KIPP Academy

Charter School Crossroads

Do charter schools outperform traditional public schools? Should they be allowed to expand? Who holds them accountable if they fail? David Dunn, founder of the Texas Charter School Association, explains.

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Jacob Villanueva

Hidden Force

School district police departments use tasers, pepper spray, dogs and drawn handguns to control crime on campus. But most don't keep data on the incidents, leaving parents no way to track them. Many even refuse to turn over their “use of force” guidelines, saying parting with their policies could create a security threat.

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Bob Daemmrich

Upwardly Mobile

The number of Mexican-born professionals living in the United States has more than doubled since 1995. They're not the undocumented workers you see in evening-news mug shots or aerial photographs of a littered and barren desert. They're college graduates — some with multiple degrees — who join their blue-collar counterparts in their journeys north.

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Rev. Jim Wallis, a leading progressive preacher and founder of Sojourners, addressed Dallas Christians on Nov. 12, 2009. The social justice movement, he said, "is not about social action. It's not about politics. It's about restoring the integrity of the word of God in our lives, our churches, our neighborhoods, our city and our nation."

Soul Search: Dallas churches unite to right historic wrongs

The Dallas church community has vowed to forge 25 partnerships with high-poverty public schools and push for 700 units of housing for the homeless — a down payment on a larger effort to heal wounds left by racism and injustice.

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TribWeek: In Case You Missed It

Multi-part stories from Ramshaw and Grissom and Stiles on mental health services for detained immigrants and on payday lenders who provide exorbitantly priced credit to people with nowhere else to turn... Twitter, word clouds and the race for governor — a Stiles joint... Farouk Shami is in and Hu was there to watch... Philpott went to Bastrop for a gather of Republican governors... Rapoport finds a State Board of Education that's trying to control itself... and we have the skinny on legislative races that are likely to be competitive (only about 5 percent of the races on the ballot). It's the best of The Texas Tribune from November 14 to 20, 2009.

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Abby Rapoport

State (Board) of Agitation

The State Board of Education, which has showcased some intense philosophical fights, has drawn scrutiny for becoming a partisan battleground. For now, members are just trying to get along — but the rifts are as big as ever.

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TribBlog: Imagine the Controversy

A for-profit company hopes to get approval to start two charter schools in Texas. Thursday's SBOE meeting will set the precedent for dealing with this murkier side of the charter school system. 

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Fail-safe?

Districts prepare to go to court with the TEA over minimum grades policies, prompting the question: How much should schools emulate the real world? And how many second chances should students get?

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Jacob Villanueva

Is Texas in the Race?

The federal government is giving away $4.35 billion to state education systems through Race to the Top. But is Texas already out? 

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Elise Hu

Robert's Rules

State schools chief Robert Scott recently failed to get the Legislature to increase the cap on charter schools — then found a legal way to do it anyway, much to the dismay of state Democrats and teachers unions.

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Jacob Villanueva

Texas Reading Exams Fail the National Test

Federal officials say Texas' testing standards in reading are below the “basic” proficiency standards — and that low bar means  those passing the TAKS may not be as proficient as advertised.

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TribBlog: A Conversation With the State Schools Chief

Rather than deliver curriculum by book or even CD — one product per student — “We’re going to buy content and get a statewide license and deliver it to anyone who wants it” over the web, says Robert Scott. Much of that content will come from “smaller content providers who have been shut out of the market.”

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