Attorneys in the school finance trial spent six hours arguing the intent of private emails at the presiding judge’s recusal hearing on Friday. The attorney general’s office is arguing that emails exchanged by the prosecution and Travis County Judge John Dietz show the judge is biased and should be removed from the historic case.
Fronteras: U.S. Customs and Border Protection is undergoing a shakeup following intense scrutiny over the Border Patrol’s use of force. Waves of unaccompanied Latino minors continue to make their way to Texas. What happens after they get here? The Mexican-American Legal Defense and Educational Fund is suing Texas, claiming the state has violated the civil rights of English language learners.
Management Shake-Up at Customs and Border Protection Following Use of Force Controversies
The Mexican-American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit on the behalf of the League of United Latin-American Citizens, alleging the state of Texas isn’t doing enough to advance English language learner (ELL) students in public schools.
The lawsuit also names San Antonio-area school districts North East ISD and Southwest ISD as defendants and references continuing state education reports to show ELL students are not given as many opportunities as other students.
Two new laws aimed at reducing the number of tickets students receive for things like disrupting class seem to be having a profound effect at Texas public schools. The Texas Tribune reports that in one year the number of misdemeanor tickets issued to students dropped by 71 percent.
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has asked the Travis County judge overseeing the lawsuit against the state’s school finance system to recuse himself from the case. The problem stems from a series of emails between the judge and attorneys representing the school districts.
Houston-based Children at Risk spent a day at the capitol Thursday to update state lawmakers on the benefits of all-day pre-K programs.
"One of the things we know is that 60 percent of Texas school children are low income," said Children at Risk President Dr. Bob Sanborn. "And the research is pretty clear that when you have low-income kids, if you have a high-quality pre-K program they’re going to start kindergarten in a better way, at a more advanced level."
Beyond the reduction of standardized testing under House Bill 5, the House Committee on Public Education is also looking at using more of an innovative approach to teaching.
This week lawmakers heard details about how project-based learning and "flipped" classrooms have revolutionized the way students learn. A "flipped" classroom is when students are assigned a lecture video to watch at home so that class time can be dedicated to projects and activities based on that lesson.
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:
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.