More Columns

Dennis Bonnen, a Goldilocks Speaker for Texas Republicans?

Many Republicans were critical of Tom Craddick for being excessively conservative and partisan (as well as too authoritarian) and critical of Joe Straus for being insufficiently conservative and partisan. Dennis Bonnen’s legislative record suggests he may turn out to be the Texas GOP’s "Just Right" Goldilocks Speaker.

The defining challenge of Texas

If we want Texas to grow in a way that enhances our prosperity, advances our quality of life and preserves the things that make our state special, we will need take full advantage of the talented people residing within our borders. Higher education must play a leading role.

Political labels aren’t the best way to judge judges

Party affiliation is not the best way to elect our judges. Neither party has a monopoly on effective jurists. The 2018 election is the last time we’ll have straight-party voting in Texas, but party labels remain a very strong influence in judicial elections. Even though the straight ticket option will be eliminated, this won’t change people’s habits; many will simply select their party’s candidates one by one, all the way down the ballot.

It’s time to invest in the people of Texas

With energy and ideas from first-time legislators and lots of newly engaged Texans, we're at the beginning of an exciting and critically important Texas legislative session. Now is the time for Texas to invest in our most valuable resource — our own people.

A digital literacy update for Texas

Technology has the ability to help personalize the educational experience and teachers’ instruction of classroom material—matching students’ interests and goals with their abilities. A growing effort is underfoot to ensure that technology is used in such a way that every Texas student’s educational needs are being more fully met.

Just how big was turnout in Texas, and what does it mean?

How can we understand the broader social and historical context to try and predict whether 2020 and 2022 will continue 2018's surge in turnout? Will they be like the 2004 election —the first in a series of presidential elections with elevated turnout — or will they be like 1966, a singular surge that quickly gave way to downward trends.

Vaccines and the price of opting out

Legislators of Texas, in the midst of ever-increasing vaccination exemptions, consider drafting legislation to eliminate exemptions of conscience. And parents, with the flu season upon us, I implore you to vaccinate your children. The lives of our kids are invaluable. Without this lifesaving preventative medicine, the next victim of this unforgiving killer could be yours.

The foster care-to-prison pipeline

Continued reform and overhaul, better education for foster parents and providers and addressing the level of incarceration discrimination in our society would help fight the injustice of imprisoning children who are abandoned not only by their families, but by the systems that were created to protect them.

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