reports on politics and education for the Tribune, which she joined in November 2009. She writes about the effects of the state budget, school finance reform, accountability and testing in Texas public schools. Her political coverage has included congressional and legislative races, as well as Gov. Rick Perry's presidential campaign, which she followed to Iowa and New Hampshire.
In 2013, she received a National Education Writers Association award for "Death of a District," a series on school closures. After earning a bachelor's degree in English from Wellesley College, she moved to Austin in 2008 to enter law school at the University of Texas.
A San Antonio native, her work has also appeared in Slate, where she spent a year as an editorial intern in Washington D.C.
As Texas education officials announced the third year of record-breaking high school graduation rates on Tuesday, critics continued to raise questions about the method the state uses to calculate them.
Texas Education Commissioner Michael Williams told federal education officials the state would take an additional year to pilot a new teacher evaluation system based in part on student standardized test performance.
UPDATED: Texas Education Commissioner Michael Williams told State Board of Education members Wednesday that said that when he approved a charter school's expansion into the Dallas area, he was following the spirit of a 2013 law.
Stacked up against other states, Texas public schools could win the best-bang-for-your-buck competition. The state spends less than most others, and its students perform better than many. But the commitment to fiscal restraint has come with its own burdens for teachers.
In three statewide Republican runoff races, candidates who have aligned themselves to the right of their opponents are poised to capture the party's nomination despite fielding significant blows from their opponents, including forays into mental health records from three decades ago and a potentially disqualifying violation of state securities law.
In closing arguments to voters Tuesday night, incumbent Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and his challenger, state Sen. Dan Patrick, avoided much of the spitefulness that has characterized the Republican contest.
Since the March Republican primary, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst has received about $1.7 million in political contributions — compared with about $4.4 million by his runoff opponent, state Sen. Dan Patrick of Houston.