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Jiro
Jan 12, 2004



Deep south Texas goon reporting in, McAllen, what with all the convenient national attention The Valley has been receiving due to a massive influx of women and children being caught crossing the river and in stash houses in and around the area, have Wendy Davis or Van de Putte made public statements about this? All I've been seeing and reading is Gov. Good Hair's pissing contest with Obama. And for those not in the know down here a lot of "militia" have been spotted from as far as Laredo and have offered their services to the Hidalgo Sheriff's Dept here. Nice to see a Texas Politics thread.

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computer parts
Nov 18, 2010

PLEASE CLAP

Jiro posted:

Deep south Texas goon reporting in, McAllen, what with all the convenient national attention The Valley has been receiving due to a massive influx of women and children being caught crossing the river and in stash houses in and around the area, have Wendy Davis or Van de Putte made public statements about this? All I've been seeing and reading is Gov. Good Hair's pissing contest with Obama. And for those not in the know down here a lot of "militia" have been spotted from as far as Laredo and have offered their services to the Hidalgo Sheriff's Dept here. Nice to see a Texas Politics thread.

Davis said something a few weeks ago but it doesn't seem like it was publicized that much.

GreyjoyBastard
Mar 28, 2010

Says Chu


Shear Modulus posted:

I'm not sure what you mean by "preferential treatment of underperforming students," and I think I'd disagree with you if I'm guessing your meaning correctly, but Powers leaving and a presumed successor being less competent at stopping ideological meddling in university administration is unequivocally terrible thing for Texas higher education. It's a sad state of affairs that the most important job of public university administration is raising money to cover state budgeting shortfalls and stopping political officials from undermining the academy for personal or political gain, but Powers is amazing at both of these jobs.


Nope, the most effective professors are the ones who teach the most students and cost the least amount of money. I might have misunderstood exactly how grant money a professor reels in is counted, but that's the gist of it.

Oh, so low numbers good.

It's still damned moronic, but doesn't lead to the immediate and total collapse of faculty teaching. (also, why in god's name would you include grants in the equation, they're actively bringing that cash to the university and the all-consuming administrative maw eats some of that)

Badger of Basra
Jul 25, 2007



Shear Modulus posted:

Do you know why they suddenly moved to fire him last week? It seemed like the "resign or be fired" ultimatum came out of nowhere. Did Hall finally find something bad that happened at one point in the last decade?

I imagine it has something to do with the investigation Cigarroa opened up into admissions across the UT System last week or something. Kids who have state reps write recommendation letters were generally getting into law school at a higher rate. What Powers has to do with this I'm not really sure, but they just want him out.

PostNouveau
Sep 3, 2011

VY till I die

Grimey Drawer

I wonder how Obama's meeting with Gov. Good Hair went

Swan Oat
Oct 9, 2012

I was selected for my skill.

Looks like it went good.

PostNouveau
Sep 3, 2011

VY till I die

Grimey Drawer

Swan Oat posted:

Looks like it went good.

Whatever led to Perry making that face and Obama laughing his rear end off must have been an iceburn for the ages.

Swan Oat
Oct 9, 2012

I was selected for my skill.

PERRY: We disagree on a fundamental level. We don't even like the same memes!
OBAMA: I dunno Rick, can we both agree that Grumpy Cat is that real poo poo?
PERRY: I suppose so, Barack.
OBAMA: See, we have more in common than you thought.
PERRY, magnanimously: I suppose that's true.
OBAMA: Can I see you do Grumpy Cat?
PERRY: [does best impression of frowning grumpy cat]
OBAMA: [hysterical laughter]



and that's how we solved the border crisis.

zoux
Apr 28, 2006



Boy oh boy I sure wish Obama would stop coming to Austin.

Jiro
Jan 12, 2004



zoux posted:

Boy oh boy I sure wish Obama would stop coming to Austin.

It would be nice if he came down here for reasons other than attending a fundraiser or two, but he probably won't because it was a part of Perry's four point dick waving plan to look better than the president in the eyes of Texans.

Edit: To clarify I mean to the Rio Grande Valley, since being born and raised here its so drat isolated from the rest of Texas getting a major political candidate down here to actually take a look at the problems a lot of people face doesn't happen often enough, and lately has been more Republican than Democrat. But yeah when I was living in Austin when Obama came to town I don't miss I35 and MoPac traffic jams.

Jiro fucked around with this message at Jul 10, 2014 around 17:05

zoux
Apr 28, 2006



I work downtown so it's mostly for selfish, traffic related reasons that I wish he'd gently caress off.

theCalamity
Oct 23, 2010

Cry Havoc and let slip the Hogs of War

zoux posted:

I work downtown so it's mostly for selfish, traffic related reasons that I wish he'd gently caress off.

I know that feeling. I'm glad I didn't have to work today.

fade5
May 31, 2012

by exmarx


Crew Expendable posted:

How is education fairing in Houston and San Antonio ISD?

Edit: San Antonio is the best Texas city. Lubbock and El Paso are distant worlds on the outer rim.

I'm not sure if you're from San Antonio or not, but here's an explanation/education mega-post for those not familiar. This is Texas Politics, so of course it all goes back Rick Perry: a couple years ago, Perry managed to "balance the budget" by cutting 5.4 billion dollars from education. That's Billion, with a B.

"Wait, how the gently caress can you guys function like that?"

Welcome to Education in Texas: everything is hosed edition. Education in San Antonio is similar to the rest of Texas: chronically, horribly underfunded, but we try to do the best we can in the face of adversity, while knowing education is basically hosed for the foreseeable future. On the Elementary/Middle/High School level it's basically cutbacks and more cutbacks, layoffs, teachers stretched to the breaking point, no new classroom materials, larger classes, teachers having to bring their own supplies, and even a proposal to move to a 4 day school week, all to save money.

In addition, there's also the imbalance in school district funding. There's an extremely in-depth guide here, but a gist is that funding for school districts is partially based on property taxes, which means that schools in rich places have better funding, schools in poorer places have less funding. The Robin Hood Plan was an attempt to fix this, but I know there have been lawsuits relating to this recently, so some of this info may be out of date or no longer correct, someone more familiar can fill me in if I missed anything or on recent changes.

So for San Antonio, these are the various school districts:

Alamo Heights is doing somewhat okay since Alamo Heights has a bunch of rich white people, Northeast ISD has some bleedoff of this, although both still have general problems, and most of the other districts are varying degrees of hosed.

Higher education is a bit better. San Antonio has the Alamo Community Colleges which I've been taking classes at. They've also been hit by cuts, they're going to that 4 day school week mentioned earlier. Even so, classes at Community Colleges are so much loving cheaper than the universities that it's astounding, and there are a lot of people taking classes. Universities I'm less familiar with, although I know St Mary's is a private college and expensive as all gently caress; one semester there would pay for your entire time at Community College.

Finally, San Antonio also got Pre-K 4 SA passed, which aims at eventually providing universal preschool. How did that happen during all these cutbacks? If the state isn't gonna do poo poo, we have to do it ourselves. Basically, you can breakdown support of Pre-K 4 SA by income/property taxes. Alamo Heights and the other rich areas voted against it (because it's an 1/8 cent sales tax, and why should we pay for the kids of those poors to get preschool) but luckily the rest of the city outnumbers them, and it passed.

There's also standardized testing, but this effort-post is long enough, so I or someone else can go into that clusterfuck later.

If you note anything incorrect here let me know so I can fix it. Otherwise, stare in pure horror at the endgame of the Republican's "gently caress you education" stance. Please go and vote, it's how we managed to get Pre-K 4 SA in my awesome hometown.

Shear Modulus
Jun 9, 2010



fade5 posted:


I'm not sure if you're from San Antonio or not, but here's an explanation/education mega-post for those not familiar. This is Texas Politics, so of course it all goes back Rick Perry: a couple years ago, Perry managed to "balance the budget" by cutting 5.4 billion dollars from education. That's Billion, with a B.

"Wait, how the gently caress can you guys function like that?"

Welcome to Education in Texas: everything is hosed edition. Education in San Antonio is similar to the rest of Texas: chronically, horribly underfunded, but we try to do the best we can in the face of adversity, while knowing education is basically hosed for the foreseeable future. On the Elementary/Middle/High School level it's basically cutbacks and more cutbacks, layoffs, teachers stretched to the breaking point, no new classroom materials, larger classes, teachers having to bring their own supplies, and even a proposal to move to a 4 day school week, all to save money.

In addition, there's also the imbalance in school district funding. There's an extremely in-depth guide here, but a gist is that funding for school districts is partially based on property taxes, which means that schools in rich places have better funding, schools in poorer places have less funding. The Robin Hood Plan was an attempt to fix this, but I know there have been lawsuits relating to this recently, so some of this info may be out of date or no longer correct, someone more familiar can fill me in if I missed anything or on recent changes.

So for San Antonio, these are the various school districts:

Alamo Heights is doing somewhat okay since Alamo Heights has a bunch of rich white people, Northeast ISD has some bleedoff of this, although both still have general problems, and most of the other districts are varying degrees of hosed.

Higher education is a bit better. San Antonio has the Alamo Community Colleges which I've been taking classes at. They've also been hit by cuts, they're going to that 4 day school week mentioned earlier. Even so, classes at Community Colleges are so much loving cheaper than the universities that it's astounding, and there are a lot of people taking classes. Universities I'm less familiar with, although I know St Mary's is a private college and expensive as all gently caress; one semester there would pay for your entire time at Community College.

Finally, San Antonio also got Pre-K 4 SA passed, which aims at eventually providing universal preschool. How did that happen during all these cutbacks? If the state isn't gonna do poo poo, we have to do it ourselves. Basically, you can breakdown support of Pre-K 4 SA by income/property taxes. Alamo Heights and the other rich areas voted against it (because it's an 1/8 cent sales tax, and why should we pay for the kids of those poors to get preschool) but luckily the rest of the city outnumbers them, and it passed.

There's also standardized testing, but this effort-post is long enough, so I or someone else can go into that clusterfuck later.

If you note anything incorrect here let me know so I can fix it. Otherwise, stare in pure horror at the endgame of the Republican's "gently caress you education" stance. Please go and vote, it's how we managed to get Pre-K 4 SA in my awesome hometown.

There are three main really good Catholic colleges (Incarnate Word, St Mary's, and Trinity) and they're all expensive as gently caress. UTSA is a very good school for non-flagship state universities which are always woefully underfunded.

Fun fact, Karl Rove's son went to Trinity.

Trinity was also party to one of the best college football plays ever: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gHbzQoXuxdU

Sardonik
Jul 1, 2005



zoux posted:

I work downtown so it's mostly for selfish, traffic related reasons that I wish he'd gently caress off.
I had to cancel a Dr.'s appointment today, no way in heck could I have gotten to my Dr. in the north. They closed the Lamar->Capital of TX Highway entrance I was counting on to get on Mopac.

Vaguely ironic, Obama causing me to miss out on healthcare, but I'll just reschedule for next week.

I signed up for the Battleground Texas stuff but never heard anything, hopefully I will eventually. Might be because I adamantly refuse to do phone banking and didn't check that box.

Badger of Basra
Jul 25, 2007



zoux posted:

I work downtown so it's mostly for selfish, traffic related reasons that I wish he'd gently caress off.

I worked downtown for a year, and as soon as SXSW rolled around I decided that poo poo was for suckers. All I heard was how much people from other places just hated Austin and how lovely everything was. Well, gently caress off back home if it's so terrible! Maybe that way I can actually commute to work.

zoux
Apr 28, 2006



SxSW is terrible but F1 is even worse. They shut down so much of downtown for an event that's held loving 20 miles outside of town.

Cercadelmar
Jan 4, 2014


Jiro posted:

Deep south Texas goon reporting in, McAllen, what with all the convenient national attention The Valley has been receiving due to a massive influx of women and children being caught crossing the river and in stash houses in and around the area, have Wendy Davis or Van de Putte made public statements about this? All I've been seeing and reading is Gov. Good Hair's pissing contest with Obama. And for those not in the know down here a lot of "militia" have been spotted from as far as Laredo and have offered their services to the Hidalgo Sheriff's Dept here. Nice to see a Texas Politics thread.
Seriously? That's pretty scary to hear about, ever since those militia killed that one family a few years back I'm really antsy about that sort of thing. Also, what's up fellow RGV and McAllen goons?

Badger of Basra
Jul 25, 2007



Cercadelmar posted:

Seriously? That's pretty scary to hear about, ever since those militia killed that one family a few years back I'm really antsy about that sort of thing. Also, what's up fellow RGV and McAllen goons?

Rick Perry and Hannity recently went on a trip down the Rio Grande where they posed with a machine gun. Thanks for helping, guys!

radical meme
Apr 17, 2009

SIGNS

Swing away, Beto.
Beto? Swing away.


Shear Modulus posted:

So noted Big Aggie Jerk Rick Perry seems to have finally gotten his way on the UT Austin President's job and Powers will step down in June 2015. If you haven't been following this, Perry has always hated Powers, but a few years back when Perry tried to force some so-called "Seven Breakthrough Solutions" crafted by an old buddy of his (if you're curious they're just bog-standard conservative reform principles intended to businessify public education like ranking teachers on "cost-effectiveness" (salary and grant awards divided by students taught) and using MOOCs for everything) Powers has been standing up to him and put himself on Perry's poo poo list. The UT Board of Regents, who has firing authority, is 100% Perry appointees and as I expect most of you know have been digging like crazy to find something offensive to their sensibilities in admissions decisions that they could use an excuse to fire him. Apparently about a week ago something changed, and the Chancellor told Powers to submit his resignation or he'd be canned.


I just read about this today; fell behind on Texas politics. What a sad turn of events. I know plenty of UT alums and none of them wanted to see Powers leave. The first time I read about this feud, was the fall of 2011; Texas Monthly had a long article on Perry's attack on the entire UT System. The constant, relentless assault on the entire Texas' education system by Perry and his cronies is just awful. Nothing good is going to come of this and Texas will be paying the price for decades to come.

Jiro
Jan 12, 2004



Badger of Basra posted:

Rick Perry and Hannity recently went on a trip down the Rio Grande where they posed with a machine gun. Thanks for helping, guys!

I heard about that really not all that surprising. And thankfully our interim Head Sherrif essentially told the militias to gently caress off since none are from the area and know the lay of the land. Its ridiculous groups from as far as New York calling to "protect the border".

zoux
Apr 28, 2006



Fifth Circuit upheld UT's affirmative action policy. Take that white girl who didn't make the top ten percent cutoff so pretended that it was black people that meant that she couldn't go to UT but still got to go to a tier one university anyway.

Sab0921
Aug 2, 2004

This for my justices slingin' thangs, rib breakin' kings / Truck, necklace, robe, gavel and things / For the solicitors seein' them dissents spin and grin / That robe with the lace trim that win.


zoux posted:

Fifth Circuit upheld UT's affirmative action policy. Take that white girl who didn't make the top ten percent cutoff so pretended that it was black people that meant that she couldn't go to UT but still got to go to a tier one university anyway.

She should've been friends with a State Representative.

Jerry Manderbilt
May 31, 2012
Probation
Can't post for 3 hours!


zoux posted:

Fifth Circuit upheld UT's affirmative action policy. Take that white girl who didn't make the top ten percent cutoff so pretended that it was black people that meant that she couldn't go to UT but still got to go to a tier one university anyway.

Man anecdotally, in my rich, mostly Asian-American high school, a lot of the rich spoiled brats who didn't make it into Cal or UCLA use black people and/or illegals Latinos to excuse their own failures. When they about Affirmative Action (which was banned here in the late 90s) and SCA5, the bill which might reinstate it (and which they call "Skin Color Act 5"), what they're basically saying is " I didn't get into a top-tier UC "

zoux
Apr 28, 2006



The bigger "problem" with admission to UT is the top 10% rule, which guarantees admission into any state university if you graduate in the top 10% of your class. But everyone pretty much picks UT. They eventually indexed it so that admissions cap out at a percentage of the incoming class (I think it's 75%) but before that something like 95% of an incoming freshman class at UT was admitted under top ten. So basically admissions officials have to figure out how to meet diversity standards with only five percent of the incoming class.

computer parts
Nov 18, 2010

PLEASE CLAP

zoux posted:

The bigger "problem" with admission to UT is the top 10% rule, which guarantees admission into any state university if you graduate in the top 10% of your class. But everyone pretty much picks UT. They eventually indexed it so that admissions cap out at a percentage of the incoming class (I think it's 75%) but before that something like 95% of an incoming freshman class at UT was admitted under top ten. So basically admissions officials have to figure out how to meet diversity standards with only five percent of the incoming class.

They actually made an exception for UT (at least the main campus) where it's only the top 7.5% get automatic admission, and yeah it's about 75% of the class (at least as of when I applied which was a few years ago) are admitted under the policy.

Of course people still bitch and moan because Hispanic poor school districts let people in while their 89th percentile kids "can't get in anywhere".

zoux
Apr 28, 2006



It was implemented to specifically increase diversity at state universities but I'm not sure there's any good data showing it was effective. I'm not sure why a blanket top ten rule would benefit black and Hispanic students over white students, I'd think that diversity measures would need to be more targeted than that.

Shear Modulus
Jun 9, 2010



The top 10% rule is pretty cool because it fills the entire incoming classes of UT and A&M up with white kids but every entitled white kid who doesn't get in gets angry about the rule because they assume that it benefits black people at the cost of them. There's probably thousands of black kids who skate to the head of their (crappy, black) schools and get those spots at UT they deserved.

e:

zoux posted:

It was implemented to specifically increase diversity at state universities but I'm not sure there's any good data showing it was effective. I'm not sure why a blanket top ten rule would benefit black and Hispanic students over white students, I'd think that diversity measures would need to be more targeted than that.

I can't source what I said above, but last I heard was it did a terrible job of doing anything about diversity at UT and A&M.

Shear Modulus fucked around with this message at Jul 16, 2014 around 14:53

Jerry Manderbilt
May 31, 2012
Probation
Can't post for 3 hours!


We have something similar in California, if I recall correctly; my dad tries to say that those black and Latino kids don't deserve their spots at Cal or UCLA or UCSD or whatever because "they're not PREPARED for university-level courses!" Gee, I wonder why that might be...

computer parts
Nov 18, 2010

PLEASE CLAP

zoux posted:

It was implemented to specifically increase diversity at state universities but I'm not sure there's any good data showing it was effective. I'm not sure why a blanket top ten rule would benefit black and Hispanic students over white students, I'd think that diversity measures would need to be more targeted than that.

There's a study claiming that it wasn't effective but it's behind a paywall so I'm unable to really comment about it.

Shear Modulus
Jun 9, 2010



Jerry Manderbilt posted:

We have something similar in California, if I recall correctly; my dad tries to say that those black and Latino kids don't deserve their spots at Cal or UCLA or UCSD or whatever because "they're not PREPARED for university-level courses!" Gee, I wonder why that might be...

Yeah, resentment about the wrong people getting access to finite public goods certainly isn't specific to Texas.

zoux
Apr 28, 2006



Race based criteria are also the only ones they complain about. Legacies, international, sports, and all the myriad other categories that might advantage an applicant are ignored, it's only affirmative action, i.e. the one that's actually trying to improve society.

Jerry Manderbilt
May 31, 2012
Probation
Can't post for 3 hours!


Yeah it says a lot that these people who value "hard work", instead of being impressed by kids who do at least 90% as well as their snowflakes despite having access to a fraction of their resources, instead incessantly.

I mean here, the GOP is trying to use Affirmative Action as a wedge issue to try and court the Asian vote, even though at least two-thirds of the Asian community supports AA.

Jerry Manderbilt fucked around with this message at Jul 16, 2014 around 15:13

computer parts
Nov 18, 2010

PLEASE CLAP

computer parts posted:

There's a study claiming that it wasn't effective but it's behind a paywall so I'm unable to really comment about it.

Actually I remembered that I'm a student at a university so I was able to look it over.

The basic gist of the paper is that while the top 10% rule is definitely not as good as earlier AA policies it's still substantially better than the "no policy" interlude that happened between Hopwood v Texas and the top 10% rule getting passed.

e: It probably should be mentioned that this is assuming a constant admission rate, while the actual rate fell a lot after the AA policies were overturned and went back up to near the same amount after the top 10% rule was put in (at least in UT). Also the data for the top 10% era is from 1998 to 2003 so it's not entirely up to date.

computer parts fucked around with this message at Jul 16, 2014 around 15:13

zoux
Apr 28, 2006



Well I'd say that they should get rid of top ten and then implement better, more targeted AA policies but yeah like that's gonna get through the legislature ever.

Thermos H Christ
Sep 6, 2007

WINNINGEST BEVO


I was one of those private school kids who didn't get in right away and even though I was disappointed I was horrified when family and friends would start talking to me about the grave injustice of some hardworking poor kid from a lovely school getting a spot. I don't care what school you go to, if you're doing better than 90% of your peers you are a serious dedicated student. But no let's punish people for life for getting shortchanged by the public education system.

I took some classes elsewhere for a year and ended up getting in as a sophomore transfer, then stayed all the way through grad school. My life was not ruined.

zoux
Apr 28, 2006



I went to an exceedingly expensive private liberal arts school and I wish I would've gone to UT instead

computer parts
Nov 18, 2010

PLEASE CLAP

I'm at Texas A&M right now because UT-Austin wouldn't have me and I'm getting out now before 25x25 shits on everything.

zoux
Apr 28, 2006



What's 25x25?

I will say this about A&M, if you are a college football fan, you should see at least one game at Kyle Field. It's surreal.

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computer parts
Nov 18, 2010

PLEASE CLAP

zoux posted:

What's 25x25?

http://engineering.tamu.edu/25by25

Some Engineering dean had the cool idea of raising the amount of engineers to 25,000 by 2025. Now, for those of you who don't know A&M's demographics, Engineers currently make up ~12,000 of the student body, or about 25% of the campus. This means that (ignoring all other growth) they're planning on increasing the size of the student body by 25% in 10 years.

Of course this idea literally did not exist a year and a half ago, so there's going to have to be some major changes. For example, there will only be two models of laptops you can buy as an engineer, and they're more expensive than the retail versions (granted that's with an additional warranty but it's a $1600 tax on being an engineer).

What about the most important part of the university, the money teachers? Well, the plan the administration likes are MOOCs!

http://www.theeagle.com/news/local/...792d1f6144.html

quote:

"In my personal opinion MOOC's are like new books," Watson told the group. "Somebody could go to the library and educate themselves phenomenally well -- it's just not as entertaining, but they could. Somebody can sign up for a MOOC and if they're dedicated and they're disciplined they can get a whole lot out of a really great experience, and I'm for that. I just don't think it needs to be a core part of what we are doing."

On a personal level, this has even effected me beyond just my major (which I don't worry about because like I said, I'll be gone before most of this poo poo really goes into effect). I currently work in the chemistry building helping set up labs and stuff. The building is 40 years old so sometimes we have to improvise with new policies. As it stands right now the students have about 12 labs, where about 2-3 of them are "dry" (don't actually use chemicals so you don't need goggles and stuff, also really easy to clean up!). Because of these new requirements they're cutting all of the dry labs, and (if the rumors I hear are true) are essentially doubling the number of classes while halving the number of labs.

In other words, what's going to happen is that students come in for one week and then are off the next week. This makes my life hard because I have to reset the same lab two weeks in a row and it's hard on the students because now they have to remember if they actually show up for lab this week or not. This could be averted by building new infrastructure but apparently this wide ranging plan had to be spontaneous a surprise so everyone is scrambling to compensate.

It is a mess.

Oh and this isn't even going into how everyone and their mother is building apartments to support 12000 new people so we're effectively creating our own mini housing bubble. On the plus side in 20 years there's going to be a lot of cheap housing for people here!

quote:

I will say this about A&M, if you are a college football fan, you should see at least one game at Kyle Field. It's surreal.

It'll be doubly impressive now that we actually have a bowl and the Largest Screen in College Football.

And all it cost was $450 million.

computer parts fucked around with this message at Jul 16, 2014 around 15:48

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