Public education

Bob Daemmerich

The American History Wars

As the SBOE grinded through testimony on Wednesday over its controversial social studies standards, much of the debate teetered on two basic fulcrums: teaching vs. indoctrination and patriotism vs. realism.

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Bob Daemmrich

Out of the Race

Texas will not apply for Race for the Top, the one-time federal grant worth up to $700 million for the state. Texas Education Commissioner Robert Scott cited strings attached to the potential money: “It was chock full of burdens. Their overall policy was to control curriculum across the country."

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The Brief: January 13, 2010

Remember those kids who would do extra homework assignments — without turning them in? Apparently Gov. Rick Perry and Education Commissioner Robert Scott might have just such students.

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Abby Rapoport

TribBlog: Today's SBOE History Hearings

As the state school board holds a public hearing on social studies standards today, expect a torrent of pent-up input from advocacy groups treading the familiar ground of God, race and patriotism.

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Guest Column: The 2010 Agenda: Business

To restore jobs lost during the recession and to prepare for those ready to enter the job market, Texas must create more than two million jobs in the next decade. A key factor in achieving this target is having educated employees available to fill positions as they become available.

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The State Board of Education begins meeting today to approve new social studies curriculum standards. We take you through some of the proposed changes.

Hijacking History

Was America ordained by God to lead the world? Are our public school students taught enough about the African American and Hispanic experiences? Was Joseph McCarthy an American hero? The always controversial State Board of Education meets this week to take up such questions as it revises Texas' social studies standards.

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Jacob Villanueva

Still Restrained

Texas educators forcibly pinned down students with disabilities as many times in 2009 as they did in 2008, despite efforts to curb the practice.

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Guest Column: The 2010 Agenda: Public Health

Three strategies can move Texas in the right direction, health-wise: a statewide indoor smoking ban, statewide universal K-12 coordinated school health programs, and the serious consideration of all available options to reduce the number of uninsured Texans.

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TribWeek: In Case You Missed It

Roll your own political videos ... interactive travel maps of your federal and state legislators ... scary movies, to keep the kids out of the border's scary drug wars ... puttting dropouts back in class ... rates squeezing families out of home health care ... how many lobby and trade associations do teachers in Texas need? ... enjoying the silence before an expected two-month siege of political advertising ... the dean of Texas political writers gets shut out of the gubernatorial debates ... and we have an interactive database of the state's best and worst public schools. The best of our best for a short news week, from December 19 to 26, 2009.

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Matt Stiles

Data Apps: Best/Worst Public Schools

Find the highest and lowest performers in Texas. Learn why nearly 500 campuses failed to meet minimum standards — and how the state inflated the rankings in the top category. 

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Sibling Squabbles

Four Texas teachers groups offer similar benefits and want the same basic things. So what’s the fuss about?

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Jacob Villanueva

Dropping In

After much hand-wringing by public officials and business leaders over the dropout crisis, a patchwork of last-resort schools and programs has emerged statewide. Gauging their performance is tricky, but there's no question that the students they serve might otherwise be on the street or in jail.

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TribWeek: In Case You Missed It

Stiles and Thevenot collaborate on the salaries paid to superintendents, and even compare them on price per student… Ramsey’s look at redistricting and next year’s elections… Aguilar’s report on jails, brought to you by the federal agency that’s in the ag business… Rapoport’s peek at the power behind Texas pre-kindergarten programs… Smith’s conversation with Dan Patrick, in three parts… Grissom’s narrative on a circular immigration and deportation route financed by two governments… Ramshaw finds doctors agreeing on public policy and split on strategy and tactics… Hu’s latest Stump Interrupted puts the camera on Farouk Shami… Hamilton’s story on two retired cops who are taking on cargo theft in Texas… And Kreighbaum and Stiles pop open the itineraries of your folks in Congress. The best of our best from December 12 to 18, 2009.

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Jacob Villanueva

An Escape with Few Takers

When public schools fail, students are allowed to transfer to better campuses. But only a tiny fraction ever do.

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Jacob Villanueva

Super Salaries

School superintendent salary data offers a unique window into the vast diversity of Texas districts, from massive to miniscule, and the way they pay their chief executives. One new trend: Performance pay. 

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Bob Daemmerich

Outbound Brains

Border communities struggle to keep younger, educated residents when larger cities dangle economic and quality-of-life opportunities. They're afflicted with the reputation of being black holes of talent — where escape is necessary in order to prosper.

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