Morgan Smith Reporter

Morgan Smith reports on politics and education for the Tribune, which she joined in November 2009. She writes about the effects of the state budget, school finance reform, accountability and testing in Texas public schools. Her political coverage has included congressional and legislative races, as well as Gov. Rick Perry's presidential campaign, which she followed to Iowa and New Hampshire. In 2013, she received a National Education Writers Association award for "Death of a District," a series on school closures. After earning a bachelor's degree in English from Wellesley College, she moved to Austin in 2008 to enter law school at the University of Texas. A San Antonio native, her work has also appeared in Slate, where she spent a year as an editorial intern in Washington D.C.

Recent Contributions

Evolution, Textbook Review Focus of SBOE Hearing

Rally outside the TEA building where the Texas State Board of Education will be hearing public testimony on proposed new science textbooks on September 17th, 2013
Rally outside the TEA building where the Texas State Board of Education will be hearing public testimony on proposed new science textbooks on September 17th, 2013

A past Texas State Board of Education chairman and outspoken creationist urged his former colleagues on Tuesday to approve high school biology textbooks he said would "strike a final blow to the teaching of evolution."

 

 

No Waiver for Texas on Testing for Younger Students

Texas Education Agency commissioner Michael Williams announces at a press conference that he is stripping all authority from the El Paso Independent School District Board of Trustees. The move comes in the wake of a cheating scandal that landed the former superintendent in federal prison.
Texas Education Agency commissioner Michael Williams announces at a press conference that he is stripping all authority from the El Paso Independent School District Board of Trustees. The move comes in the wake of a cheating scandal that landed the former superintendent in federal prison.

A state request to waive No Child Left Behind testing requirements for students in elementary and middle school has been denied by the federal government, thwarting a state effort to end some tests for high-performing students.

 

Court Order Blocks District's Use of CSCOPE Lessons

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and Sen. Dan Patrick in the Senate chamber as political drama unfolds at the Texas Capitol in the last hour of the 83rd Texas Legislature's first special session.
Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and Sen. Dan Patrick in the Senate chamber as political drama unfolds at the Texas Capitol in the last hour of the 83rd Texas Legislature's first special session.

A group of plaintiffs in the Llano Independent School District has obtained a court order banning the use of CSCOPE lessons until those lessons get State Board of Education approval.