Almost 55 percent of recent Texas public school students were suspended at least once between their seventh and 12th grade years, according to a statewide report released today.Full Story
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.
There's a day in July that school districts eye with a mixture of anticipation and dread. This year, it's on the 29th, when the Texas Education Agency will publicly release the accountability ratings for the state's more than 1,000 districts.Full Story
Even as it is coping with deep reductions to its own budget, the Texas Education Agency faces criticism from school districts and lawmakers, although not necessarily for the same reasons — vivid evidence of the pressure on the TEA.Full Story
The most drastic change for many students will come in the spring, when approximately 350,000 new ninth graders will be the first to take the end-of-course exams that are part of the new standardized testing system known as STAAR.Full Story
A week has passed since school districts bracing for the worst at last got what they've been waiting for throughout the legislative session: finality.Full Story
Despite the Obama administration's plea for a stay, the U.S. Supreme Court won't stand in the way of Texas' plans to execute Mexican citizen Humberto Leal Jr. tonight.Full Story
Gov. Rick Perry has named former science teacher and staunch social conservative Barbara Cargill, R-The Woodlands, to chair the board that oversees the state's public school system.Full Story
Lawmakers have officially made their exit from the Pink Building, leaving two bills that will bring major changes to Texas school districts awaiting the governor's signature. Lawmakers, meanwhile, are wondering whether and how the two measures will play in next year's elections.Full Story
Lawmakers must wrap up the special session on Wednesday, with a few outstanding priorities left to tackle. Here's a rundown of where the Texas Legislature stands going into the second-to-last day of the special session.Full Story
During the Senate's afternoon recess, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst offered his thoughts on the special session's unanswered questions on sanctuary cities legislation, the TWIA compromise and the chances of coming back in July.Full Story
The special session hasn't done much to alter the school finance plan that dragged lawmakers into overtime.Full Story
An amendment from Rep. Donna Howard, D-Austin, that would have directed surplus money from the Rainy Day Fund to pay for enrollment growth in public schools has perished in conference committee.Full Story
Gov. Rick Perry’s neon-light promotion on the national stage of the $6 billion left in the Rainy Day Fund exposes a disconnect with the conservative lawmakers battling for his principles at home, where his party is working to divert negative public sentiment about the deep budget reductions.Full Story
The Tribune counts down to the end of the special session with updates on where the major issues added to the agenda by Gov. Rick Perry stand.
When the national spotlight turns to Texas public education, it's often not flattering. But schools in the state ruled Newsweek's annual Best High School List — including two Dallas ISD magnets that claimed the top spots.