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 ...

Read More...

Texas Tribune Interviews Dr. Kenneth Cooper

Dr. Kenneth Cooper
Dr. Kenneth Cooper

The world-renowned Dallas doctor who essentially invented jogging as exercise talks with the Tribune about health care reform, the crisis of obesity in Texas, and what lawmakers must do to shore up the physical-education legislation they passed last session.

Clockwise from top left: an architect's rendering of the new stadium; Allen players after the 2008 state championship in Houston; Allen students at a game in the current stadium; the front of Allen High.
Clockwise from top left: an architect's rendering of the new stadium; Allen players after the 2008 state championship in Houston; Allen students at a game in the current stadium; the front of Allen High.

Texas' $60 Million High School Football Stadium

Allen High School is a study in bigness: A 5,000-student campus with a 650-member marching band supporting a football team that draws 8,000 fans to away games. And now — the pinnacle of suburban spoils — the Collin County community will break ground on an 18,000-seat stadium, the largest occupied by a single team. Pricetag: $60 million.

UT/Texas Tribune Poll: Doubts About Public Schools

More than two-thirds of Texans say their confidence in the state's public schools ranges from shaky to nonexistent, according to the new University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll. A majority of Texans believe that crime, low academic standards, lack of parental involvement and not enough funding are "major" problems that public schools face — but two-thirds say "too much religion in the schools" is not a problem.

Former State Board of Education members Don McLeroy and Cynthia Dunbar at a meeting in March 2010.
Former State Board of Education members Don McLeroy and Cynthia Dunbar at a meeting in March 2010.

SBOE's Dunbar Prays for Constitutional Revision

In a morning prayer to open the State Board of Education meeting, social conservative member Cynthia Dunbar, R-Richmond, mixed worship with a constitutional argument against the separation of church and state — previewing the politically charged debate to come later today, as conservatives tackle their last big agenda item before approving the state social studies standards.

Texas School Board Fights Church-State Separation

At a public hearing today, the State Board of Education's social conservative bloc is expected to launch attacks on the church-state “wall” as part of hundreds of changes to the social studies curriculum standards, which could provide the outline for tests and textbooks years into the future. The board expects to take a final vote on the entire curriculum on Friday.

Don McLeroy, a member of the Texas State Board of Education, at the Texas Tribune offices in October.
Don McLeroy, a member of the Texas State Board of Education, at the Texas Tribune offices in October.

SBOE to Debate Additional Amendments

When they meet in Austin next week, social conservatives on the State Board of Education — some now lame ducks — may be going even further with amendments challenging the separation of church and state, entitlements such as Social Security and Medicare, landmark desegregation cases and the work of muckraking journalists such as Susan B. Anthony and W.E.B. Du Bois. Another amendment amplifies a long-running effort to resuscitate the reputation of communist-hunting Sen. Joseph McCarthy.

TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of Apr 26, 2010

Stiles and Thevenot's searchable database of more than 5,800 public schools, Thevenot on why smaller high schools are better, Garcia-Ditta on the possible unification of Big Bend National Park with Mexico, Grissom on what's likely to happen on immigration reform this year (nothing), Hamilton on how Admm Bobby Ray Inman is managing a crisis, Hu on the health care reform straw man, Ramsey on the no-shoo-in-for-the-experienced-guy special election in Senate District 22, Philpott on the likely post-Arizona immigration brawls, Ramshaw on the emergence of concierge care as a response to health care reform, Aguilar on how Texas will soon become Cuba's top U.S. trading partner, Stiles and Babalola's searchable database of more 160,000 inmates in Texas prisons, M. Smith on the depressing fact that every single U.S. Attorney position in Texas is now vacant, and my on-camera sit-down with Texas Transportation Commission chair Deirdre Delisi. The best of our best from April 26 to 30, 2010.

This map of Texas school districts visualizes the percentage of students rated by the state as economically disadvantaged.
This map of Texas school districts visualizes the percentage of students rated by the state as economically disadvantaged.

Maps Visualize Texas School Demographics

We've created three new maps for visualizing district-level demographics in Texas schools. 

More Than 5,800 Texas Public Schools Ranked

  • 16Comments

We've built a searchable database of public school rankings based on data collected by the Houston-based nonprofit Children At Risk. In contrast to the Texas Education Agency's "ratings," which rely almost entirely on the percentage of students passing the TAKS test, the rankings blend 12 different measures for elementary schools, 10 for middle schools and 14 for high schools — including TAKS results, ACT and SAT scores, AP exams, attendance rates, graduation rates and the percentage of economically disadvantaged students on every campus. How does your school stack up?

Cameron Maedgen enters his apartment in San Angelo. Maedgen, an autistic, brain-damaged, 19-year-old, is ineligible for state services because his IQ is too high — but too low-functioning to live without assistance.
Cameron Maedgen enters his apartment in San Angelo. Maedgen, an autistic, brain-damaged, 19-year-old, is ineligible for state services because his IQ is too high — but too low-functioning to live without assistance.

IQ Scores Keep Autistic Young Adults From Services

What's in an IQ score? For autistic or profoundly mentally ill Texans: everything. A growing number of disabled young adults are considered too high-functioning for state care services, but their families say they’re too dangerous to go without them. Admission to state-supported living centers is limited to disabled people with IQs under 70 — and community-based care is generally capped at an IQ of 75.

TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of Apr 12, 2010

Grissom on the fall of Norma Chávez; M. Smith and Ramsey on the runoffs, the results, and the aftermath; Hu on the Tea Party's birthday party; Thevenot and Stiles on the path between schools and prisons; Ramshaw on prosecutors' reaction to helping hands from Austin; Hamilton on self-appointed lawyers; Galbraith on property rights and power lines; Aguilar and Grissom sit down with the mayor of Juárez to talk about his crime-ridden city; Kraft on telling the stories of Texans and other Americans who died in Vietnam; Ramsey on slots and horses and casinos; and Hamilton goes on a field trip with Jim Hightower to hear the history of populism. The best of our best from April 5 to 9, 2010.

Report: Texas School Districts Quick to Expel

  • 3Comments

A new report by Texas Appleseed spotlights two troubling trends: the high number and proportion of discretionary expulsions by school districts, often for low-level "persistent misbehavior," and the disproportionate severity of discipline meted out to African-Americans.

Texas Textbooks' National Influence Is a Myth

Despite all the handwringing about Texas' influence on the textbook market nationally, it's just not so, publishing insiders say. The state's clout has been on the wane and will diminish more as technological advances and political shifts transform the industry.

New SBOE Member Wants to End Culture Wars

“I was taught evolution, and it didn’t shake my faith in the Almighty whatsoever,” says George Clayton, who pulled off a stunning upset of incumbent Geraldine "Tincy" Miller, R-Dallas, in the GOP primary to win a seat on the State Board of Education. “Should creationism be taught as a counter to evolution? ... No, I don’t think so. I think evolution is in the science book. It should be taught as a science.”