Public education

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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Abby Rapoport

Does Texas Pre-K work?

One education model — with unproven results — serves almost a third of pre-kindergarteners in Texas. Its grade? Incomplete.

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Jacob Villanueva

Race to the Bottom Line

The feds want Texas to sign onto a movement toward national education standards in order to get up to $700 million in "Race to the Top" money. Texas officials say our students —and our curriculum — aren't for sale. 

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cynthiadunbar.com

2010: Survival of the Fittest?

Even if Cynthia Dunbar doesn't seek reelection to the State Board of Education, another conservative Republican stands ready to take up the cause.

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TribWeek: In Case You Missed It

It was a political week, with a full-court press from our staff on Bill White's switch to the governor's race and all of the fallout; the moves during the first week of filing for political races; Philpott's look at Republicans challenging Republicans; Hu's latest in the popular Stump Interrupted series; Ramshaw on emergency rooms, family doctors, and child protection; Stiles and Grissom mapping payday lending locations juxtaposed with family income data; Rapoport on the state budget and education; Thevenot on KBH's plans for schools; and Hamilton on the power (or not) of political endorsements. The best of the best from November 28 to December 4, 2009.

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Elise Hu

Grading KBH's Education Plans

Education has emerged as one of the more contentious fronts in the gubernatorial campaign, with Kay Bailey Hutchison this week releasing a barrage of school proposals and attacks on the status quo. But the differences between the candidates have more to do with execution than with design.

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Jacob Villanueva

Stymied by Stimulus?

The stimulus money increased funding for education last session. But can the state keep it up next session without more federal money?

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Ante Vekic

Beyond Textbooks and Tests

Hoping to push a wide array of digital content and teaching tools to public schools, the Texas Education Agency has cut a deal with a division of The New York Times for an electronic curriculum portal and searchable access to the newspaper’s content since 1851.

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