Latinos For Texas Blog

2007-Jul-19

The voice of Austin…

Santos writes in to share that the edition of La Voz de Austen. is available online in pdf, and for several of Austin’s communities. The July issue covers the “many unanswered questions from the [death of] David Morales”, checks in on Johnston High’s future, and of course, “La Guerra en Irak” and more.

Check out the community info at http://www.lavoznewspapers.com.

2006-Jun-4

TAKS, Chris Bell, GOP, Immigration, Winning and Losing

Filed under: — LaGirlFriday @ 2:44 pm

Democratic gubernatorial nominee Chris Bell is campaigning against high-stakes testing and believes the $360 million spent on selected teacher bonuses should have been used for a larger, overall pay raise.

He is correct. Even with the additional $2,000, average teacher pay in Texas will continue to lag several thousand dollars behind the national average. Most Texas teachers are being “squeezed.”

Clay Robison chief of the Houston Chronicle’s Austin Bureau.

“Those folks running schools from Austin think they can use tests to make our kids smarter,” he rails before chuckling: “But a test won’t make you any smarter than a ruler will make you taller.”

Chris Bell on the TAKS test in a column by Carlos Guerra.

“For them to adopt such an egregious proposal makes their platform look more like a hate crime than a policy position.”

Rep. Trey Martinez-Fischer (D-San Antonio) in a press conference on the Texas GOP’s divisive immigration stance.

“It’s not very often that you have a Democrat candidate for governor trying to come in third. You have to relish that.”

Rep. Lamar Smith to the GOP executive committee. Smith is facing John Courage in November.

She also warned the party faithful that President Bush’s sagging poll numbers and general unease across a spectrum of issues could jeopardize the Republican majorities in Congress.

“We have never had so much to lose, and we’ve never had so far to fall,” said Hutchison, whose re-election is being challenged by Democrat Barbara Ann Radnofsky, a Houston lawyer.

John Moritz - Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

2006-Feb-3

Want $500 to $1000 for college?

Filed under: — site admin @ 9:38 am

Alright alright: i will get right to the point, as reported in the Austin-American Statesman:

The Sallie Mae Fund Paying for College Bus Tour will be in Austin through Saturday as part of a national campaign to educate minority high school students and families about college financial aid options.

Along the way, the fund is giving away college scholarships worth $500 to $1,000 to random workshop attendees.

Now, i’m not suggesting going just for the chance at some quick cash, ; ) actually, there are lots of great things to learn:

The bus tour provides minority students and families information about federal grants, scholarships, work-study and private funding at workshops where students can meet with financial aid counselors, read college pamphlets and apply for federal financial aid.

The most important thing i, the first in my family to go to college (including my parents), can emphasize from this article: “College is possible.” Scholarship money, work, and lots and lots of loans worked for me. and it was totally worth it, even if they insist on Capitalization, punctuation, and dont go big for the neologisms.

read more..

2005-Feb-24

Top 10% Law and Equitable School Funding

Filed under: — LaGirlFriday @ 3:15 pm

Today’s top headline in UT’s student paper, The Daily Texan, read: “Top 10 percent may hurt minorities, report says: Black, Hispanic students less likely to go to select universities, study finds.”

The report was based on an unpublished study by Marta Tienda a Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs and Sunny Nui, a research associate at the Office of Population Research. The study consisted of a sampling of more than 13,000 high school seniors interviewed in 2002 and cross-referenced a smaller sample of more than 5,000 of the same students interviewed a year later.

Interestingly, the headline should have read the opposite. In fact, UT’s own research reveals that in 2003, 79% of Hispanic and 73% of Black students admitted were HB588 automatic admits and constituted a combined total of 20% of all incoming freshmen. On the other hand, A&M has not been as successful, experiencing two years of decline in 2001 and 2002. In 2003, Black enrollment declined by 4.7% and Hispanic enrollment increased by a mere 0.7% constituting almost 12% of the overall campus headcount.

Additionally, the byline of the story states that minorities are unlikely to attend flagship institutions. Although the Tienda study does not directly address Hispanic preferences, in referring to Black student choices it explicitly states, “…that black students are 34 percent more likely than white students to prefer non-Texas institutions to four-year Texas institutions, and that they prefer other four-year Texas institutions over the Austin and College Station campuses.”

The Austin American-Statesman has reported Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and Gov. Rick Perry as saying that the law causes ‘brain drain’ forcing many qualified students to enroll in out-of-state schools. However, the study dispels this myth concluding that students from high-performing or “feeder” schools are not in fact being “crowded out” of Austin and College Station. It stated that an equal number of these students prefer out-of-state schools as much as they prefer the Texas flagships. Moreover, 75% of the seniors aspiring to attend either campus did so and 88% attend other colleges that were their top choice.

Critics such as Jeff Wentworth (R-San Antonio), who has authored a bill to repeal the law, was quoted in the Houston Chronicle as saying, “the top 10 percent law is inherently unfair because it uses only one criterion on which to either accept or reject applicants.” However, the study also reveals that high-performing students from lesser performing high schools were readily admitted to prestigious private schools such as “New York University, Smith College, the University of Chicago and leading institutions” which base their admissions on a plurality of factors.

The civil rights organizations MALDEF, Equal Justice Society, Society of American Law Teachers and Americans for a Fair Chance have recommended that Texas lawmakers integrate racial considerations and the top ten percent law and reconsider the effects of legacy policy in admissions. Their published report is entitled “Blend It Don’t End It.” The Tienda study not only backs this recommendation but also states that lawmakers should look seriously at school equity and spend much needed tax dollars on low-performing schools - once again bringing school finance to the forefront.

Indeed, it is becoming ever more apparent to those who care about the future of Texas kids that fair and equal funding for all schools - best achieved through a progressive tax structure - will open the door to opportunity and access for every Texan. The remaining question: When will our leadership choose equality over electoral politics and shell game tax plans?

2005-Jan-13

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