Ryan Poppe

News Reporter - Capitol

Ryan started his radio career in 2002 working for Austin’s News Radio KLBJ-AM as a show producer for the station's organic gardening shows. This slowly evolved into a role as the morning show producer and later as the group’s executive producer.

Eventually converting into an on-air reporter, Ryan has covered topics ranging from crime to the political process at the state capitol.

Ryan and his wife Mary live in the Northwest Austin suburb of Jollyville. He enjoys spending time at many Austin's parks and outdoor areas with his son Luke and cycling along some of the area's bike trails.  

Ryan is the cook in the family and it is understood that the kitchen is his territory. His favorite menu items range from traditional French to modern Thai-cusine.

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Texas Public Schools
11:51 am
Thu May 15, 2014

Teachers Express Concern With New TEA Evaluation Pilot Program

Credit Ryan Poppe / TPR News

State teachers gave House leaders their take on the new job assessment pilot program designed by the Texas Education Agency. Teachers criticized the use of student test scores to measure job performance, calling the formula “black magic” with no type of scientific evidence.

As part an agreement with the U.S. Department of Education, the TEA designed a program for teacher evaluation in order to opt out of the federal No Child Left Behind program. The proposed plan gives student end-of-course exams a 20 percent weight, which is a minimum set by federal education officials.

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Criminal Justice
9:55 am
Wed May 14, 2014

U.S. 5th Circuit Halts Texas Execution Based On New Information

A Texan man on death row who was scheduled to be the nation’s first execution since the botched lethal injection in Oklahoma has been granted a stay. The US 5th Circuit Court of Appeals halted Robert James Campbell’s execution based on an IQ score taken in 1982.

Campbell came within hours of being executed, but the U5th Circuit believed there was sufficient evidence to prove Campbell would’ve been labeled intellectually disabled  if certain pieces of evidence hadn’t been withheld during his original trial.

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Charter Schools
2:54 pm
Tue May 13, 2014

Villarreal Pledges To Take Action Following Charter School Financial Accountability Reports

State Rep. Mike Villarreal of San Antonio is pledging to take up charter school issues in the next legislative session.
Credit Eileen Pace / TPR News

Following a series of reports released by Texas State Board of Education Vice Chairman Thomas Ratliff on charter school financial accountability, a state lawmaker said he’s looking into legislation for the 2015 session that will address the issue.

According to an analysis released by Ratliff last week:

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Veteran Affairs
11:16 am
Tue May 13, 2014

Van De Putte Calls For Veterans Affairs Wait Time Investigation

Credit U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

On Monday, state Sen. Leticia Van De Putte, D-San Antonio, spoke out against the alleged misreporting and manipulation of wait times at U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs clinics.

A whistleblower alleges that the VA has been making veterans wait long periods of time before seeing a doctor, but recording a shorter wait time in official reports.

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University of Texas
1:39 pm
Mon May 12, 2014

House Select Committee Votes To Impeach UT Regent Hall

Marsha Miller University of Texas

For the first time in Texas history, state lawmakers have voted to impeach a state official that was appointed by the governor.

On a vote of 7-1, the Texas House Select Committee on Transparency in State Agency Operations voted to impeach UT Regent Wallace Hall. State Rep. Charles Perry, R-Lubbock, was the only vote against impeachment.

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Charter Schools
4:49 pm
Fri May 9, 2014

Side-By-Side Comparison Shows Charters Cost More And Have Lower Accountability Ratings

After looking into administrative pay and financial accountability, a comparison between Texas charter schools and public districts show an over 30 percent gap between the two groups as it pertains to student accountability ratings.

According to 2013 numbers taken from the Texas Education Agency’s website, 62 percent of charter schools were rated as meeting the standard, while 15 percent needed improvement. Not included that set of numbers was dropout recovery and residential treatment charters, which are rated by a different standard.

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2014 Governor's Race
2:51 pm
Fri May 9, 2014

Abbott Education Plan Calls For Increasing Funding For Online Learning Resources

Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott at a San Antonio campaign stop.
Credit Joey Palacios / TPR News

Republican candidate for governor Greg Abbott has released the third plank in his campaign education platform. Abbott is calling to increase funding for the state's Virtual Schools Network and awarding schools with grants to increase online learning.

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Natural Gas
4:44 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

Ban On Hydraulic Fracking In Denton Would Be A First In Texas

http://bit.ly/1j1KjUI
Flickr user Daniel Foster cc

The North Texas city of Denton sits atop one of the largest natural gas reserves and could become the first Texas city to ban hydraulic fracturing.

Opponents worry the process of extracting oil and gas is hazardous to residents' health and call it a violation of property rights.

Denton has had a temporary ban on fracking since 2012 but will consider permanently banning it in the next two months. Denton City council has the next 60 days to vote on the issue.

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Transportation Funding
2:55 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

Transportation Expert Says Texas Will Need $28 Billion To Maintain Roads

Northbound traffic on Hwy. 281 at Nakoma.
Chris Eudaily TPR News

Following a study on the issue of transportation funding, a researcher from Texas A&M left lawmakers stunned when he detailed how the state will need even more money for roads over the next two years.   

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Financial Accountability
10:06 am
Thu May 8, 2014

In Second Report From SBOE Vice Chair, Charter Financial Disparities Go Beyond Pay

Ratliff is hoping his series of reports about charter school financial accountability will make its way to the Legislature in the 2015 session.
Credit Ryan Poppe / TPR News

Using data from the Texas Education Agency’s website, State Board of Education Vice Chairman Thomas Ratliff showed how the overall spending at a majority of charter schools is over the recommended amount set by the state.   

Ratliff said the general conversation about charter schools focuses on school choice, but, he said, the financial management and accountability isn’t something that’s often addressed. Following his study on superintendent pay at charter schools, it was suggested that he examine overall spending.

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