Public education

Brian Thevenot

Talking Back to the Feds

"Teachers should be chasing us around," the Texas high school senior told the official from the U.S. Department of Education. "We shouldn't be chasing them. But that doesn't always happen here."

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Elise Hu

TribBlog: More "Federal Takeover" of Texas Schools?

As Texas education officials predicted when objecting to federal Race to the Top grant rules, the feds may now be moving to tie billions more in federal funds to the adoption of national curriculum standards, according to an Education Week report.

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Jacob Villanueva

The Old College Try

Since 1999, the number of "dual-credit" students — those who take college courses while still in high school — across Texas has ballooned from fewer than 12,000 to more than 91,000. It's a trend that's likely to continue as state and local policymakers search for ways to better align curricula and to push more kids to continue their education. “Schools have started to look at it as great for kids who might not have thought they were college material,” says an official at the Higher Education Coordinating Board. “It’s both a gifted-and-talented program and a college-accessibility program.”

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Jacob Villanueva

The Firing Line

After years of fiddling with merit-pay schemes, the Houston ISD is tying student test scores to the decision to ax teachers. Not surprisingly, the move — on the cutting edge of reforms nationally — has teachers howling in protest.

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Caleb Bryant Miller

TribBlog: "Mayor, Dogcatcher, Whatever"

Whatever his job might be, San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro says he would have applied for the federal government's Race to the Top education grants, which could have been worth $700 million to the state's schools.

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Jacob Villanueva

Day Care Danger

The Texas Workforce Commission spent nearly $50 million during the last two years on day care centers and in-home childcare providers with troubled track records — including sexual and physical abuse, kidnapping, and leaving infants to suffocate and die in their cribs. A Texas Tribune review found that at least 135 subsidized facilities had their licenses revoked or denied by the Department of Family and Protective Services in 2008 and 2009 and had their funding immediately suspended.

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Jacob Villanueva

Meet the Flintstones

Nearly a third of Texans believe humans and dinosaurs roamed the earth at the same time, according to the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll.

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TribWeek: In Case You Missed It

Hu, Philpott, and Ramsey on the Democratic gubernatorial debate, the pre-game, the post-game, and the highlight reel. Thevenot on the push for accountability in persistently low-performing schools. M. Smith on the Republican assault on sitting Republican appellate judge. Hamilton on a county with more than one Tea Party trying to claim conservative voters. With lawmakers staring down a growing budget crunch, Aguilar looks back at the last one for instruction. Grissom finds that U.S. Border Patrol has quietly stopped a program to deport illegal immigrants through Presidio. Ramshaw reports on a West Texas nurse who got into and out of criminal trouble for complaining about a doctor she worked with. The second University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll finds Rick Perry and Bill White with big leads in their respective party primaries. Rapoport found herself in the eye of the storm, traveling with Debra Medina on the day the candidate unexpectedly and disastrously made national news when Glenn Beck asked her on his radio shows about the attacks on the World Trade Center on 9/11. The best of our best from February 8 to 12, 2010.

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Tom Leppert: The TT Interview

The Dallas mayor left a hugely successful private sector career to lead the country’s ninth-largest city through an economic meltdown and the aftermath of a City Hall corruption scandal. And he doesn’t regret a minute of it. Here, he talks about fighting a sky-high crime rate, how he keeps party politics from his office, and every urban area's Achilles' heel: education.

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Jacob Villanueva

No Experience Necessary

Few members of the State Board of Education have finance expertise. Should we be concerned that they manage the investments of the $23 billion Permanent School Fund?

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TribWeek: In Case You Missed It

The death penalty and DNA testing in a 16-year-old triple murder in the Texas Panhandle. The second debate between the three Republican candidates for governor. Charter schools are having a hard time hanging on to the employees that matter the most: Teachers. The possibilities and perils of a switch to electronic medical records. A rundown of top races. Who's giving to candidates, and how much? Social networks and politicians. Ballots: The slow reveal. And a new and highly requested feature makes its debut. The best of our best from January 23 to 29, 2010.

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