EDUCATION: Public Education

Fort Worth Judge Blocks Obama Transgender Guidelines

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton during a press conference announcing a lawsuit filed against the federal government over rules for transgender bathrooms in public schools.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton during a press conference announcing a lawsuit filed against the federal government over rules for transgender bathrooms in public schools.

A federal judge in Fort Worth has blocked Obama administration guidelines directing the nation’s public schools to allow transgender students to use bathrooms and other facilities that align with their gender identity.

How a South Texas School District Spurred a Massive Turnaround

Premont High School cheerleader Stacy Morales, 17, and student basketball player Ernesto Gonzalez leave the gym after a game in 2012 — the year before the long-struggling school district opted to suspend its sports program to ward off closure.
Premont High School cheerleader Stacy Morales, 17, and student basketball player Ernesto Gonzalez leave the gym after a game in 2012 — the year before the long-struggling school district opted to suspend its sports program to ward off closure.

After five years of landing on the state’s list of low-performing schools, a tiny South Texas district that drew national headlines for cutting its sports program to ward off closure is now meeting state academic standards.

 

Failing Texas Schools Facing Tougher State Intervention

State Education Commissioner Mike Morath testifies Tuesday Aug 16, 2016 before the Senate Education Committee at the Texas Capitol.
State Education Commissioner Mike Morath testifies Tuesday Aug 16, 2016 before the Senate Education Committee at the Texas Capitol.

Education Commissioner Mike Morath on Tuesday outlined plans to crack down harder on chronically low-performing schools, saying he wants to cut in half the number of them that end up on the state’s failing list over the next five years.

10 Texas School Names Honoring Confederates Have Changed. At Least 24 Haven't.

Russell Lee Elementary was named Robert E. Lee Elementary when it opened in 1939. This year, the Austin ISD Board of Trustees voted to rename the school, making it one of 10 Texas schools that will bear new names when classes begin later this month. The banner shown above replaced art deco-style letters that spelled out "Robert E. Lee."
Russell Lee Elementary was named Robert E. Lee Elementary when it opened in 1939. This year, the Austin ISD Board of Trustees voted to rename the school, making it one of 10 Texas schools that will bear new names when classes begin later this month. The banner shown above replaced art deco-style letters that spelled out "Robert E. Lee."

Tense debates have raged at Texas schools over the proper place of Confederate names in the public landscape. But many other districts have not considered any changes.

School Finance Dividing Lines Emerge at Hearing

Sen. Larry Taylor R-Friendswood and Sen. Eddie Lucio D-Brownsville during an Aug 3, 2016 Senate Education Committee hearing
Sen. Larry Taylor R-Friendswood and Sen. Eddie Lucio D-Brownsville during an Aug 3, 2016 Senate Education Committee hearing

The fault lines that will define efforts to improve the state's system of funding education came into sharp focus Wednesday as a Senate panel began studying how to improve the "efficiency" of public schools in Texas.

In School Choice Fight, a Fresh Force Emerges

Texans for Education Opportunity Executive Director Randan Steinhauser, also an adviser for National School Choice Week, speaks during a school choice rally at the Texas Capitol in 2015.
Texans for Education Opportunity Executive Director Randan Steinhauser, also an adviser for National School Choice Week, speaks during a school choice rally at the Texas Capitol in 2015.

An ambitious new player has emerged in the controversial effort to use taxpayer dollars to help Texas parents send their kids to private or religious schools.

Fort Worth Revises Transgender Student Guidelines

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick expressed his opposition to new rules for transgender children in the Fort Worth Independent School District at a press conference in Fort Worth on May 10, 2016.
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick expressed his opposition to new rules for transgender children in the Fort Worth Independent School District at a press conference in Fort Worth on May 10, 2016.

The Fort Worth Independent School District issued new guidelines on Wednesday for accommodating transgender students, pleasing Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Attorney General Ken Paxton.  

Education Officials Point Fingers over College Readiness

Texas higher education commissioner Raymund Paredes during symposium at Baylor University in Waco, Texas
Texas higher education commissioner Raymund Paredes during symposium at Baylor University in Waco, Texas

The strained relationship between the state’s higher and public education leaders were on full display Wednesday as Texas Higher Education Commissioner Raymund Paredes told the State Board of Education it isn't doing enough to prepare students for college.

Scholars and Activists Lambast Proposed Mexican-American Studies Textbook

Dr. Emilio Zamora, a history professor at UT Austin, discusses factual errors in a proposed Mexican-American studies textbook during a press conference on July 18, 2016.
Dr. Emilio Zamora, a history professor at UT Austin, discusses factual errors in a proposed Mexican-American studies textbook during a press conference on July 18, 2016.

Activist groups and professors gathered Monday at the Texas Education Agency to list their concerns with a proposed Mexican American studies textbook and call on the board to reject it. 

 

Sign Up for The Brief

Our daily news summary