Tribpedia: Public Education

Tribpedia

More tax dollars are spent on public education than on any other governmental program in the state. Public elementary and secondary education in Texas is financed by a combination of state, local, and federal revenue, a system that has produced inequities among the state's 1,030 traditional school districts and 207 charter operators.

As of 2010, more than 4 ...

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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.

New Law Limits Standardized Tests, but Not Prep Work

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 a year later, the provision that was written to curb the time educators spent preparing students for standardized tests instead of teaching may not have had the intended effect.

 

 

 

Attorney General Greg Abbott promoting his pre-kindergarten education proposal on April 2, 2014, at the IDEA Carver Academy in San Antonio.
Attorney General Greg Abbott promoting his pre-kindergarten education proposal on April 2, 2014, at the IDEA Carver Academy in San Antonio.

Abbott Calls for More Local Control of School Options

Unveiling his latest education policy plan, Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott on Wednesday proposed giving school districts and parents more control of students' education by tossing out state mandates and regulations that promote “one-size-fits-all solutions.”

Texas gubernatorial candidate, Sen. Wendy Davis speaks to press following an education rally in Austin, Texas on April 14th
Texas gubernatorial candidate, Sen. Wendy Davis speaks to press following an education rally in Austin, Texas on April 14th

Davis Continues Attacks on Abbott's Education Proposals

Democrat  Wendy Davis accused Republican gubernatorial opponent Greg Abbott of proposing increased testing and denying equal access to pre-K education during a speech at Texas State Teachers Assoiation. His campaign said Abbott's plan removes state mandates and expands local control — without imposing standardized tests.

Attorney General Greg Abbott promoting his pre-kindergarten education proposal on April 2, 2014, at the IDEA Carver Academy in San Antonio.
Attorney General Greg Abbott promoting his pre-kindergarten education proposal on April 2, 2014, at the IDEA Carver Academy in San Antonio.

Abbott Campaign: Pre-K Plan Does Not Mean More Tests

After questions were raised about language in a policy proposal that appears to call for the biannual testing of pre-kindergarten students, Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott’s campaign is clarifying his early education plan, saying he is not calling for such tests.

 

SBOE May Get Private Funds to See Out-of-State Charters

A proposal under consideration by the Texas State Board of Education would allow private foundations to pay for elected officials on the 15-member board to visit out-of-state charter schools whose applications they approve. Critics say private funds shouldn't pay for any part of a process used to evaluate whether charters should receive taxpayer money. 

Some officeholders have raised the idea of replacing Texas' property tax with a larger sales tax. But that could create some new fiscal challenges.
Some officeholders have raised the idea of replacing Texas' property tax with a larger sales tax. But that could create some new fiscal challenges.

Sales Tax Plan Would Redefine School District Wealth

Replacing property taxes in Texas with sales taxes sounds simple, but would have huge consequences for the state's school districts and for other governments whose local control goes along with their property taxes. In politics, nothing is as simple as it sounds.

Attorney General Greg Abbott speaks to press after voting in the primary on March 4th, 2014 at South Austin church. Abbott is running for the Republican nomination for Governor of Texas
Attorney General Greg Abbott speaks to press after voting in the primary on March 4th, 2014 at South Austin church. Abbott is running for the Republican nomination for Governor of Texas

Analysis: On Education, Abbott Must Aim Carefully

Gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott says he's looking “to make Texas the No. 1 education system in the United States within 10 years.” He has to find a way to suggest improvements while not criticizing his ally Rick Perry.

Parc Smith, CEO of American YouthWorks, a dropout recovery charter school facing closure by the state, looks in a student locker.
Parc Smith, CEO of American YouthWorks, a dropout recovery charter school facing closure by the state, looks in a student locker.

Charter Serving High School Dropouts Fights Closure

As six charter schools face automatic closure under a new Texas law, the state is facing questions over the guidelines used to decide which schools to close — and whether the process unfairly handicaps schools that serve hard-to-reach students.

Students in the Hidalgo Independent School District physics classroom work on a project on acceleration with a sloped ramp in a regular science class at Hidalgo Early College High School.
Students in the Hidalgo Independent School District physics classroom work on a project on acceleration with a sloped ramp in a regular science class at Hidalgo Early College High School.

Early College High Schools Proliferate

The number of early college high schools, which allow students to get a head start on college credits without paying tuition, has surged in Texas. The Texas Education Agency has announced that 44 new early college high schools will open for the 2014-15 school year, bringing the statewide total to more than 100.

A ninth-grade student returns a classroom calculator to its pouch after a pre-advanced placement algebra class at Bowie High School in Austin.
A ninth-grade student returns a classroom calculator to its pouch after a pre-advanced placement algebra class at Bowie High School in Austin.

Despite New Law, Algebra II Still a College Requirement

Though a new law removes algebra II as a core requirement for a high school diploma, many Texas universities say they have no plans to change their admissions standards to drop the advanced math course. Instead, higher education officials say many schools will continue raising the bar for new applicants.

TribuneFest: Education and the New Texas

At Thursday's daylong symposium on demographic change, held on the University of Texas at El Paso campus, I talked about the future of education in a rapidly-changing state with TEA Commissioner Michael Williams; UT System Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa; Harold Hahn, chairman of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board; and Sylvia Hopp, superintendent of the San Elizario ISD.

Disclosure: The University of Texas at El Paso is a corporate sponsor of The Texas Tribune. 

CSCOPE, Algebra II Emerge as Issues in SBOE Primaries

How the Texas State Board of Education has handled its purview over curriculum standards has cropped up in three primary races that will likely determine who will join the board in January. Two longtime Republican incumbents face challengers, and three candidates are vying to replace a Democrat who is not seeking re-election. 

 

News App: Higher Ed Outcomes Explorer

Each year, some 300,000 students begin eighth grade in a Texas public school — kids who will have far better prospects as adults if they finish high school and enroll in and complete a post-secondary certificate or degree. Use this app to track the educational milestones of every student who started eighth grade in a Texas public school between 1996 and 2001, broken down by region, county, ethnicity and gender.