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

TribLive: Life After House Bill 5

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.

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.

Houston Teachers Sue Over Student Test-Based Evaluation

A public education rally at the Capitol on March 11, 2013, sponsored by the Texas chapter of the American Federation of Teachers.
A public education rally at the Capitol on March 11, 2013, sponsored by the Texas chapter of the American Federation of Teachers.

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. 

 

New Law Limits Standardized Tests, but Not Prep Work

A student works on math problems in Keith Marquez's summer school geometry class at McAllum High School in Austin, Texas, Jul. 31, 2013.
A student works on math problems in Keith Marquez's summer school geometry class at McAllum High School in Austin, Texas, Jul. 31, 2013.

House Bill 5, which reduced standardized testing in public high schools, also included a provision aimed at easing the pressure of high-stakes exams for students in lower grades. But it may not be having the intended effect.