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15 Percent Rule, We Hardly Knew Ye

One of the least popular bits in Texas’ new testing regime is the “15 percent rule,” which requires that part of a high school […]

Republicans Flirt With Immigration Reform Again

Every so often, the GOP is beaten badly enough that some Republicans realize that appearing to support immigrants might be their ticket to relevancy with Latinos. That time has come again for retiring U.S. Senators Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) and Jon Kyl (R-Arizona). The pair recently filed an alternative to the DREAM Act called the ACHIEVE Act.

Rancho Alegre Attempts to Revive Interest in Conjunto and Tejano

Seek first the obscure Conjunto music you desire, and ye shall find your refuge in the two-year-
old Rancho Alegre radio blog.

Q&A with Mary Cuddehe, Author of a Probing Investigation into the Death of Jaime Zapata

Melissa del Bosque interviews Marry Cuddehe, the first journalist to take an in-depth look into the mysterious shooting of ICE agent Jaime Zapata in Mexico.

Tonight: the Observer Environmental Justice Road Show Comes to Houston

Tonight, the Texas Observer’s own Melissa del Bosque will moderate a free public forum in Houston called “The True Cost of Environmental Justice.” At […]

Payday Loan Chain Owned by Major GOP Donor Skirts Texas Law

As serendipity would have it, I had stumbled onto the latest mutant creature in the wild and wooly world of Texas payday lending. “What you’ve come across is really important,” said Ann Baddour of Texas Appleseed. “It looks like they have found a loophole within a loophole.”

No Experience Necessary: Rick Perry’s Made Men

One of the hallmarks of Perry’s tenure as Texas governor is the way he cultivates a deep bench of loyalists through appointments. It’s part patronage, part grooming of reliable yes-men who will carry out his will, with virtually no dissent, across the outposts of state government.

El Paso ISD Begins Cleaning House After Cheating Scandal. But is it Enough?

El Paso ISD trustees are starting to take action against officials who enabled former Superintendent Lorenzo Garcia’s cheating scheme, but they’re leaving the higher-ups alone.

Is Larry Swearingen Innocent?

Nine forensic experts say Swearingen is on death row for a murder he couldn’t have committed, yet Texas courts won’t grant a new trial.

Controlling the Cat Population In Austin

Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) is the method of humanely trapping free roaming feral cats and spaying or neutering them.