Claycomb Associates, Architects

Three of the nation’s fastest growing and most prosperous cities are in Texas, according to a new ranking.  Denton, New Braunfels and Round Rock are considered American “boomtowns” in a study by financial advisory firm SmartAsset. Using data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the firm examined 500 cities and ranked them based on positive trends in employment, business creation, population growth, housing growth and household income.  Denton came in second, trailing only Longmont, Colo. It’s known as a college town, serving as the home of the University of North Texas and Texas Woman’s University, and often praised for its music culture. view article arw

Taking aim at the majority of charter schools in the state, the California Democratic Party has included language in its platform declaring that these schools should be overseen by publicly elected boards, in contrast to the self-appointed boards that run most of them. The new language, adopted at the state party’s annual convention in Long Beach over the weekend, was promoted by the 120,000-member California Federation of Teachers and strengthens an already strongly worded section of the California Democratic Party’s platform on charter schools. view article arw

“Dirty Jobs” host Mike Rowe said in a Thursday interview that the death of shop class is to blame for the country’s $1.6 trillion in student loan debt. Rowe joined Stuart Varney on Fox Business to discuss his new book, The Way I Heard It, and was asked why there are “seven million unfilled jobs in our country.” “Are we just not training people for these jobs? Is that the problem here?” asked Varney. view article arw

AUSTIN (Oct. 30, 2019) – Texas 4th graders taking the 2019 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) in mathematics improved from two years ago, outpacing the national average yet again. Statewide performance in 4th grade reading was also up slightly.  For 8th grade students, mathematics scores declined slightly, dropping below the national average for the first time since 2003. 8th grade reading scores showed the largest decline, mirroring a large decline across the nation.  Statewide reading performance in 4th and 8th grade remains well below the national average. view article arw

Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) unveiled a broad pre-K-12 education plan Monday that calls for spending hundreds of billions of dollars to improve public schools, eliminating the use of test scores for high-stakes decisions and ending federal funding for new charter schools. She wants America’s wealthiest people to pay for it. Warren, who in some recent polls has topped the other 18 candidates running for the Democratic nomination, would steer U.S. education policy away from that of President Trump and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, who have said their top priority is expanding alternatives to traditional public schools. view article arw

One of Georgia's largest school districts could owe hundreds of millions of dollars to employees after the state Supreme Court ruled it stopped making retirement contributions without proper notice. The 7-0 decision , released Monday, finds the DeKalb County district broke its bylaw requiring a two-year notice before ceasing contributions, upholding an earlier ruling from the Georgia Court of Appeals. A teacher and a school counselor sued the district in 2011, but the suit will likely become a class-action covering the more than 10,000 affected employees. view article arw

A wealthy, largely white suburb of East Baton Rouge has taken a step closer to seceding from the city’s school district after residents voted to incorporate as a new municipality, St. George. If leaders of the new city succeed in pressing the Louisiana Legislature to create a new school system — the impetus for the years-long breakaway campaign — it will leave East Baton Rouge Parish Public Schools with a hyperconcentration of impoverished, mostly black students. view article arw

Yesterday the Arkansas State Board of Education voted to return control of the Little Rock School District to the people of Little Rock. This followed massive demonstrations and demands by the citizenry. At the same meeting, the board voted unanimously to deny recognition to the Little Rock Educators Association, which represents 60% of the teachers in the district. Rev/Dr. Anika Whitfield, an activist in Grassroots Arkansas, was outraged by the latter decision. She is a podiatrist and an ordained minister. For her volunteer fight for public schools and democracy, she is one of the heroes in my new book SLAYING GOLIATH. view article arw

The remarks by Tarrant County Sheriff Bill Waybourn came during a White House press briefing about border security.  A Texas sheriff spoke at a Thursday morning White House press briefing with Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director Matt Albence and said that if law enforcement were forced to release undocumented immigrants with criminal convictions from jails, it would put the public at risk. view article arw

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’s security detail cost $6.24 million for the past budget year and is expected to rise to $7.87 million for the year that started Oct. 1, the U.S. Marshals Service said Wednesday. News of the costs prompted a caustic response on Twitter from Arne Duncan, President Barack Obama’s education secretary for seven years — and the Education Department quickly accused him of “victim-blaming.” view article arw

A man wielding a sword and a firearm killed a woman and wounded nine others Tuesday at a vocational school inside a shopping center in central Finland, police said. The attacker was seriously wounded after police opened fire, and he was taken into custody. The police superintendent for eastern Finland, Mikko Lyytinen, told a news conference that officers were forced to shoot the man to prevent more bloodshed at the Herman shopping center in the town of Kuopio. Police didn’t give the suspect’s age, but said he was born in 1994 and he’s a Finnish national without a prior criminal record. He was a student at the Savo Vocational College, which occupies the shopping center’s second floor. view article arw

In May, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.), a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, announced that if she were to become the U.S. president, she would hire a teacher to become education secretary and in the same speech, bashed President Trump’s education secretary, Betsy DeVos.  “Let’s get a person with real teaching experience,” she said in a May 13 email to supporters, taking the position that such experience would be useful for an education secretary. “A person who understands how low pay, tattered textbooks and crumbling classrooms hurt students and educators.”  Trump was not the first president to hire a non-educator as secretary; Republican and Democratic presidents have done the same. view article arw

Eric Blanc asks in Jacobin why Elizabeth Warren does not have a plan for K-12 schooling. She has expressed various positions on education but her overall policy about testing, charter schools, and accountability are murky at best. He questions how different they are from the Bush-Obama strategies. Blanc recently wrote a comprehensive book about the wave of teachers’ strikes of 2018-19 called Red State Revolt: The Teachers’ Strike Wave and Working-Class Politics. During the strikes, he traveled the nation to talk to strike leaders and striking teachers to understand what was at stake. view article arw

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos began her 2019 back-to-school tour Monday. Given that she runs a publicly funded department and that most U.S. students attend schools in traditional public systems, you might think she would go to one in a district working hard to improve its academic performance.  Nope. She didn’t go to a public school, and she didn’t choose a city because of the achievements of its public schools. Rather, Devos went to St. Marcus Lutheran School in Milwaukee and touted that city as the “birthplace of modern education freedom.” That is a reference to a program started under a 1989 law that was the first in the country to give substantial public funding for students to use for private, nonsectarian schools. It later expanded to include religious schools. view article arw

Finally, after three debates among Democratic presidential candidates with scarcely a question about education, a moderator, Linsey Davis of ABC News, raised the issue Thursday night. She asked some good questions — even if some candidates tried to skirt them or stated as fact things that may not, in fact, be true.  It wasn’t a particularly revelatory discussion, with candidates generally sticking to their talking points. But it did touch on some key subjects, including school segregation, charter schools, teacher pay, student debt and universal pre-K. view article arw

Jeff Morford, an assistant principal accused by a state commission of failures related to the Parkland school shooting, has decided to retire early. The action comes in the middle of a Broward school district investigation to determine whether he should be disciplined for his role in the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High on Feb. 14, 2018, when 17 people were killed and 17 others wounded. view article arw

TYLERTOWN, Miss. (AP) — Students at a Mississippi high school say they won't be returning to class while they protest the removal of their prayer group from school hours to after school. News outlets report students at Tylertown High School in Southern Mississippi walked out of class Wednesday and won't return until their faith-based program First Priority is reinstated to its normal time, during school hours. view article arw

So much for longevity, continuity and keeping on track with a school turnaround that is generational in its undertaking. A divided Atlanta school board this week announced it will bounce Superintendent Meria Carstarphen, the driven and sometimes mercurial administrator hired five years ago in the wake of the Atlanta Public Schools cheating scandal. view article arw

The Alaska School Activities Association has decided to overturn the disqualification of a Dimond High School swimmer who the Anchorage School District said was targeted during a meet last week.  ASD said in a release Tuesday it found the swimmer was singled-out based on how a school-issued uniform happened to fit the shape of her body. view article arw

Beginning next July, teachers in California will no longer be allowed to suspend elementary and middle school students from school for disrupting classroom activities or defying school authorities, as the result of a law signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday.  Current law already bans out-of-school suspensions in grades K-3 as a result of a 2013 law signed by former Gov. Jerry Brown.  But Brown held the line on extending the ban to higher grades, and vetoed several bills that tried to do just that. view article arw

When staff at Westglades Middle School heard that Nikolas Cruz had committed the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, some couldn’t believe it. The fact that he was a mass murderer wasn’t what surprised them, but rather the fact that he had attended that school. view article arw

No one is keeping tabs on the high schools. Title IX, passed in 1972, guarantees that all institutions that receive federal funding must provide equal opportunities, facilities, and supplies to students regardless of their gender. In athletics, that means that for every position on a team available to a boy, there must be a position for a girl. Since the passage of Title IX, girls’ participation in varsity high school sports has increased tenfold, to almost 3 million players. view article arw

There is a growing and disturbing trend of anti-intellectual elitism in American culture. It's the dismissal of science, the arts, and humanities and their replacement by entertainment, self-righteousness, ignorance, and deliberate gullibility. Susan Jacoby, author of The Age of American Unreason, says in an article in the Washington Post, "Dumbness, to paraphrase the late senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, has been steadily defined downward for several decades, by a combination of heretofore irresistible forces. These include the triumph of video culture over print culture; a disjunction between Americans' rising level of formal education and their shaky grasp of basic geography, science and history; and the fusion of anti-rationalism with anti-intellectualism."  view article arw

A Mississippi school district has been ordered to desegregate its schools after what the Justice Department called a five-decade-long legal battle. The Cleveland School District, about two hours northwest of Jackson, was told that it must consolidate its schools in order to provide real desegregation for students in the city of about 12,000. view article arw