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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The World According To Don

So what if he's no longer the chair of the State Board of Education? Self-described "religious fanatic" Don McLeroy has big plans for Texas education — and science is just the beginning.

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Jacob Villanueva

Dropout problem drags Texas down

“I represent a district that has 80 percent renters, 70 percent of people speaking a first language other than English, where there’s a high school with 42 languages and 40 percent turnover of the student body every year — now tell me how you plan to calculate the dropout rate,” Rep. Scott Hochberg said. “I will stipulate that it’s too big — let’s just start there. I wish we fought over solutions as much as we fight over the number.”

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Faulty figures: The great dropout debate

Despite years of research, the true picture of dropout and graduation rates remains elusive, even the subject of cross words between researchers. The consensus: Far too many Texas public school students, particularly those from poor and minority families, don’t cross the high-school finish line.

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Photo courtesy of the Howson family

Disabled students restrained, injured in public schools

Texas educators routinely pin down students with disabilities to control them, according to state data. Disability rights advocates say the restraints point to a crisis in special education, and that teachers are resorting to physical violence because they aren't properly trained.

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