Reporter: Cody Lillich Email Address: email@example.com
We’re hearing more reaction on the sudden retirement of Texas A&M System Chancellor Mike McKinney. State Senator Judith Zaffirini spoke to News 3 about the resignation and the involvement of the Texas Public Policy Foundation in higher education.
McKinney announced his retirement Tuesday, and said he will stay on until July 1st to guide the Texas A&M University System through the 82nd Legislative Session. Read More
Abby W. Schachter
The Chronicle of Higher Education is troubled by the influence of a conservative think tank on higher education in Texas. The story by Jack Stripling concerns the resignation of the chancellor at Texas A&M University and how the regents of that university system may have been influenced by the ideas of the Texas Public Policy Foundation, which advocates for business-driven reforms such as basing professors bonuses on student evaluations. “The Texas Public Policy Foundation’s influence in Texas has renewed criticism that political ideology is shaping the future of higher education in the state,” Stripling writes. Read More
Jeff Sandefer, the architect of proposals that are creating controversy in Texas higher education, downplayed his influence on Gov. Rick Perry and state education policies in an interview published in the Austin American-Statesman.
Oilman Sandefer, a Texas Public Policy Foundation board member, has given $400,000 to Perry in campaign contributions since 2000.
Sandefer’s “seven breakthrough solutions” suggest de-emphasizing research, rating professors on their profitability and awarding those with good student evaluations with cash bonuses. His ideas have garnered censure from prestigious academic associations, as well as prominent alumni and donors at the state‘s flagship universities. He has criticized professors for writing “articles that few read, the vast majority of which would never, and I want to stress never, be supported by the market. And the whole corrupt enterprise survives parasitically only by siphoning vast amounts of tuition and cross subsidization unbeknownst to parents, students and taxpayers.” Read More
NEW YORK — State lawmakers from Illinois to Tennessee are considering laws that could change what it means to be a teacher, as labor policy has become the heart of a pitched education debate — one in which each side claims that the other doesn’t put students’ interests first.
Facing curtailed budgets and a push from the federal government for teacher accountability, many states are considering and passing measures that would limit teachers’ collective bargaining rights and strip those with years of experience of job security. Read More
By Reeve Hamilton Texas Tribune
photo by: Bob Daemmrich
A bill allowing a chunk of funding for colleges and universities to be dedicated to “outcomes-based” funding passed through the House today and is headed to the Senate.
Currently, public funding for institutions is allocated according to the number of students that enroll at the beginning of a semester. House Bill 9 by House Higher Education Chairman Dan Branch, R-Dallas, would allow the state to tie a portion of that funding to outcomes such as graduation rates.
The bill is vague on some of the specifics, such has what percentage of the funding should be outcomes-based or precisely which outcomes should be rewarded. Such decisions are largely left to the discretion of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, which — like Gov. Rick Perry — supports the concept. Read More
The Senate Redistricting Committee approved the GOP-drawn redistricting plan for the state Senate, as expected, despite the vociferous objections of state Sen. Judith Zaffirini, the Laredo Democrat whose new district would run from river to river, the Colorado to the Rio Grande. The plan now goes to the full Senate, where it will be considered next week. Read More