Texas Education Commissioner Michael Williams has sent Texas school districts a legal advisory letter reminding them that they must hold public meetings in order to adopt any curriculum provider, including online lesson plan provider CSCOPE.
Williams said his letter is not meant to discourage use of CSCOPE, only to point out the law under SB 1474, which requires a public meeting about a district's choice in curriculum.
Williams said this step creates local control and transparency.
U.N. chemical weapons experts on Monday visited people hospitalized by an apparent gas attack last week in suburban Damascus. Although residents of the capital city have grown accustomed to war over the past two years, they say they are concerned about a possible U.S. military strike.
Syrian men evacuate a victim following an airstrike by government forces in the northern city of Aleppo on Monday. World attention has been focused on a possible chemical weapons attack last week in Damascus, but the war rages on in other parts of the country as well.
Originally published on Tue August 27, 2013 2:54 pm
The author is a Syrian citizen in Damascus who is not being further identified out of safety concerns.
Most residents of Damascus believe that a U.S. military strike is on the horizon, but few think it will have a dramatic impact on the course of a war that has already been raging for more than two years.
Those who follow the government line often speak about a U.S. conspiracy to overthrow the country's leader, Bashar Assad, as other Arab leaders have been toppled in recent years.
Originally published on Tue August 27, 2013 6:22 pm
In its first "Global Government Requests Report," Facebook has released details on the number of requests it has gotten from government agents for user data.
Facebook reveals that governments around the globe have made 38,000 total requests for user data in the first half of 2013, and the U.S. dwarfs the rest of the world in requests. Up to June 30, the U.S. government asked Facebook for access to accounts of between 20,000 and 21,000 users, the company said.
Facebook has more than 1.1 billion users globally.
Originally published on Wed August 28, 2013 9:11 am
The second day of sentencing begins today in the military trial of convicted Fort Hood shooter Maj. Nidal Hasan.
The court is likely to hear more testimony from survivors and the families of those killed.
A jury found Hasan guilty of premeditated murder Friday in the November 2009 mass shooting that killed 13 and wounded 32. In the sentencing phase, the focus has shifted to the human cost of Hasan's shooting spree.
Originally published on Tue August 27, 2013 8:50 am
The Wendy Davis Watch continues in Texas politics. The Fort Worth state senator is expected to announce in the next few days whether she will or won’t run for the Democratic nomination for Governor. But Democratic activists aren’t the only ones waiting.
So are potential Democratic candidates, as state-wide races up and down the ticket, so far, remain empty.
Teachers and administrators at West ISD are nervously optimistic about this week’s start of a new school year four months after a massive fertilizer plant explosion leveled much of the town and left West ISD a hollow shell.
The new school may only be a series of portable buildings, but the faculty are proud to be back.
Dr. Jan Hungate is one of the chief administrators for West ISD and said sections of town are still unrecognizable, partially because of the blast, and partially because of new growth.
The real-life garage in Arlington, Va., where Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward met with his secret source "Deep Throat" as the Watergate scandal unfolded is likely to be demolished sometime in the next few years.
Conan O'Brien has probably had the most unusual career trajectory of any current late-night host. When he joined NBC's Late Night in 1993, replacing David Letterman, he had virtually no on-air experience. He did, however, have comedy-writing chops: O'Brien edited the humor magazine The Harvard Lampoon as a student, then wrote for Saturday Night Live and was a writer and producer for The Simpsons.
State officials are reporting back to a group of House lawmakers about what Texas is doing to keep communities similar to West, Texas safe from another fertilizer plant explosion.
State Fire Marshal Chris Connealy said his office has been conducting fire inspections of these types of facilities:
"We’ve done 62 inspections, thus far only five have said 'no,'" he said. "We still have about 140 to 153 facilities that we will finish up in October and then we will have this map created by November."