Tribpedia: Jimmie Don Aycock

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State Rep. Jimmie Don Aycock, R-Killeen, listens to HB 5 education bill debate on the House floor on march 26, 2013.
State Rep. Jimmie Don Aycock, R-Killeen, listens to HB 5 education bill debate on the House floor on march 26, 2013.

Guest Column: Push Back Against "Do-Nothing" Crowd

Self-appointed "conservative" special-interest groups have intervened in some House races to exert political power. It is time for those of us who believe in truly conservative solutions to push back.

Hank Warner teaches a pre-advanced placement algebra course for ninth graders at Bowie High School in Austin.
Hank Warner teaches a pre-advanced placement algebra course for ninth graders at Bowie High School in Austin.

SBOE Retreats From Algebra II in High School Grad Plans

Despite an initial proposal that had included algebra II in all five high school diploma plans created as part of a legislative overhaul in May, the State Board of Education voted Thursday to require the advanced math course only for students who specialize in math and science.

Houston Mayor Annise Parker at the Texas Democratic Party's convention in Houston on June 8, 2012.
Houston Mayor Annise Parker at the Texas Democratic Party's convention in Houston on June 8, 2012.

The Brief: Texas Political News for Nov. 21, 2013

Houston Mayor Annise Parker will move to extend health and life insurance benefits to same-sex legal spouses of city employees, despite a 2001 city charter amendment that was put to the voters specifically to prohibit the practice.

Education bill sponsors Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, l, and Rep. Jimmie Don Aycock, R-Killeen chat after the signing of HB 5 education reform on June 10, 2013.
Education bill sponsors Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, l, and Rep. Jimmie Don Aycock, R-Killeen chat after the signing of HB 5 education reform on June 10, 2013.

Education Chairmen Join Algebra II Fray at SBOE

Two top state lawmakers made an unexpected visit Wednesday evening to urge the State Board of Education to follow the Legislature's lead on which courses to require in high school graduation plans. Specifically, they asked the SBOE not to require Algebra II for all diplomas.

Gov. Rick Perry after signing House Bill 5, an education reform bill, before a crowd in the Governor's Reception Room on June 10, 2013.
Gov. Rick Perry after signing House Bill 5, an education reform bill, before a crowd in the Governor's Reception Room on June 10, 2013.

Fight Over Algebra II Moves From Texas Capitol to SBOE

The state Board of Education may decide to make algebra II a requirement for all students to receive a high school diploma  — despite the wishes of the state Legislature, which unamiously passed an overhaul of high school curriculum as a part of House Bill 5 in May. 

Gov. Rick Perry after signing House Bill 5, an education reform bill, before a crowd in the Governor's Reception Room on June 10, 2013.
Gov. Rick Perry after signing House Bill 5, an education reform bill, before a crowd in the Governor's Reception Room on June 10, 2013.

Perry Signs High School Curriculum, Testing Bill

Gov. Rick Perry signed House Bill 5 on Monday, ending weeks of speculation that he might veto the high-profile education legislation that adjusts high school graduation standards. The governor said the measure reflected an "appropriate balance between a need for rigorous academics and flexibility" and had "come a long way" to address the concerns of its critics.

State Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, spoke Wednesday as Texas charter school supporters rallied at the Texas Capitol to lobby the Legislature for more funding.
State Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, spoke Wednesday as Texas charter school supporters rallied at the Texas Capitol to lobby the Legislature for more funding.

Texas House Backs Bill Expanding Charter Schools

The Texas House on Thursday is set to take up Sen. Dan Patrick's proposal to increase the number of available state charter school contracts. For charter school advocates, the legislation is long overdue. But others have raised questions about whether the state has the resources to adequately oversee such an expansion.

State Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, spoke Wednesday as Texas charter school supporters rallied at the Texas Capitol to lobby the Legislature for more funding.
State Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, spoke Wednesday as Texas charter school supporters rallied at the Texas Capitol to lobby the Legislature for more funding.

In Education Reform Debate, One Group Stands Out

Raise Your Hand Texas has been a key player this session, impacting bills like Sen. Dan Patrick's charter school legislation. The advocacy organization's influence in policy negotiations has won it both respect and exasperation in education circles.

Hank Warner teaches a pre-advanced placement algebra course for ninth-graders at Bowie High School in Austin.
Hank Warner teaches a pre-advanced placement algebra course for ninth-graders at Bowie High School in Austin.

In Texas, Nixing Algebra II Not Out of the Equation

As Texas reconsiders whether all students should take algebra II to earn a high school diploma, it is bucking a national trend that it helped launch a decade ago toward more stringent math curriculum. The push comes as some policy experts are also challenging the importance of the course in preparing students for future success. 

Education consultant and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, l, visits with Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, before the Senate Education Committee on Feb. 27, 2013.
Education consultant and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, l, visits with Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, before the Senate Education Committee on Feb. 27, 2013.

Sweeping Effort to Expand Charter Schools Faces Hurdles

Sen. Dan Patrick's Senate Bill 2 is the most ambitious attempt to expand the state’s charter school system since it was established in 1995. It will have to pass a Legislature that defeated more modest proposals in 2011. Despite seemingly fertile ground in Texas for policies based on a philosophy that low regulation and high competition encourages innovation, related policies have struggled to take root.