Tribpedia: Education

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TribLive: How Technology is Transforming Education

At our 11/13 TribLive conversation at the San Antonio Central Library, James Henson of the Texas Politics Project at the University of Texas at Austin led a discussion on how technology is transforming public and higher education with Kerry Ballast, director of educational technology at the Texas Education Agency; Steven Mintz, executive director of the University of Texas System's Institute for Transformational Learning; Veronica Stidvent, chancellor of Western Governors University Texas; and Brian Woods, superintendent of the Northside Independent School District.

State Board of Education members work their way through proposed revisions to social studies textbooks at a meeting with publishers in Austin on Monday, October 20, 2014.
State Board of Education members work their way through proposed revisions to social studies textbooks at a meeting with publishers in Austin on Monday, October 20, 2014.

Texas Takes Last Pass at Social Studies Textbooks

In a month, the State Board of Education will take a final vote on the social studies textbooks that will be used in the state's public schools for the next eight years. Before they do, there is still an opening for strong-willed board members to wield outsize influence on the process.

Colorized scanning electron micrograph of filamentous Ebola virus particles (red) attached and budding from a chronically infected VERO E6 cell (blue) (25,000x magnification).
Colorized scanning electron micrograph of filamentous Ebola virus particles (red) attached and budding from a chronically infected VERO E6 cell (blue) (25,000x magnification).

Texas Schools Face Fears of Ebola, Lagging Attendance

Though Texas schools are relying on the guidance of health officials to determine the level of risk to their communities, they are making decisions like whether to cancel classes, give notice to parents, or change health screening policies largely on their own.

District Court Judge John Dietz of Austin is shown in his courtroom on Feb. 4, 2013, before he ruled that the state's school finance system was unconstitutional.
District Court Judge John Dietz of Austin is shown in his courtroom on Feb. 4, 2013, before he ruled that the state's school finance system was unconstitutional.

AG to Appeal School Finance Ruling to Supreme Court

UPDATED: Attorney General Greg Abbott will appeal a ruling that the Texas school finance system is unconstitutional, according to a notice his office sent Friday to attorneys in the case. The appeal is set to go directly to the Texas Supreme Court.

Students at Townview Center in South Dallas.
Students at Townview Center in South Dallas.

Texas' Rising Graduation Rates Spark Renewed Doubts

The percentage of Texas students earning their high school diplomas on time exceeds that of nearly every other state. But the state’s headway with graduation rates hasn't been matched by similar success in measures that track students’ college and career readiness, prompting questions about what it takes to earn a high school diploma. 

Pre-K students in Josefina Pineda's classroom do the hokey-pokey at the Dallas Independent School District elementary school, Cesar Chavez Learning Center in Dallas, Texas.
Pre-K students in Josefina Pineda's classroom do the hokey-pokey at the Dallas Independent School District elementary school, Cesar Chavez Learning Center in Dallas, Texas.

With Pre-K Grant, Texas Switches Gears on Federal Cash

In a shift for a state that has shunned other federal education initiatives like Common Core and Race to the Top, Texas will participate in a signature Obama administration program focused on early learning. The news has already become a political football.

Austin Police Officer Cory Ehrler monitors the entrance to Ridgetop Elementary School after classes start on the Monday following the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. As the 83rd legislative session approaches, Texas lawmakers are considering making firearms more available to teachers and other school personnel.
Austin Police Officer Cory Ehrler monitors the entrance to Ridgetop Elementary School after classes start on the Monday following the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. As the 83rd legislative session approaches, Texas lawmakers are considering making firearms more available to teachers and other school personnel.

Texas Schools Get Military Gear Through Federal Program

At least 10 Texas school districts have received armored plating, tactical vests, military vehicles, rifles, pistols and rounds of ammunition through a federal military surplus program, according to a letter sent by a coalition of civil rights and education advocacy groups to the U.S. Department of Defense on Monday.

Shelley Dahlberg, an assistant attorney general, spoke to District Court Judge John Dietz of Austin on on Feb. 3, 2013, during closing arguments of a trial challenging the state's school finance system.
Shelley Dahlberg, an assistant attorney general, spoke to District Court Judge John Dietz of Austin on on Feb. 3, 2013, during closing arguments of a trial challenging the state's school finance system.

Texplainer: What's State's Strategy in School Finance Case?

Hey, Texplainer: I know the state plans to appeal a judge's recent decision that Texas' school finance system is unconstitutional. But what will the state's defense be moving forward?

Shelley Dahlberg, an assistant attorney general, spoke to District Court Judge John Dietz of Austin on on Feb. 3, 2013, during closing arguments of a trial challenging the state's school finance system.
Shelley Dahlberg, an assistant attorney general, spoke to District Court Judge John Dietz of Austin on on Feb. 3, 2013, during closing arguments of a trial challenging the state's school finance system.

In School Finance Battle, Legal Fees Accumulate

If the Texas school districts that are challenging the constitutionality of the state’s school finance system ultimately prevail in their lawsuit, a result could be billions of dollars in extra funding from the state’s coffers for public education. And more than $8.5 million would also go from the state to the four teams of lawyers representing them. 

New in Trib+Edu: Teens Need Their Sleep

In this week's edition of the Trib+Edu newsletter: pediatricians push for later school start times, a study on the impact of tough math and science classes on dropout rates and an interview with Catherine Clark, formerly of the Texas Association of School Boards.

Education Commissioner Michael Williams, a former railroad commissioner, is shown at a TribLive event on Jan. 27, 2011.
Education Commissioner Michael Williams, a former railroad commissioner, is shown at a TribLive event on Jan. 27, 2011.

Education Commissioner: "The System Needs to Catch Up"

UPDATED: Asked why the state had delayed a transition away from lower passing standards on state exams, Texas Education Commissioner Michael Williams told state lawmakers Tuesday that classroom instruction had failed to meet the rigor demanded by the new tests. 

Nearly All Texas School Districts Meet State Ratings

In the second year of a new school accountability system, nine out of ten Texas districts met state standards, according to ratings released by the Texas Education Agency on Friday. The percentage of individual schools meeting the standards is lower — 82 — an indication that many of the state's low-performing schools are clustered within the same districts.

State Sen. and Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor Leticia Van de Putte at the Democratic state convention on June 27, 2014.
State Sen. and Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor Leticia Van de Putte at the Democratic state convention on June 27, 2014.

Van de Putte Calls for Reducing High-Stakes Testing

Leticia Van de Putte, the Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor, calls for reducing high-stakes testing in a new plan for Texas schools. The campaign of her Republican opponent, Dan Patrick, said the plan would do nothing to help turn around underperforming schools.

On June 24, 2014, volunteers gather at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in McAllen, where the Rio Grande Valley Catholic Charities have a makeshift shelter to help handle the surge of immigrants who have crossed into the U.S. in recent weeks.
On June 24, 2014, volunteers gather at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in McAllen, where the Rio Grande Valley Catholic Charities have a makeshift shelter to help handle the surge of immigrants who have crossed into the U.S. in recent weeks.

With Uncertainty, Schools Prepare for New Arrivals

With many of the unaccompanied minors fleeing violence in Central America remaining in Texas, public school administrators face the challenge of providing an education for them when schools open later this month. But uncertainty about how many youths they will enroll is complicating efforts to prepare for their arrival.