More Columns

Let’s make Texas the ‘third coast’ for biotech

Texas has made a name for itself in biotech by supporting premier academic medical centers, attracting research funding and welcoming investment by major pharmaceutical companies. Now it is time to take the next step with a smart state investment in biomedical research, paving the way for Texas to become a major hub in the vibrant biotechnology industry.

Shared goal, different solutions: Reining in school property taxes

We should be considering how we can equitably shift the tax burden to help property taxpayers while simultaneously reaffirming our constitutional duty to our schools and students. Businesses, civic leaders and the people of Texas are not — and should not be — willing to accept proposals that sacrifice a generation of public education students to campaign rhetoric disguised as policy solutions.

Midterms a warning shot to ‘red meat’ Republicans

Conservatives in Texas have grown flabby over the past 25 years of political dominance. Before the recent midterm elections, the state Democratic Party was a joke whose only purpose seemed to be offering up sacrificial lambs for statewide offices. No more: Their blue islands are spreading to places like Fort Worth, and are themselves expanding as more of the state’s population lives in and around our large cities.

Hating on the state’s most prosperous city

Austin is such an easy target for those in control of the Texas Capitol. But their Austin-bashing is nothing more than a facile attempt to deflect attention away from the state’s own very serious challenges and the failures in addressing those challenges.

Want better Texas schools? Improve training for principals

Principals are central to ensuring high-quality instruction in every classroom; safe and supportive school culture and climate; hiring, developing and retaining strong teachers; and engaging teachers in collaborative problem solving for continuous improvement in student learning outcomes. To get better education results, Texas needs better-prepared school principals.

Hit the brakes on high speed rail in Texas

The fantasy of high-speed rail attracts those who believe in the urgency of a transportation transformation. These pipe dreams are a lucrative field for large developers. But taxpayers and property owners often end up sending tens of billions of dollars down the drain for this mirage.

Remembering my friend and what his life meant

It is up to each of us to look at the people around us and the world we share and do the work to build that continuing city. To share the good in our lives with those who have less. To do right when no one is looking, to do even the smallest of tasks to the best of our abilities, and to fight for justice when others look away.

Big questions about dual credit in Texas

As dual credit expands, we simply must find a way for analysis to keep pace with this movement. My greatest concern is for students who take dual credit courses in high school with the best of intentions — only to find out that they are not adequately prepared, academically or developmentally, for the rigor and social challenges that await them after high school.

A conservative approach to cannabis reform

We all know Texas is a conservative state, with a conservative legislature and a conservative governor, and that probably isn’t going to change anytime soon. So, when we talk about reforming our state’s cannabis laws, there is no question that expanding access to medical cannabis in Texas is a complex matter with unique challenges.

College is an impossible dream for many black foster children

Action should also be taken to close the gaps in graduation rates between black students in special needs education — especially foster youth — and their peers. Exploring and finding solutions to mitigate the underlying reasons why black students are not advocated for or served places them one step closer to equitable outcomes in terms of high school graduation and college access.

Taxing Texans right out of their comfort food

It’s too late for Threadgill’s World Headquarters, Frank & Angie’s, and other small businesses so overburdened by taxes that they have to shut their doors. But can’t we agree that in a state in which armadillo boxer shorts are a unifying political statement that more freedom and more opportunity are worth taking bold steps?

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