Locating the Source for a Headline

This webpage provides:

§         The Source for Each of the Headlines in the High School Chart

§         Related Articles or Reports in Date Order


The Source for Each of the Headlines in the High School Chart

This chart repeats columns from the chart for high school and adds the 3 columns on the right so you can decide if you want a source and how to reach it.

Customers (Users, Clients, Stakeholders) and Issues

High School


Details in the News about High School Education

Full Title If Not in Prior Column (and Direct Link If Available)


Source/Author (and Direct Link to General Website)

1. Customer as user?






a. Commitment by the user?

a. Varies

“majority of Texas districts have policies mandating minimum grades — typically a 50” (ended by TEA)

Houston-area districts sue over grading policy They say state education chief has wrong idea about ‘honest grades’ law”


Houston Chronicle online; author Ericka Mellon (For related articles from 2009 and 2010, click here.)

b. Preparation of the user?

b. Varies

c. User as part of product?

c. Almost always

2. Customer as who pays?

Student, parents

70% of parents -“things ‘are fine as they are now.’”

“Important, But Not for Me” (Overview or to download the full report)


Public Agenda (For parents’ views in 2010 and later, enter the word parents in the Public Agenda search field.)

3. Customer who may help to pay the bill?

Almost always taxpayers





4. Customer as creator of the product/service

Mixed—teachers, testing, vendors, districts, SBOE

“Driving a No. 2 pencil into the heart of testing monster”


Houston Chronicle; B3, B7; author Patricia Kilday Hart

5. Customer as the field of knowledge behind the product/service?

Mixed—teachers, testing, vendors, districts, SBOE

“SBOE determines what millions of students learn in public schools”


“Seize chance to shape Texas education policy”


Houston Chronicle editorial; B9.

6. Customer as the regulator (such as a certifier, accreditor, or standards organization)?

Mixed—testing, vendors, districts, SBOE, NCLB

“Education Inc. How private companies are profiting from Texas public schools”


– (Read online)


The Texas Observer; author Abby Rapoport

7. Customer as the region? 






a. Need for qualified workers?

a. Often to Always

- “Rate of Hispanic dropouts cause for waves of worry”


Houston Chronicle; B10

b. Need for good jobs?

b. Often to Always

- “Business group joins suit over school funding”


Houston Chronicle; B4; author Gary Scharrer

c. Need for safe communities?

c. Often to Always

- “…they can’t even fill out an application. They can’t spell. They can’t read and write. But yet they got this diploma.”

Hiring and Higher Education: Business Executives Talk about the Costs and Benefits of College (Overview or to download the full report)


Committee for Economic Development (CED) and Public Agenda; “lead author” Steve Farkas

d. Need for a solid tax base?

d. Always

8. Customer as the nation’s economic competitiveness?

All customers above

- “Science a sore subject in U.S.”

Subtitle: “Most students of all ages show lack of proficiency”


Houston Chronicle; A6

- “Business group wants better math curriculum”

– (The article is from Austin.)


Associated Press (Houston Chronicle; B3)

9. Customer as the nation’s decision-making in a republic?

All customers above

Justice O’Connor – “no testing”/”no funding” - NCLB’s “unintended effect” – “squeezed out civics education” –

“Former Justice Promotes Web-Based Civics Lessons” (Read online)


New York Times; author Seth Schiesel (For the full quotation, click here.)

10.The product/service is






a. For short-term use?

a. Occasionally

Same as 7




b. For long-term use?

b. Almost always




c. On-going but changing?

c. Almost always




11. Measurement of the user as part of the product and of the product/service is?

Intransparent and in transition

- “Study: School spending tough to track”


Houston Chronicle; B2; author Gary Scharrer

- “Clear Lake High begins crackdown on cheaters”

Subtitle: “At least 60 students being disciplined over answers texted to them before final”


Houston Chronicle; B1; B10; author Monica Rhor

12. Rewards of success go to?

All customers above

“Grier says cheating inquiry on his agenda…HISD links bonuses to higher scores”

– (The second part of the title is on B4.)


Houston Chronicle; B1, B4; author Ericka Mellon

13. Risks from failure go to?

1st To business, higher education

- “A Stronger nation through Higher Education”

– (To download the full report)


Lumina Foundation

-“The value of blue collar work”

– (Covers skilled worker jobs without college, but also reveals some of the complexity of meaning.[i])


Houston Chronicle; editorial B1; author Scott Braddock


Related Articles or Reports in Date Order

(If you are interested in additional Texas sources, click here.)

Full Title (and Direct Link If Available)



Example of Usefulness

“Former Justice Promotes Web-Based Civics Lessons” (Read online)


New York Times; author Seth Schiesel – interview with Justice Sandra Day O’Connor

Justice O’Connor: “One unintended effect of the No Child Left Behind Act, which is intended to help fund teaching of science and math to young people, is that it has effectively squeezed out civics education because there is no testing for that anymore and no funding for that,” she said. “And at least half of the states no longer make the teaching of civics and government a requirement for high school graduation. This leaves a huge gap, and we can’t forget that the primary purpose of public schools in America has always been to help produce citizens who have the knowledge and the skills and the values to sustain our republic as a nation, our democratic form of government.”[bold added]

“School board going to court against state



Houston Chronicle online; author Robin Foster

“The Alief Independent School District's board of trustees voted 5-2 last week to join other school districts in the region in a civil lawsuit challenging the Texas Education Agency's interpretation of a state law that applies to their grading policies.”

“School districts drop fight against Texas grading law”


Houston Chronicle online; author Ericka Mellon

“The group of Texas school districts that lost a court battle in June over a new grading law has decided not to appeal the judge's decision that bars them from forcing teachers to give students grades they didn't earn.”

What's Trust Got To Do With It? A Communications and Engagement Guide for School Leaders Tackling the Problem of Persistently Failing Schools”


Public Agenda

“The rationale for taking bold action on the nation’s persistently failing schools can be summed up in one dramatic and disturbing statistic: half of the young Americans who drop out of high school attend just 12 percent of the nation’s schools.”

“New state exam has schools juggling”


Houston Chronicle; B1.


“Business precepts may not cure schools but could help….Hart: Business world offers ideas on educating with less”


Houston Chronicle; B1, B2; author Patricia Kilday Hart

“[W]hen some expert inevitably mentions how businesses measure the cost of producing widgets. Any public school teacher reading this right now will immediately recognize the flaw in this comparison: A factory manager gets to select his raw materials…. [Widgets] do not bring cellphones to the factory and play with them….”

“We need to figure out where and how money spend on education produces better results.”

“STARR chamber: With so many standardized tests, do our schools have time for education?”


Houston Chronicle editorial; B11.

“Even Education Commissioner Robert Scott, usually a proponent of standardized tests and school accountability, has been widely quoted discussing the ‘perversion’ of those tests’ original mission, and decrying the ‘military-industrial complex’ that’s grown up around test prep.”

“Board of Education: The Chronicle endorses these common-sense candidates in contested local primary races”


Houston Chronicle editorial, B8

Brief description of the issues with the SBOE and Texas textbooks

UT report attacks proposed changes to higher ed

‘Seven solutions’ draws new rebuttal
UT report calls ideas to boost higher education simplistic



Houston Chronicle; author Jeannie Kever

The centerpiece of the movement, known as the "seven breakthrough solutions," calls for treating students as "customers," judging faculty by how many students they teach and how those students rate them, and de-emphasizing research that doesn't produce an immediate financial return.


The ideas were first floated in a 2008 meeting Perry called for regents from all of the state's public university systems, but they drew little attention until earlier this year, when several members of UT's governing board, appointed by the governor, began pushing them.


The proposals come from the conservative Texas Public Policy Foundation, which says they will make college more affordable, a goal bolstered by a recent report from the Center for Public Policy and Higher Education, which found tuition and fees at Texas' public four-year universities rose 86 percent over the past decade.














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[i] Braddock uses as an example a skilled-worker grandfather who “read the encyclopedia for fun,” who “often worked on complex farm equipment,” and who “essentially trained himself.” His grandfather “spent” a “good portion of his day … learning exactly how something was put together before he could even start the back-breaking work of repairing it.”


Braddock quotes Mike Rowe, “host of ‘Dirty Jobs’ on Discovery Channel,” who said “We talk about creating millions of shovel-ready jobs for a society that doesn’t really encourage people to pick up a shovel.” He also quotes state senator Dan Patrick who said “Everyone should have the option to go to college. But not everyone should be tracked to go to a four-year university…. We need to value what I call blue collar work.”


The complexity is that Braddock’s grandfather represents the self-teaching reader who is first of all able to figure things out for himself and secondly who is willing to get dirty to get a job done—not just shovel where they are told to shovel. The division may not be between those who go to college and do not, but between those who know how to figure things out and act to get work done.