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Performer Match: My Education

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Changing Course
AISD shifts to community-based model for prepping younger kids for college
News Story  September 9, 2011, by Richard Whittaker
"...Start­ing with Reagan and LBJ high schools, the idea is not only to get more students into college but also to get them there faster, keep them in school, and give them the tools to graduate into the work force more quickly. The aim is nothing short of a wholesale rebuilding of the culture of college applications, particularly in communities with little to no tradition of higher education – English-language learners, kids from low-income households, and minorities..."

Taking Back the House
Texas Democrats say this could be their November
News Story  October 10, 2008, by Richard Whittaker
"...In Howard's western Travis Co. seat, insurance agent and self-described public education advocate Pamela Waggoner tops her agenda with Republican mainstays of property taxes, illegal immigration, and what she calls "give-me-more-money" entitlement programs..."

On the Lege: Budget Rollout
The budget battle begins at the Capitol
News Column  March 30, 2007, by Amy Smith
"...At first glance, the spending proposal looks to be everything the budget writers say it is – a fine specimen of a budget that will add more money for education, beef up border security, shore up health and human services and the hobbled parks system, and put Texas on the road to a cleaner, brighter future (see box). But ask the direct stakeholders in each of those funding areas what they think of the budget, and some variation of the word "disappointed" is bound to crop up again and again...."

Naked City
Headlines and happenings from Austin and beyond
News Story  April 15, 2005, by Lee Nichols and Cheryl Smith
"...MLK. See our Arts section.Austin Stories• It's official: Johnston High School is one of nine Texas schools to win a $390,000 Innovative Redesign grant from the Texas Education Agency..."

School Finance Bill Heads for the Floor
Republicans pass HB 2 out of committee over educator objections
News Story  March 4, 2005, by Kimberly Reeves
"...The House Public Education Committee, dominated by Republicans, pushed the school finance reform bill out of committee on Tuesday, forcing a straight party-line vote on a bill that no group in the education community was willing to support...."

How to Get Your Kids Through College
Once students enter the 'pipeline,' can educational plumbers stop the leaks?
News Story  February 4, 2005, by Rachel Proctor May
"...Two metaphors are currently zipping around the education world like the latest slang in a high school cafeteria. To ensure the economic future of Texas, runs one nostrum, we need to "create a seamless transition" from high school to college..."

The Challenge of Judge Dietz
School finance decision puts responsibility where it's always been - on all of us
News Column  September 24, 2004, by Michael King
"...Declaring "It's the right thing to do," state District Judge John Dietz last week found the current Texas public school finance system unconstitutional. His rulings were brief and straightforward, finding that the current system both fails to provide an "adequate suitable education" and has also become an unconstitutional state property tax, because so many districts are effectively required to tax at the maximum $1.50 rate in order to meet constitutional, state, and federal requirements – and yet still lack sufficient resources to fulfill those obligations...."

'The Time to Speak Is Now'
Judge John Dietz on the Texas school finance system and closing the gaps
News Story  September 17, 2004, by Michael King
"...There is, in our current system, unquestionably, a significant gap of more than ten points in educational achievement between economically disadvantaged students and non-economically disadvantaged students. This is really remarkable when you consider that over half of our public education students in Texas are economically disadvantaged..."

A Shared Vision
MM Pack reports on the combination of generosity and hard work that built the Institute of Hospitality & Culinary Arts at Travis High School.
Food Story  October 11, 2002, by MM Pack
"...Bowie High School has had a vibrant and effective program in place since the school opened in 1989, and Del Valle High School has a program for that district. However, an additional reason to celebrate the latest institute is the story behind its development, a story about a vision of improved education for Austin students, and a community's combined efforts to make a piece of the dream real...."

Culinary Studies
Cooking Schools in Austin
Food Story  January 19, 2001, by MM Pack
"...Well, that was then and this is now. In the span of time that's passed since I was seeking a formal food education, the culinary universe has tilted; that world has changed in all its aspects..."

Man of the Hour
Superintendent Pat Forgione discusses his goals for AISD in a Q&A interview with reporter Kevin Fullerton.
News Story  October 29, 1999, by Kevin Fullerton
"...Forgione even submitted to the talk radio treatment from KVET's Bob Cole and Sammy Allred after announcing a new school tax hike in September. By his own admission, Forgione, the former U.S. commissioner of education statistics, is a data man..."

A Failure to Communicate
AISD's community outreach needs to go back to school
News Story  February 8, 2013, by Richard Whittaker
"...Critics, both internal and external, repeated a mantra: The administration doesn't want consent, or even effective feedback – instead, just gestures of consultation. Yet, after a year of bloody conflict – over IDEA, over single-sex education, over school closures – hard lessons should have been learned..."

Uncontrolled Experiments
AISD says charters and single-sex academies will lift all students' boats – and attacks any research that says otherwise
News Story  December 9, 2011, by Richard Whittaker
"...In making her proposals, Carstarphen has presented research about the supposed successes of IDEA's schools in the Rio Grande Valley and told the board that those results can be replicated in East Austin. At the same time, she has argued that the record of AISD's Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders shows that single-sex education works..."

Promises, Promises
Two Austin neighborhoods vie to bring down federal dollars to help transform communities
News Story  August 6, 2010, by Richard Whittaker
"...What's on offer is called a Promise Neighborhoods grant. The Department of Education will select up to 20 projects nationwide to split an opening grant of $10 million..."

Clouded Prospects
Lege special session opens with glowing rhetoric, uncertain goals
News Story  April 14, 2006, by Amy Smith
"...The latest proposal comes on the heels of several failed legislative attempts to resolve the school-finance conundrum, which has wandered in the Capitol wilderness for the last two regular sessions and a couple of specials. This time around, there's a crucial difference: Lawmakers face a June 1 deadline set by the Texas Supreme Court, which in November ruled that the state's education funding system had evolved into an unconstitutional statewide property tax...."

Naked City
Headlines and happenings from Austin and beyond
News Story  February 17, 2006
"...The job now before the trustees is to determine whether the new purposes are worth the cost, and worth the upheaval to the children who stand to lose their schools. Arguing for his proposal, Forgione played the those-big-bad-Feds-are-gonna-get-us card: He reminded the trustees that the federal No Child Left Behind law requires all students, including special education ones, to perform on grade level by 2014 and intimated that failure to approve the pre-K centers will prevent AISD from meeting NCLB targets..."

Postmarks
Our readers talk back.
Columns  August 26, 2005
"...Thomas BoggsEducation Deserves More FundingDear Editor,..."

The Dropout Problem
Not students, but teachers – AISD struggles to retain qualified educators
News Story  August 12, 2005, by Rachel Proctor May
"...This churning has financial implications – various sources estimate that statewide, teacher attrition costs between $329 million and $2.1 billion a year in recruitment, training, and human resources costs. But just as important are its educational implications, especially because the schools with the most turnover are those with high proportions of poor and minority students..."

Here Today, There Tomorrow
Austin ISD Schools grapple with high student turnover – and all its consequences
News Story  March 11, 2005, by Rachel Proctor May
"...That's true to a degree – but taking into account the difference between "mobility" and "stability" rates also shows how some families are even more strongly affected than these stark mobility statistics suggest. Under Texas Education Agency guidelines, a school counts one of its students as "mobile" if that student was at the school for less than 83% of the year – that is, if he or she missed more than six weeks..."

Will AISD Crack Down on Special Ed?
Advocates decry district's trend from 'disability' to 'discipline'
News Story  November 26, 2004, by Rachel Proctor May
"...Austin ISD is a very special place. There are more than 10,000 special-education students in the district – that's 12% of the student body, or about two per classroom..."

Postmarks
Our readers talk back.
Columns  September 20, 2002
"...13] is quite insightful, but he left some erroneous impressions. Just last Friday, I addressed these same misconceptions in a speech before the Texas Environmental Education Partnership, an organization I helped found in 1997...."

'If Not Edison -- What?'
Austin Interfaith's Alliance programs represent one alternative to failing AISD schools.
News Story  March 22, 2002, by Emily Pyle
"...In the Texas Education Agency's 2001 assessment of state school districts, the Austin Independent School District as a whole is rated "acceptable." Parents in Austin's predominantly poor and minority Eastside disagree...."

Putting Himself 'Out Here'
Theatre Arts and English teacher Rick Garcia has put himself "out here," on Austin's fringes, n the off-the-map, lost-worldness of Johnston High School, to reach out to some of the poorest kids in one of Austin's most neglected neighborhoods and make a difference through that rare and vital cocktail: art and education.
Arts Story  March 9, 2001, by Robi Polgar
"...The school is also home to some of the brightest, and whitest, high schoolers, who attend Johnston's Liberal Arts Magnet program. Garcia's unique theatre program attracts students from both worlds and has won him plaudits from around the state, including the 1996 Texas Educational Theatre Association's award for Educator of the Year..."

Naked City
AISD hosts a conference of public and higher education leaders to determine and discuss priorities for public education in Texas.
News Story  February 16, 2001, by Kevin Fullerton
"...The establishment of a statewide teachers' health insurance plan promises to be the Legislature's flagship education piece this session, and that may be unfortunate for local school districts. Not that anyone begrudges health coverage for teachers, but with the state's share of public education spending at an all-time low, school districts are wary of another expensive state mandate -- especially when the current school finance system is on the brink of collapse...."

Sterling Lands' New Mission
Sterling Lands II and the Eastside Social Action Coalition fight for equity in Austin's public schools.
News Story  January 12, 2001, by Jordan Smith
"...Most recently his voice has reverberated out of Greater Calvary's chapel all the way over to West Sixth Street, where, as the official spokesman for a fledgling Eastside activist group, he is delivering a hard-line message to the administration of the Austin Independent School District. Discontinue a legacy of racist and unequal public education, say Lands and his community allies, or suffer the public, political, and financial consequences.46 Years After Brown It is Sterling Lands' ministerial ability to move from the fevered to the sublime in one seamless swoop that underlies the intensity of his current public mission..."

Far and Away the Best
Screens Story  July 8, 1999, by Louisa C. Brinsmade
"...She is 29 years old, and a full-time career at Dell and an eight-year-old daughter at home are pretty much her priorities now. The alternative to traditional campus education fits her modern lifestyle -- Dolores gets to take her classes home..."

Postmarks
Barrientos Misrepresented
Columns  May 6, 1999
"...So much for citizen participation, hydro-geological expertise, educational programs for the neighborhoods, working with all the interested and vested interest groups! "So take that and go away," says "Buster" Brown...."

Going Private
Can Christian Schools Vouch for Themselves?
  May 26, 1995
"...The group's putative "Contract With the American Family," announced on May 17, calls for public, private, and religious school "choice." The concept is nothing new. Political conservatives first developed an appetite for educational vouchers in the late 1950s and early 1960s, when economist Milton Friedman introduced the notion..."

Public Notice: Ted Gordon Believes
Is it too late to fix the AISD bond package?
News Column  June 22, 2017, by Nick Barbaro
"..."I believe in AISD. And I believe in quality education..."

Lege Lines
School finance debate heats up, HHSC consolidation on hold?, and more
News Story  April 2, 2015, by Richard Whittaker
"...5, 2014). And a recent study by the National Education Agency found Texas ranks 45th in spending per child in the nation..."

Texas School Funding
Still unconstitutional
News Story  September 4, 2014, by Richard Whittaker
"...He ruled that, since the current system makes so many demands on local independent school districts, it amounts to a de facto state property tax. Moreover, the end result violates the education clause of the Texas constitution, requiring that the state provide an "adequate" and "equitable" education to all children...."

Abbott Turns Open Records into Campaign Stunt
Meanwhile Davis savages Republican over "Baby STAAR" pre-K tests
DAILY News  April 14, 2014, by Richard Whittaker
"...After starting her campaign on the back foot, Davis is now on the offensive, pummeling Abbott for an education plan that she argues adds STAAR-like testing for four year olds. She'll be in Austin today, hammering that point home...."

In the Name of Ann Richards
AISD's School for Young Women Leaders is a district showcase – does its glittering reputation hide a darker side for teachers and students?
News Story  August 30, 2013, by Richard Whittaker
"...That's the mission Kate Mason-Murphy signed on to when she joined the school as a physical education teacher in August 2008. Mason-Murphy – or Coach Mason, as her students call her – wasn't looking for a regular teaching job..."

Are Unions Educational Kryptonite?
New doc pins school failures on unions
News Story  October 15, 2010, by Richard Whittaker
"...The new documentary Waiting for 'Super­man' has triggered national media chatter about kick-starting a revolution in education. In it, An Inconvenient Truth director Davis Guggenheim presents U.S..."

Activated: Texas Freedom Network vs. Liberty Institute
The education of polar opposites
News Story  September 17, 2010, by Lee Nichols
"...The State Board of Education fights are more than just squabbles among politicians – there are also activist groups that do all they can to drive the debate and motivate citizens. The two most prominent have been the Texas Freedom Network (which "advances a mainstream agenda of religious freedom and individual liberties to counter the religious right," according to its website) and the Liberty Institute (formerly the Free Market Foundation), "dedicated to protecting freedoms and strengthening families" and closely affiliated with James Dobson's Focus on the Family organization...."

We're 49th! ... Or Just Seventh of 10
Union and Austin ISD argue over teacher pay – and what to do about it
News Story  April 9, 2010, by Richard Whittaker
"...When it comes to education, Texans are used to being at the bottom of national comparisons. But even with those low expectations, residents of the Austin Independent School District may be surprised that the city ranks 49th among the Top 50 districts in Texas for basic teacher pay...."

'When I Was Your Age'
The full text to the Obama back-to-school speech
DAILY News  September 7, 2009, by Richard Whittaker
"...But I’m here today because I have something important to discuss with you. I’m here because I want to talk with you about your education and what’s expected of all of you in this new school year...."

Whether to Laugh or Cry: Sex Ed in Texas
A new report takes an unprecedented look at the state of sex ed in Texas public schools
News Story  February 27, 2009, by Jordan Smith
"...Sexually speaking, women are like "crock pots," slower to warm – or, to be more specific, slower to get "stimulated." Men, on the other hand, are like microwave ovens, fast cookers that are always ready to go. At least that's the message given to public school students who are taught the WAIT Training abstinence-only sex-education curriculum – and in Texas, that's the curriculum taught in 53 public school districts..."

AISD Takes a Tax Bite to Voters
School board hammers out a budget
News Story  August 29, 2008, by Richard Whittaker
"...In an unusual step, the board made its own last-minute additions to the General Fund. At the prompting of faculty and staff union Education Austin, board member Karen Dulaney Smith introduced a sliding minimum pay scale for substitute teachers – from $10.62 for certified teaching subs to $8.75 for classified subs – costing $292,000..."

Higher Ed Funding: Congress comes to ACC
Looking at new methods to distribute federal education funds earmarked for historically black- and Hispanic-serving colleges and universities, U.S. Rep. Rubén Hinojosa hosts hearing on ACC Eastview campus
News Story  June 8, 2007, by Kimberly Reeves
"...Yet ACC – not the University of Texas – is the growing gateway to higher education for minority students in Austin-area school districts. Statistics show that more than half of the Latinos who go on to higher education attend community colleges, and community colleges constitute more than half of those institutions classified as "Hispanic serving." As the Top 10% Rule squeezes more local kids out of UT – and the number of Latinos in local school districts grows – ACC will be the choice for many of these students...."

The 'Chronicle' Endorsements
Our picks for the Nov. 7 election
News Story  November 3, 2006
"...Dist. 21: John Courage Courage is an Air Force veteran and school teacher who has been particularly strong on education issues – anti-voucher, pro-public schools – as well as health-care, Social Security, energy independence, and veterans' issues, and he's resisted the campaign-season temptation to bash immigrants..."

The 'Chronicle' Endorsements
Our picks for the Nov. 7 election
News Story  October 27, 2006
"...Dist. 21: John Courage Courage is an Air Force veteran and school teacher who has been particularly strong on education issues – anti-voucher, pro-public schools – as well as health-care, Social Security, energy independence, and veterans' issues, and he's resisted the campaign-season temptation to bash immigrants..."

The 'Chronicle' Endorsements
Our picks for the Nov. 7 election
News Story  October 20, 2006
"...Dist. 21: John Courage Courage is an Air Force veteran and school teacher who has been particularly strong on education issues – anti-voucher, pro-public schools – as well as health-care, Social Security, energy independence, and veterans' issues, and he's resisted the campaign-season temptation to bash immigrants..."

2006 State Races
A sampling of some of the livelier contests taking shape in the March 7 primary and the general election in November
News Story  January 20, 2006, by Wells Dunbar and Amy Smith
"...Ronnie Earle, says he brings his father's zeal for clean government to his campaign. A health care consultant, Earle also emphasizes affordable medical care, economic development, and everybody's current preoccupation – education..."

Naked City
Headlines and happenings from Austin and beyond
News Story  December 23, 2005
"...But our students are improving, and are doing well compared to students around the nation," said Susan Dawson, who led the task force that developed the report. (She was referring in part to a recent study by the National Assessment of Education Progress that found AISD students outperforming peers in 10 other urban areas.) To address the imbalance, the chamber recommended more frequent assessment and communitywide participation in the effort to redesign AISD's 11 high schools..."

Lege Notes
Odds and ends from the 79th
News Column  April 1, 2005
"...4Public ed steamroller and privatizer HB 2 is picking up a faster pace, as the bill from House Education Committee Chair Kent Grusendorf, R-Arlington, has landed in the Senate Education Committee for hearing. Plano Republican Florence Shapiro, chair of the Senate committee, announced her expeditious intentions Tuesday, March 29, saying that Tuesday, as well as Thursday and Friday, were all slated for hearings on the controversial bill..."

What's So Special?
Gov. Perry calls a special session, and pits property taxes against schoolchildren
News Column  April 23, 2004, by Michael King
"...Whatever else happens over the next 30 days at the special legislative session on public school finance that opened this week at the Capitol, Texans should expect an education. Not necessarily about public schools and their needs and resources, but about the nature of political power and its exercise in Texas..."

Tits for Tots
The governor rolls out his school finance plan, starring smoking, gambling, Desirée, and Ecstasy
News Column  April 16, 2004, by Michael King
"...Rick Perry – he's doing his damnedest to keep the editorial cartoonists employed. Two months ago in this space I asked, "What's next from the Perry Education Excellence Brain Trust? We hear there's real money to be made in Internet porn." I thought that was a little over the top, even a cheap shot, and considered cutting it..."

The House Democrats on Ending Robin Hood
News Story  February 14, 2003
"...Statement by the Texas House Democratic Caucus in response to HB 604, passed out of the Public Education Committee on Feb. 4, 2003..."

St. Michael's Passion
Whose truth prevails at Austin's Catholic high school?
News Story  December 14, 2001, by Mike Clark-Madison
"...Michael's will be joined by another Catholic high school -- as yet unnamed and unlocated, but intended to be more accessible to poor Eastside kids. Austin's new bishop, who's more conservative than the old bishop and has spent most of his career in Catholic education, has definite ideas about how Catholic a Catholic school should be, and what role it should play in the education of the community at large..."

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