A Texas Tribune investigation of a No Child Left Behind tutoring program has uncovered years of inaction by state officials while money flowed to tutoring companies, delivering few academic results. This is the first story in a series on the program.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.
Supporters of Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst talk about the virtues of their candidate — he's a conservative Christian family man who's not a typical politician — in a new video for his re-election campaign.Full Story
Under a federal waiver that was announced Monday, only the lowest-performing 15 percent of Texas public schools will be subject to a series of federally prescribed interventions.Full Story
A new web video from Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples, a candidate for lieutenant governor, features scenes from his campaign's bus tour and urges voters to "stand with Staples," saying that "leadership begins with action."Full Story
Key charter school legislation would not have passed during the last legislative session without a provision removing much of the State Board of Education's authority in approving applications, state Sen. Dan Patrick said Wednesday.
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."
The Texas Education Agency is stepping up its scrutiny of accountability violations with a new department devoted to investigating complaints of cheating. But questions remain about the agency's ability to effectively operate the division.Full Story
The current crop of seniors will likely be among the last not containing a majority of Hispanic students. It will also, based on preliminary enrollment data from the 2012-13 school year, likely be among the last not containing a majority of students from impoverished backgrounds.Full Story
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.
In a new campaign web video released Monday, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst tells voters that "you can't have opportunity without freedom" and urges them to "stand tall" with him against Washington encroachment on Texas values.Full Story
The number of full-time cyber schools serving public school students will double in the upcoming year despite a history of lackluster performance and a new law limiting how many online courses students can take at the state’s expense.Full Story
State Board of Education member Thomas Ratliff, R-Mount Pleasant, and state Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, sparred for nearly two hours on Saturday over the controversial state curriculum system known as CSCOPE.Full Story
After a relative was arrested for shoplifting in a grocery store, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst personally called a North Texas police department to ask how to get her out of jail, saying she had been incarcerated on a "mistaken charge."Full Story
For the first time since the charter school system was created in 1995, the state education board will no longer play a central role in determining which charter schools get approved. This story is part of our 31 Days, 31 Ways series.Full Story
Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, who is facing three GOP primary challengers in his re-election bid, released a campaign video Tuesday highlighting his relationship with the grass roots and his skills as a listener — whether it's during "ice cream with Americans for Prosperity or dinner with the Waco Tea Party."Full Story