On this week's Agenda Texas from KUT News: How many tests are too many? State Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, is leading the charge to reduce the number of high school STAAR tests from 15 to five. But critics worry that cutting tests could also cut standards.Full Story
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 ...
The results of the new University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll on everything from the top race of 2014 to the gun debate, Aaronson on Medicaid expansion, Aguilar on a financial thaw in the Mexican oil patch, Batheja on cents and sensibility, M. Smith on school choice, Rocha and Dehn on TWIA reform, Galbraith on water and fracking, Murphy’s interactive map of poverty in the state, E. Smith's TribLive interview with House Public Education Chairman Jimmie Don Aycock and Root on a lobby couple living large and reporting small: The best of our best content from March 4-8, 2013.Full Story
Water is a top issue with lawmakers, if not quite there with voters, according to the University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll. And voters prefer adding a surcharge, based on water usage, to help pay for water projects.Full Story
For this week's nonscientific survey of insiders in politics and government, we asked about the state's gun laws, school choice, the governor's "fetal pain" bill, and about whether Texas election laws still need federal oversight.Full Story
Just as death and taxes are certainties, we can be sure that several cloaked voucher bills will be introduced by the Legislature. No matter how it is sliced and diced, no matter its moniker, if passed it will result in public dollars going to private schools.Full Story
Choice would empower parents to select the best schools for their children and would empower teachers to earn more. Our failing schools would improve.Full Story
At the Trib's February 25 symposium on public education at Rice University, Morgan Smith talked about what it takes to find and retain great teachers with Linda McSpadden McNeil of Rice University, Elisa Villanueva Beard of Teach for America, Gayle Fallon of the Houston Federation of Teachers and former U.S. Secretary of Education Rod Paige.Full Story
At the Trib's February 25 symposium on public education at Rice University, I talked choice, testing, school finance and the intersection of policy and politics with four former state commissioners of education: Mike Moses, Jim Nelson, Shirley Richardson and Robert Scott.Full Story
At the Trib's February 25 symposium on public education at Rice University, Morgan Smith talked about the prospect of greater choice and more charters with Caprice Young of the Laura and John Arnold Foundation, Rosemary Perlmeter of Teaching Trust, Duncan Klussmann of Spring Branch Independent School District and David Anthony of Raise Your Hand Texas.Full Story
At the Trib's February 25 symposium on public education at Rice University, I talked accountability and student testing with Robert Duron, the state's deputy commissioner of education; Susan Kellner of Texans Advocating for Meaningful Student Assessment; Tom Pauken of the Texas Workforce Commission; and former U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings.Full Story
At the Trib's February 25 symposium on public education at Rice University, I talked school finance, accountability, choice and other hot-button issues with state Rep. Jimmie Don Aycock, R-Killeen, the chairman of the House Public Education Committee, and state Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, the chairman of the Senate Public Education Committee.Full Story
Grissom begins a gripping series on mental health and criminal justice, Hamilton and White on the Senate’s defense of UT-Austin, Murphy’s interactive look at public school test scores, Ramshaw finds the governor digging in on the Medicaid expansion, Rocha and Dehn visit a weapons maker with Ted Cruz, M. Smith explores another angle on unpopular standardized testing, Batheja on a car that drives right past state laws, Aguilar reports on the other immigration problem, Aaronson on a break in the race for a cancer cure: The best of our best for the week of February 18-22, 2012.Full Story
Texas Appleseed and the Brazos County branch of the NAACP have filed a federal complaint against Bryan ISD, saying the school district's reliance on ticketing as a form of discipline "disproportionately harms" black students.Full Story
More than 100 witnesses signed up to testify before the House Public Education Committee Tuesday on a massive bill restructuring student testing, graduation requirements and the public school accountability system in the state.Full Story
State senators took turns publicly condemning Texas' student assessment system — the implementation of which one lawmaker called a "colossal failure" — at a Tuesday Education Committee meeting.
Democrats in the Texas House last week launched an effort to restore public education cuts, setting up a potential battle over an emergency supplemental appropriations bill.Full Story
The speaker of the House dampens expectations for vouchers, tax breaks and transportation without ruling any of those things out. And the lieutenant governor unpeels another layer of problems he says arose from a campaign manager's embezzling.Full Story
M. Smith on the decision that Texas school funding is unconstitutional, E. Smith’s TribLive conversation with House Speaker Joe Straus, Rocha and Dehn’s look at how Texas got its current ethics laws, Ramshaw peeks into the lobby’s bag of gifts for lawmakers, Batheja finds state lawmakers who lobby other government entities, KUT’s Philpott on federal health care in Texas, Murphy reveals the geography of House committee assignments, Hamilton on a Caribbean medical school that wants to operate in Texas, Grissom at a court of inquiry on a murder prosecutor’s conduct, Aguilar on a decision that allows an open-pit coal mine to operate on the state’s Mexican border and Aaronson’s report on legislative inquiries about the state’s cancer prevention agency: The best of our best for the week of Feb. 4, 2012.Full Story