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.
In this week's Q&A, we interview John Kuhn, superintendent of the Perrin-Whitt CISD.Full Story
The latest television spot from Dan Patrick, the Republican lieutenant governor hopeful, goes after incumbent David Dewhurst for running a negative campaign — and voting to expand benefits for undocumented immigrants.
A decade before Tim Dunn became the benefactor behind one of the state’s most aggressive conservative groups, the West Texas oil and gas developer founded a school. The move marked his personal interest in education policy.Full Story
A new state policy that ties teacher evaluations to student performance on standardized tests is drawing criticism from a range of sources. It is likely to be a topic of discussion Wednesday at a Texas House Public Education Committee hearing.Full Story
Amid a heated Republican runoff for lieutenant governor, state Sen. Dan Patrick is denying a new accusation from a former opponent that he avoided the draft for the Vietnam War.Full Story
Watch the video of our panel discussion on HB 5, the sweeping education bill passed by the 83rd Legislature, at our symposium on STEM education at UT-Dallas. See the rest of the day's panels on our multimedia page.Full Story
The first televised debate in an increasingly bitter Republican runoff for Texas lieutenant governor featured testy exchanges between David Dewhurst and Dan Patrick, who sparred over immigration policy and other topics.Full Story
Also, a slew of runoff endorsements are announced and Empower Texans asks a district judge for help against ethics commission-issued subpoenas.Full Story
Seven teachers, backed by the Houston branch of the American Federation of Teachers, are suing the Houston school district over a new approach tying standardized test results to pay and employment decisions.
The latest statewide TV spot from Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst's re-election campaign tells voters they "just can't trust" opponent Dan Patrick, highlighting his name change and history of bankruptcy. Patrick, a Houston state senator, is vying to unseat Dewhurst in a May Republican primary runoff.Full Story
In this week's Q&A, we interview Heather Mauzé of the Texas Education Agency.Full Story
A new Texas Democratic Party social media campaign is urging voters to oppose Republican Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst in a primary runoff, targeting the incumbent on issues including being "anti-immigrant" and "anti-woman."
The Dan Patrick campaign attacks incumbent Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst for a "failed record" on illegal immigration in a new TV spot that began airing on Fox News in 14 markets across the state. Patrick, a Houston state senator, is facing Dewhurst in a May Republican primary runoff.Full Story