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

Despite Questions of Bias, John Bradley Will Stay on Innocence Appeal

Texas Forensic Science Commission Chairman John Bradley listens to other board members during a scheduled meeting on September 17, 2010 in Dallas, Texas.
Texas Forensic Science Commission Chairman John Bradley listens to other board members during a scheduled meeting on September 17, 2010 in Dallas, Texas.

A state judge has declined to remove District Attorney John Bradley from continuing to investigate the case of Michael Morton, whose 1987 murder conviction has been called into question by new DNA evidence suggesting someone else killed his wife. 

Nicole Hurd: The TT Interview

Nicole Hurd, founder and Executive Director of the National College Advising Corps.
Nicole Hurd, founder and Executive Director of the National College Advising Corps.

The founder of the National College Advising Corps on why she believes her program will increase the number of high school graduates going to college — and ease the state's gaping school counselor shortage.

First Lady Who Avoids the Spotlight Faces a Bigger One

First Lady Anita Perry (l) and Rick Perry during the inaugural parade on January 21, 2003.
First Lady Anita Perry (l) and Rick Perry during the inaugural parade on January 21, 2003.

Anita Perry first entered the national consciousness as the spur to her husband’s possible presidential run. But a different theme emerges when friends and associates talk about the wife of Texas’ 47th governor: She is not the type to draw attention to herself.

SBOE Gives OK to Science Supplements

Barbara Cargill, State Board of Education meeting on July 21, 2011.
Barbara Cargill, State Board of Education meeting on July 21, 2011.

After battle appeared to be brewing between the state education board's left and right factions on contested language on evolution in one publisher's biology lessons, members found a compromise: Let the education commissioner decide.

Judgment Day

Sophomore student Miguel Nava works on a science experiment at the San Juan Idea Public Schools Tuesday morning in San Juan, Texas November 23, 2010.
Sophomore student Miguel Nava works on a science experiment at the San Juan Idea Public Schools Tuesday morning in San Juan, Texas November 23, 2010.
Texas Weekly

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.

Texas Education Agency Faces Competing Demands

Texas Commissioner of Education Robert Scott answers questions at TASA midwinter conference in Austin, Texas February 1st, 2011
Texas Commissioner of Education Robert Scott answers questions at TASA midwinter conference in Austin, Texas February 1st, 2011

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.