members of the Senate select committee are Sen. Joan Huffman, Chairman, and Senators Judith Zaffirini, Donna Campbell, Kelly Hancock, Jane Nelson, Charles Perry, Jose Rodriguez, Larry Taylor, and John Whitmire.  

In the House, the members of the select committee are Rep. Drew Darby, Chairman, and Representatives Poncho Nevarez, Cesar Blanco, Giovanni Capriglione, Charlie Geren, Barbara Gervin-Hawkins, Julie Johnson, Brooks Landgraf, Mike Lang, Joe Moody, Geanie Morrison, Four Price, and Armando Walle.




Readability Study of STAAR Underway


After reports revealed that some questions on the STAAR test read above grade-level, Texas PTA strongly advocated for and helped pass legislation requiring the state to conduct a readability study of the STAAR test. The Texas Education Agency (TEA) has released a timeline outlining the process. The findings are scheduled to be released by February 1, 2020.



Provided by Texas Education Agency





Gifted and Talented Education, TEA Issues Clarification


Recently, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) released the following clarification regarding assessment for the gifted and talented program:

The Texas State Plan for the Education of Gifted/Talented Students states in Identification and Assessment that assessment opportunities for gifted/talented identification are made available to students at least once per school year. (See Accountability Standard 2.15.) Therefore, students assessed in prior years may not be denied the opportunity for assessment in the current school year.

Districts may use multiple measures during the current school year assessment process. However, the district may not refuse to make a determination of a student’s gifted/talented status due to the continued validity of assessment results from prior year administrations. Districts are encouraged to support students by having open conversations with parents on the pros and cons of continual testing with negative results, academic growth, and program options. 

Source: Texas Education Agency



G/T Tuesdays


Join TEA for a walk through of implementing the Texas State Plan for the Education of Gifted/Talented Students. Scheduled webinars will focus on topics and sections of the State Plan. The first three recorded webinars are available on the new Gifted Talented Education Resources webpage.

Remaining Webinars: