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.
Tony Buzbee, who is leading Gov. Rick Perry's defense, has made a fortune being the kind of lawyer the governor has spent much of his time in office villainizing. But Buzbee rejects the suggestion that he was an unconventional pick.
UPDATED: Asked why the state had delayed a transition away from lower passing standards on state exams, Texas Education Commissioner Michael Williams told state lawmakers Tuesday that classroom instruction had failed to meet the rigor demanded by the new tests.
In the second year of a new school accountability system, nine out of 10 Texas districts met state standards, according to ratings released by the Texas Education Agency on Friday. The 2014 ratings show a slight decline from last year.
In December, the Texas Education Agency moved to shutter six charter school operators under a new law. Nearly 10 months later, three of those schools remain open — fighting a process they say is overly simplistic.
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.