Author: Bekah McNeel

Texas Commission on Public School Finance: all that for nothing?

Texas Commission on Public School Finance: all that for nothing?

Everything you thought you knew about school finance is about to change. And by “you” I mean most Texans, who know very little about school finance. And that’s how much is likely to change as a result of the governors Commission on Public School Finance—very little. On Tuesday, the public saw the recommendations of the…

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What does it look like when educators design their own schools? SAISD is about to find out.

What does it look like when educators design their own schools? SAISD is about to find out.

It’s not uncommon for educators to feel like they are too boxed-in by layers of standardization to be able to meet the needs of their students. Students can’t be standardized. Rather than continuing to try to apply more pressure to a single model, in hopes that it will suddenly work for students it has never…

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What I did this summer…took my white anxiety and preschool daughter to the Memorial for Peace and Justice

What I did this summer…took my white anxiety and preschool daughter to the Memorial for Peace and Justice

The first word my four-year-old learned this summer was “lynching.” I took her on a road trip from our home in San Antonio, Texas, to Montgomery, Alabama, to see the Memorial for Peace and Justice. It’s a stunning six-acre immersive memorial dedicated to the 4,400+ victims of lynching in the United States. Since it opened…

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South San methodically pulling levers to win back students and improve schools

South San methodically pulling levers to win back students and improve schools

South San Antonio ISD is working harder than ever to remake their district. For as much energy and ink as its board controversy consumed for decades, the schools themselves have kept their head above water, academically speaking. South San ISD is losing students. Its student population has dropped 14 percent since the 2013-14 school year,…

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We the People [PART 3]: Denise, Shannan, Deneatra

We the People [PART 3]: Denise, Shannan, Deneatra

This series is about people who have been compelled to activism, and what got them there. By the time I meet them, two things are usually true about the parents of Texas public school students who learn differently. 1) They are exceptionally well-informed and armed to the teeth with documentation, and 2) they’re pissed. Granted,…

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Bill Davis, teacher and explorer, wanted to show students “how great a world we have.”

Bill Davis, teacher and explorer, wanted to show students “how great a world we have.”

When talking about William “Bill” Davis, friends and family laugh as much as they cry. Even while friends and family are mourning the loss of Davis, 47, who was killed Tuesday in an apparent car accident while traveling in Uganda, they recall stories that make them laugh. “He was a funny, goofy person, and oh…

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Diego Bernal preps for 2019 with “What They Said 2.0”

Diego Bernal preps for 2019 with “What They Said 2.0”

Schools are notoriously appealing places to showcase a political agenda. People freak out about both kids and misspent taxes, so politicians often pick their fights in the schoolyard. Far less often does legislation address the battles that teachers are actually fighting day in and day out, but State Rep. Diego Bernal (D-123) had a fairly…

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We the People (PART II): Ron, Alexandra, Lewis, Elliott, Becca, Rex, Lee, Kelly, Madisyn, and Bria

We the People (PART II): Ron, Alexandra, Lewis, Elliott, Becca, Rex, Lee, Kelly, Madisyn, and Bria

As we waited for the July 9 March For Our Lives “Road to Change” event to begin, I was chatting with Ron Smith, a local man who has found himself becoming more and more politically active—not just about guns, but about everything. While his attitude used to be more “live and let live,” he said,…

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Summer internships narrow the Opportunity Gap

Summer internships narrow the Opportunity Gap

On Tuesday, San Antonio ISD announced that 21 students and recent graduates from district will begin a four-week paid internship with cybersecurity firm Jungle Disk. The students will make $9 per hour working in teams to come up with creative marketing solutions for Jungle Disk products. In doing so they will get to know the…

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