Tribpedia: Public Education

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 ...

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. 

State's OK Sought for Mexican-American Studies Class

Supporters of adding Mexican-American studies as an official Texas high school course say time is running out for the State Board of Education to approve the class for next school year. Opponents argue that districts already have the authority to develop the class, but supporters say that doesn’t go far enough.

 

 

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott and state Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, have both made education a central point in their gubernatorial bids.
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott and state Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, have both made education a central point in their gubernatorial bids.

Abbott, Davis Go After the Education Vote Differently

The two leading candidates for governor are making education a talking point in their campaigns. Attorney General Greg Abbott is exploring charter schools and virtual learning, while state Sen. Wendy Davis is focused on teacher recruitment.

After a trial that lasted more than three months, Judge John Dietz ruled in February that the state's school finance system is unconstitutional.
After a trial that lasted more than three months, Judge John Dietz ruled in February that the state's school finance system is unconstitutional.

Texas School Finance Trial Enters Phase Two

Lawyers representing nearly two-thirds of Texas school districts in a lawsuit against the state argued Tuesday that not only was a 2013 legislative funding boost short term, but that other changes had increased costs for schools.

 

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.

New Security Measures Taking Root in Texas Schools

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It has been one year since the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. Texas lawmakers and school districts are among those who have re-examined security protocols after the shootings. Here's a look at some changes. Read the full story at KUT News.

Gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott speaks at a NE Tarrant Tea Party meeting at Concordia Lutheran Church in Bedford.
Gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott speaks at a NE Tarrant Tea Party meeting at Concordia Lutheran Church in Bedford.

Abbott Setting His Sights on Education Policy Debate

Greg Abbott will launch a series of education policy roundtables Tuesday, debuting what his campaign said would be a "major issue" for the campaign of the leading Republican candidate for governor. The lineup of events could hint at policy initiatives he is expected to announce in January — including a possible focus on online learning and charter schools. 

Students in Yvonne McDaniel's Reading English for Speakers of Other Languages, or ESOL, class participate in English-language exercises during summer school at McAllum High School in Austin, Texas, Jul. 31, 2013.
Students in Yvonne McDaniel's Reading English for Speakers of Other Languages, or ESOL, class participate in English-language exercises during summer school at McAllum High School in Austin, Texas, Jul. 31, 2013.

Texas Public School Students Lag Behind in Reading

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Texas public school students continue to lag behind the national average in reading scores, according to the National Assessment of Education Progress scores released Thursday.

 

TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of 10/21/13

M. Smith on wasted private tutoring efforts, Satija on government protection for the lesser prairie chicken, Root finds a new nest of Democratic trial lawyers, Malewitz finds a border skirmish featuring mollusks, Hamilton with the latest on politics at the University of Texas, Batheja on the link between vehicle traffic and bond ratings, Aguilar finds some promise in a juvenile justice program in Eagle Pass and Aaronson covers the court fight over new abortion regulations: The best of our best for the week of Oct. 21-25, 2013.