Egghead Researchers Say Dallas Is Not a Smart City. Hah! We Is To.

Don't you tell us how smart we are.
Boston is the smartest large city in the United States, according to a new study from New Geography. Dallas did not fare nearly as well.

The numbers behind the rankings are straightforward. Weight is given to the number of college graduates in each of the Census Bureau's Metropolitan Statistical Areas as well as any percentage increase in the number of graduates over the time measured (2000-2013).

As of 2013, 32.6 percent of DFW residents have at least a bachelors degree, a 4.1 percent increase since 2000. By the researchers' calculation, that leaves Dallas as the 41st smartest large city of the 52 measured.

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TXU Hits Duncanville ISD With $1.2 Million Electric Bill

Duncanville ISD thought it was getting a great deal when, one year ago this month, it switched electric providers and signed on with the State Power Program through the state's General Land Office. Just like that, Duncanville ISD's price-per-kilowatt hour dropped almost 20 percent, from 7.3 cents to a maximum of 6 cents.

But Duncanville school officials overlooked one important maxim when it comes to selecting an electric provider: You don't fuck with TXU.

Duncanville ISD had been contracting with the electric utility since 2009. The deal, thanks to an extension signed in 2012, was locked in through 2016. Now that the deal's been broken, TXU says in a lawsuit filed on Tuesday that the district owes $1.2 million.

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After Hours of Testimony, Board Delays First Vote On Social Studies Textbooks

US Capitol
These dudes were obviously thinking of Moses and King Solomon when they made the United States.

On Tuesday, the State Board of Education met for the final hearing on the adoption of new social studies textbooks. The board intended to cast the first vote on the textbooks, with the final vote scheduled for Friday. But after hours of impassioned testimony from both the right and the left, the board postponed any official action on the books until Friday.

See also: SMU Academics Speak Out Against Political and Religious Bias in Texas Social Studies Textbooks

The adoption process has been riddled with controversy. Critics were quick to point out that certain passages that alluded to climate change denialism. Moreover, many textbooks emphasized Christianity and Christian theology as not only the dominant religion in the United States, but implicitly the superior religion. Several books were plagued with misinformation and sloppy rhetoric.

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Highland Park HS Keeps Genesis on Required Reading List Despite Smut

Lot and his daughters. "Oh, man, I'm sho drunk right now I don't know whatsh going on."

Last week, Highland Park ISD released its updated high school reading list. The list provided titles required for in-class reading, optional outside reading and the passive aggressive list of "approved" but not taught in the classroom reading.

Students will have to get parental permission to read six books on the required and outside choice list: Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray, Jeanette Walls' The Glass Castle, Bram Stoker's Dracula, Garth Stein's The Art of Racing in the Rain, Aldous Huxley's Brave New World and David K. Shipler's Working Poor: Invisible in America.

See also: Highland Park ISD Bans Books Because Sex

HPISD Superintendent Dawson Orr will make the final decision on all English department books at the December 9 board meeting.

Let's hope that between now and then someone tips Orr to certain oversights in the list, which -- we're shocked to note -- includes the biblical book of Genesis as required reading for English IV classes, no permission slips required.

Seriously, Highland Park, have none of you heathens ever read Genesis?

Smut. Smut. Smut. It's nothing but smut.

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Duncanville Teacher Who Said "Dumb Duck Ass Crackers" Should "Kill Themselves" Resigns

Vinita Hegwood, the Duncanville High School English teacher whose profane tweet aimed at "dumb duck ass crackers" went viral on conservative social media, has resigned, she announced Thursday afternoon.

Hegwood was suspended without pay in anticipation of her being fired after her Friday night tweet went viral

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Despite His East Dallas Address, Hoops Star Admon Gilder Will Play at Madison This Season

Madison's star shooting guard and Texas A&M commit Admon Gilder.
Dallas ISD has, for the moment at least, put last spring's athletic-recruiting scandal behind it. The 15 coaches and administrators Superintendent Mike Miles fired over the summer have exhausted their appeals. Madison High School's 2012-13 and 2013-14 basketball titles have been vacated. There's a new athletic director and, the district says, a renewed commitment to enforcing state rules ensuring that high school athletes are playing where they're supposed to and not changing schools for athletic purposes.

On Tuesday, the UIL District 11-4A Executive Committee turned its attention to the future, namely figuring out if Madison High School's all-state shooting guard and Texas A&M commit Admon Gilder should be eligible to play at Madison during his senior season. Hang with us -- it's complicated.

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After First Round of Corrections, New Texas Textbooks Still Deny Climate Change

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Despite reports on climate change denialism in social studies textbooks, publishers still refuse to correct the errors.

For the first time since 2002, the Texas State Board of Education is considering the adoption of new social studies textbooks. The books must incorporate 2010 state social studies standards, which have been criticized as right-wing biased and blatantly conservative.

See also: Proposed Texas Social Studies Textbooks Get Climate Change Wrong Too

Yet after the first round of public testimony and state board meetings, some textbook publishers still have not amended implications that climate change does not exist. Several books allude to supposed disagreements within the scientific community about the causes of climate change, and include academic citations from conservative, denialist groups such as the Heartland Institute.

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Will Dallas ISD Ever Rename Its Confederate Schools?

Stonewall Jackson was a solid general, but is his the right name for a DISD school?
On Tuesday morning, right after an African-American principal and an African-American superintendent had finished predicting a great future for East Dallas' Lee Elementary and its new International Baccalaureate program, a woman buttonholed DISD trustee Mike Morath. After a few complimentary words about Morath's efforts on behalf of the campus, she gestured to the art deco "Robert E. Lee" nameplate etched into concrete above the front door. Same with Stonewall Jackson Elementary a mile to the north. Those name, she declared, are a black mark on the district and need to go.

She didn't have to elaborate, though she did say she sometimes imagines that Stonewall's name is a reference birth of the modern gay rights movement. The incongruity of a large urban school district with a stubborn history of racial segregation, a still-yawning achievement gap and a student body that is 95.3 percent non-white having schools honoring Confederate generals, was already clear to Morath. The Confederate names would also seem to be out of keeping with DISD's school-naming policy, which requires a school's eponym to have made a "significant contribution to society" and be a figure who can "lend prestige and status to an institution of learning." Lee and Jackson's fight to perpetuate slavery would seem to disqualify them under those criteria, regardless of their character or other accomplishments.

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How Dallas ISD Is Working to Attract Middle-Class Families to Another East Dallas School

Dallas ISD Trustee Mike Morath is thrilled that Lee Elementary is becoming an IB school. He's also thrilled it now has a rock climbing wall, which he summited minutes later.
The neighborhoods surrounding Dallas ISD's Robert E. Lee Elementary are much like the neighborhoods surrounding nearby Stonewall Jackson and Lakewood Elementary. That is, they are predominately white and upper middle class, with just a touch of East Dallas crunchiness. But while Stonewall and Lakewood bulge with kids from the neighborhood, Lee has largely failed to attract kids from the single-family homes along Lower Greenville that feed into it.

For proof, look at the numbers: Lakewood has 853 students. Seventy-six percent are white, 17 percent economically disadvantaged. Stonewall has 602 kids. Fifty-eight percent are white, 23 percent economically disadvantaged. Lee, by contrast, is basically the reverse. It has just 362 kids, 17 percent of whom are white, 71 percent of whom are economically disadvantaged.

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DISD Focuses on Parents and Young Kids for Two-Generation Strategy to Reduce Poverty

The two-generation system pushes at-home learning, parental education and early childhood education as a method to get families out of the cycle of poverty.
In Dallas ISD, early childhood education has been a major push in the last year. It's a move that administrators believe could one day in the future lower soaring poverty rates in a district where free and reduced lunch rates have steadily creeped toward 90 percent in recent years, and nearly 87 percent of students are classified as economically disadvantaged.

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