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Res Publica
Your do-good guide for Nov. 20-27
News Story  November 21, 2008
"...MICHELE NORRIS The NPR co-host of All Things Considered presents Listening to America in an Election Year: Did the Press Get It Right? 7pm. AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center, UT campus, 1900 University Ave..."

Point Austin: Unaccountable
In the public school testing frenzy, responsibility and consequences flow only downward
News Column  November 21, 2008, by Michael King
"...More substantively, some teachers (fearing retaliation) have privately complained that Troutman is an ineffective administrator and has poorly managed school discipline. He says that in fact disciplinary referrals at Pearce have dropped dramatically over the past year, as have assignments of students to home suspension or alternative education..."

AISD Puts Faith in Voters
Teachers' paychecks – and the tax raise they require – are in voters' hands this November
News Story  September 5, 2008, by Richard Whittaker
"...While Education Austin President Louis Malfaro called the budget "underwhelming" and worried how soon the board will need to go back to voters for more money, his union is committed to supporting the tax raise. Similarly, the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce formally endorsed the increase at its Aug..."

AISD Superintendent Search Begins
The public will play a large part in determining the criteria for choosing AISD's next head honcho
News Story  September 5, 2008, by Richard Whittaker
"...23-25. During those days, ProAct staff will meet separately with invited groups, including Education Austin, the Cham­ber of Commerce, neighborhood associations, and environmental groups..."

Point Austin: Denver Stakes
What Obama signifies for the rest of us
News Column  August 29, 2008, by Michael King
"...• Economy: Popular majorities support redirecting military spending to economic development, health care, and public education; a national living wage; gender and racial equity in opportunity and wages; and the expansion of union organizing rights...."

Forgione Revises History
Postmarks  August 8, 2008
"...It was starting to lose it" [“Just Add Students,” News, August 8]. Forgione has conveniently forgotten the successful challenge by Liberal Arts students to the district’s unconstitutional practice of assigning a portion of the “top 10%” of the class to students who were not in the top 10% at Johnston and LBJ High School. AISD’s bizarre policy was a result of its efforts to avoid accountability for the education of Eastside neighborhood students..."

Johnston High School: TEA Allows 'Repurposing'
Generations of Johnston High alums ponder the fate of the 'Pride of the Eastside'
News Story  June 20, 2008, by Michael King
"...On Wednesday, June 18, state Education Commissioner Robert Scott informed Austin ISD that he is granting the district's request to "repurpose" Johnston High School, in the wake of the earlier ruling by the Texas Education Agency that, following five years of inadequate scores on "accountability" measures, the school must be closed or reorganized under new staff and curriculum. On June 9, the AISD board formally adopted a repurposing proposal for Johnston, and last Thursday, June 12, district officials hosted a public meeting at the Johnston cafeteria..."

Naked City
News briefs from Austin, the region, and elsewhere
News Story  May 23, 2008
"...could cost the college up to $400,000. Given that I joined this race to expand educational opportunities for our community and to make sure that taxpayers' money is spent as efficiently and effectively as possible, I think this money would be better spent on ACC's educational programs..."

Lasting Commitments
The 2008 class of the Austin Arts Hall of Fame
Arts Story  May 23, 2008, by Robert Faires
"...The Blanton Museum of Art? They provided a seven-figure gift for the new gallery building. The Austin Museum of Art? They support the museum's endowment for education and outreach..."

The Revolution Will Not Be Motorized
Will the city create a path to give bicyclists a little respect?
News Story  May 9, 2008, by Daniel Mottola
"...Formed in response to bike-community outrage over a mandatory helmet law proposed in 2006, the broad-based task force drafted a comprehensive set of guidelines that articulates virtually all of the long-held goals of local transportation bicyclists. After 10 months of work that began last March, Street Smarts' subcommittees on infrastructure, law enforcement, and education and promotion democratically ratified a set of comprehensive recommendations..."

ACC Campus on Round Rock Ballot
Round Rock voters will decide what could be ACC's largest campus
News Story  May 9, 2008, by Patricia J. Ruland
"...After a whirlwind courtship, Austin Com­mun­ity College and Round Rock-area residents may finally tie the knot if voters on Saturday approve annexation of prime city and Williamson Co. property into the education district..."

Partisan Values or Expertise?
ACC board, Place 1 poses an interesting choice for voters
News Story  April 25, 2008, by Lee Nichols
"...Unsurprisingly, their approaches to the office are completely different. Keller is all about nuts and bolts, a data man with an academic's focus on implementing best practices for successful educational outcomes..."

Naked City
News Story  March 28, 2008
"...• Expect to see some form of vouchers lite come out of the Texas Education Agency in the next week or so. Education Commissioner Robert Scott is expected to use his administrative powers to create a grant program to recover high school dropouts..."

ACC: Four for the Board
News Story  March 21, 2008, by Lee Nichols
"...Judge Bill Aleshire, former City Council Member Jackie Goodman, and former Mayor Gus Garcia, just to skim the surface. Mahoney says he's had a longtime interest in community education and even campaigned for the first taxing district created to wean ACC away from the Austin Independent School District..."

Naked City
News Story  January 18, 2008
"...• Education Austin leader and Small Middle School teacher Michael Poliakoff has filed a lawsuit against the Austin Independent School District, claiming district administrators punished him for being a whistle-blower. Poliakoff was a teacher at Bailey Middle School during the 2003-2004 school year, when he led a campaign to expose growing tensions between the staff and the principal, Julia Han­kins, which came to a head when it was discovered that Hankins had unilaterally changed the grades of a number of Bailey students..."

Report: Teen Birthrate Rose in 2006
First such rise since 1991
News Story  December 28, 2007, by Jordan Smith
"...The report is troubling to local Planned Parenthood officials who argue the best way to ensure the uptick is an aberration and not a trend lies in solid reproductive-health education – which they say has been crippled by a decade of spending on abstinence-only education programs. More than $1 billion has been spent for abstinence-only education since 1997, even though studies have shown the programs have minimal, if any, effect on lowering the rates of teen pregnancies or sexually transmitted diseases..."

Naked City
News Story  December 21, 2007
"...• The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board is considering giving degree-granting powers to a college that teaches the Bible as literal scientific truth. On Dec..."

Point Austin: God Knows
Two recent Texas lessons about the relation between religion and freedom
News Column  December 14, 2007, by Michael King
"...And a few days before Romney made his pilgrimage to College Station, Texas state politics provided (as it inevitably does) an object lesson in just how well religion and freedom coexist, especially in these parts. Christine Comer, director of curriculum for science at the Texas Education Agency, was forced from her position last month because she had the temerity to do her job..."

ACC Report Card
Chamber of Commerce releases first-ever Progress Report; outlines challenges ACC faces and how business community can help
News Story  November 2, 2007, by Lee Nichols
"...Austin Community College is doing a good job of growing its enrollment in step with the Austin area's population growth and in preparing students for further education or entry into the workforce, but it needs to work even harder if it is to keep pace with Central Texas' future demands, says the Austin Chamber of Commerce...."

Naked City
News briefs from Austin, the region, and elsewhere
News Story  August 17, 2007
"...The study also broke graduates down by ethnic group and found a troubling gap. Although 76% of white graduates went on to college, only 46% of Hispanics and 57% of African-Americans did the same, and economically disadvantaged grads fared the worst – only 43% went on to higher education..."

Gov. Perry's Ham-Fisted Veto Pen Strikes Again
Lege coverage
News Column  June 22, 2007, by Richard Whittaker
"...Some of the biggest attacks came on higher education. Calling its funding "seriously flawed" and attacking legislators for making universities dependent on "pork barrel spending," Perry lopped off $36 million in special items, including $2 million for obesity research at the Texas Cooperative Extension and $5 million for public-health programs at the UT Health Science Center at Houston, which he called redundant duplicates of other projects...."

'Texas Monthly' Legislative Top 10s
Best and worst of the Lone Star State
News Column  June 22, 2007, by Amy Smith
"...• Supporters of early childhood education are lobbying Gov. Perry hard to sign bills to provide additional modest funds for improved educator training and higher reimbursement rates for prekindergarten services..."

Making It Happen
The 2007 class of the Austin Arts Hall of Fame
Arts Story  June 1, 2007, by Robert Faires
"...Go to the Zachary Scott Theatre Center, and you'll see Connelly taking a very active role in Red, Hot & Soul, the theatre's annual gala fundraiser. Go to Ballet Austin, and you'll see Armstrong's and Connelly's names adorning one of the studios in the new Butler Dance Education Center opening this fall..."

Capitol Briefs
News Column  June 1, 2007
"...The compromise on SB 1031, a hybrid version of the two chambers' views, includes an interesting twist for students who fall short of passing the required cumulative score on end-of-course exams. If scores fall short in a particular subject area, the student would enroll in a college-preparatory course in their senior year and take an additional test to erase the "debt score." The intention is to both prepare the student for a fourth test in the subject area and minimize remedial education for students who do plan to go on to a college education..."

Naked City
News Story  March 1, 2007
"...Johnson, a five-time All-Star during his 14-year pro career, was halfway through his second season as head coach of the Toros, Austin's representatives in the NBA Development League. Praised throughout his career as an exceptional basketball mind, Johnson was a perfect fit for the "education-first" D-League, where he led the Toros to a 24-24 record in their first year..."

Marching for Educational Equality
Mothers Against Discriminatory Racism in Education and Society hopes to call attention to group's cause
News Story  March 1, 2007, by Cheryl Smith
"...Few things more insidious than discrimination exist in this world. And one of the most harmful places discrimination is capable of rearing its grotesque head is in the educational system..."

Immigrant Detention Blues
Unknown number of immigrants languish in private detention center in Taylor; a small but growing group is working to make their situation public knowledge
News Story  February 2, 2007, by Diana Welch
"...Indeed on Jan. 30, the Commissioners Court decided to renew the contract with CCA for another two years, revising it to allow for termination at any time and adding that CCA "shall provide education in accordance with all state and federal education standards and guidelines to any child housed at the facility." The Commissioners Court also pointed out that, during this first year of the contract, CCA has made improvements and changes in "order to better accommodate the families during their stay while awaiting the outcome of their immigration hearings or return to their home countries," including a contract with Lone Star Circle of Care for ob-gyn care and a menu that reflects "cultural and medical needs and diets."..."

Naked City
News Story  December 15, 2006
"...Tamara Hoover, the former Austin High art teacher who was forced out of her job after appearing in nude art photos online, will soon be back in the classroom. According to her MySpace blog, she'll be teaching two continuing-education courses this spring at Austin Community College: "Urban Art," which is for students interested in the art movement that includes street art and skate art, and a mixed-media art class, which will include three-dimensional works..."

Riding at Risk
Austin's streets still a hazard for two-wheeled transportation
News Story  November 10, 2006, by Daniel Mottola
"...Amid increasing local calls for safer bicycling conditions – including more designated space on roads, better signage, and community education – are also pleas by bicyclists for heightened enforcement against motorists who run down cyclists. Some bicyclists believe that police are lax in issuing citations, and motorists get off too easy..."

Point Austin: One for the Books
All the sound and fury is upballot, but the real work is on the ground
News Column  November 3, 2006, by Michael King
"...Bush once again faces Democrat John Kerry for re-election. It's a mark of both GOP desperation and political savvy that Kerry's throwaway line to students about education – if you don't take full advantage of it, you could wind up stuck in Iraq – is being lavishly employed by Bush and others as a bludgeon to attack the Democrats..."

Naked City
Headlines and Happenings from Austin and Beyond
News Story  October 20, 2006
"...In Texas, a majority of students qualify for free or reduced lunch. Texas has also been working to make the meals more palatable, as well as healthier; the Texas Education Agency has hired a Le Cordon Bleu-trained chef from Austin's Texas Culinary Academy to create new recipes that use fresh vegetables and whole-grain rice..."

Studying for Justice
Austin students get a summer immersion in activist history
News Story  July 14, 2006, by Michael May
"...Santos is an organizer with Austin Voices for Education and Youth, the main sponsor of the summer school. The group aims to get students involved in their education, and last year it arranged several communitywide meetings to discuss AISD's effort to redesign its high schools..."

Naked City
Headlines and Happenings from Austin and Beyond
News Story  July 7, 2006
"...• Visiting a conference of the Texas Classroom Teachers Association Friday, Rick Perry's challengers denounced his education policies and called for higher salaries for teachers. Kinky Friedman said he would legalize casino gambling to pay for schools, Chris Bell said he'd end "high-stakes" testing and raise teacher pay, and Carole Keeton Strayhorn called the contest a "two-person" race – or rather, one governor, one grandma...."

Naked City
News Story  April 7, 2006
"...Born in 1917 in San Antonio to Russian-Jewish immigrant parents, Rapoport – known as "B" to his friends – has lived the quintessential poor-boy-makes-good tale of hard work and determination. He has provided financial support for education, social justice, and political causes, and for venerable institutions of all sizes, from the Texas Observer to UT..."

Naked City
Headlines and Happenings from Austin and Beyond
News Story  March 24, 2006
"...Gov. David Dewhurst and House Speaker Tom Craddick, who want "real education reforms" included in the call..."

Naked City
Headlines and happenings from Austin and beyond
News Story  February 24, 2006
"...Two weeks after a fire destroyed several downtown buildings, including KOOP's studios, the cooperatively run community station began temporarily broadcasting Wednesday morning from the studios of classical station KMFA.Naked City• Colorful green brochures touting Advanced Micro Devices Inc.'s commitment to the environment landed in about 100,000 local mailboxes this week, just as a lawsuit seeking to prevent AMD from causing "irreparable" harm to the environment arrived at the courthouse. AMD's eight-page "educational" mail piece is a PR attempt to blunt opposition to their plans to build a corporate campus upstream from the Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer recharge zone..."

Here Comes the Guv
Kinky Friedman lights up his campaign
News Story  February 17, 2006, by Jordan Smith
"...He and his supporters are fed up with the "business as usual," he says, which has done nothing but tarnish the Lone Star State, destroy Texas' sense of pride, and increase voter apathy and distrust of government. As evidence, he ticks off a list of shameful rankings: first among the states in dropouts and in executions, last in education and in the percentage of people with health insurance – and that's only the beginning of the list..."

Family Flight
Will AISD abandon its shrinking schools?
News Story  February 3, 2006, by Rachel Proctor May
"...With less than 250 children on a campus built for 550, it's the second most underenrolled elementary in AISD. Invoking the gods of Fiscal Prudence and Efficiency, Superintendent Pat Forgione has proposed transforming Becker into an early childhood center, a cutting-edge model of special education inclusion designed to get 3- and 4-year-olds with disabilities on grade level by kindergarten..."

Naked City
Headlines and Happenings from Austin and Beyond
News Story  January 27, 2006
"...• During the first meeting of the Senate Select Committee on Education Reform and Public School Finance – say that quick three times – Chair Florence Shapiro, R-Plano, pledged a modest agenda for education reform during the special session. Shapiro said she'd prefer, first, to address the issues of the Supreme Court school finance ruling and, second, to talk about a limited number of reform-related issues..."

Special Election for Texas House of Representatives, District 48
The 'Chronicle' endorsement for the state House District 48, special election: Donna Howard
News Story  January 13, 2006
"...The dominating issue is education, because of its importance to District 48 voters, and because of the public school finance crisis and upcoming special legislative session, likely to be called this spring. Although Bentzin is running as a moderate determined simply to "improve the schools," he would replace his predecessor Todd Baxter as a reflexive vote for the GOP leadership, and he has already declared his support for private school vouchers "in certain circumstances" – a position indistinguishable from that of the stealth voucher promoters at the Capitol..."

Naked City
Headlines and happenings from Austin and beyond
News Story  December 2, 2005
"...John Cornyn, both of whom were represented at the ceremony by staff members. "It is our privilege to honor these men who sacrificed their education to serve their country," said AISD board President Doyle Valdez to an auditorium packed with veterans and their families..."

Naked City
Headlines and happenings from Austin and beyond
News Story  November 18, 2005
"...• Education Commissioner Shirley Neeley promised a higher education crowd this week that Texas, like the Austin ISD, is taking a hard look at the effectiveness of the state's high schools. Neeley is concerned, in particular, with the cost of academic remediation of graduates once they make it to college..."

Our readers talk back.
Columns  October 7, 2005
"...Education Needs Better HelpDear Editor,..."

Katrina's Price Tag
Reimbursement is promised, but will it be delivered?
News Story  September 23, 2005, by Kimberly Reeves
"...So far, the federal government, through the Office of Budget Management, has proposed executive orders for full compensation of health care costs and close to full reimbursement of educational costs. But such a sweeping promise of payback has left plenty of observers nervous about the prospect of things going awry in the delivery process...."

Letters at 3AM
The sapping of America's economic and technological dominance is a boon for the world. Many are gaining from the decline of a few.
Columns  August 19, 2005, by Michael Ventura
"...... The value of outsourced jobs is steadily rising." Fortune's argument, in part, is that a college degree will mean less and less in this country because there are now many more people in the world with as good or better an education, willing to work for a lot less, and there are many more American companies willing to outsource high-level, college-degree-type jobs..."

Lege Notes
Odds and ends – mostly odds – from under the pink granite dome
News Column  August 19, 2005
"...Brown, an Austin attorney, is well into his fundraising efforts and has landed the support of prominent Democratic and community activists. Howard's friends and supporters, however, point to her experience in public education and public health as key selling points in the West Austin swing district..."

Rumblings of a Mad Mom Movement
Texas Parent PAC wants to purge Lege of lawmakers who won't go to bat for public ed, regardless of party
News Story  August 5, 2005, by Rachel Proctor May
"..."I spent many afternoons streaming the hearings on the Internet, and screaming at my computer," she said. Topping her most-loathed list are most members of the House Public Education Committee, who were "rude and mean" to the people who showed up to testify at the Capitol..."

Lege Notes
Odds and ends – mostly odds – from beneath the pink granite dome
News Column  August 5, 2005
"...• At the state Capitol these days, lawmakers are just as certain about what they won't pass as they are uncertain about what they will pass. Nevertheless, Senate Education Committee Chair Florence Shapiro, R-Plano, has proposed a new version of school finance (SB 8) that's conservative enough to pass the House but moderate enough to win some support from both rural Republican senators and the education community..."

Grandma vs. Cowboy
Can Strayhorn lasso Perry? Maybe the Lege will tell.
News Column  June 24, 2005, by Amy Smith
"...Back in the land of ordinary mortals, the self-anointed "one tough grandma" pounced on Perry's decision to reconvene the Legislature, reminding folks of the number of sessions that Perry let pass without moving an education package through the Lege. "For three regular sessions ....."

High School by Redesign
Garza Independence High School students get involved with plans to rework local high schools
News Story  June 10, 2005, by Rachel Proctor May
"...Sullivan, a Gonzalo Garza Independence High School grad, is one of the young people working with the nonprofit Austin Voices for Education and Youth to organize and promote a pair of community discussions on high school redesign on June 14 and 16. Student participation has so far been slim in district-organized forums; the AVEY students hope their PR campaign – PSAs, summer school announcements, "come kick it at the gathering about high school redesign" fliers – will convince area students that their voices are indeed welcome..."

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