Abby Rapoport

By Abby Rapoport:

The Great Hanging
Culture

How Do You Memorialize a Mob?

Gainesville, Texas, is a patriotic small town. It's also the site of one of the nation's worst acts of mob violence—a history some citizens would like to forget.

Gainesville, Texas, is a patriotic small town. It's also the site of the nation's largest act of mob violence. One hundred and fifty-two years later, the town finally has a memorial to the 42 men who died in the Great Hanging. Read More

Politics

For God’s Sake

Why Iowa evangelicals haven’t flocked to Rick Perry.

On a drizzly, gray November day, the First Federated Church in Des Moines looked particularly formidable. The mega-church is a gigantic brick building, a converted high school that dominates the block. Its lack of aesthetic appeal didn’t deter the crowds. … Read More

Education

In Another Blow to Public Schools, Hochberg Leaving Legislature

Facing major education challenges next session, the House will have a tough time replacing its education expert.

Scott Hochberg was none too happy that everyone called him a nerd. “You can’t think of something to call me?” he groused more than once. But it was hard to think of anything else to call the state legislator with … Read More

Politics

The V.I.P. Room

It’s the best of times for Rick Perry’s friends and former staffers, but to what end?

It’s difficult to describe Phil Wilson’s profession. Over the past decade, Wilson, 44, has slid through six very different jobs in Texas politics. In chronological order, he has worked as Gov. Rick Perry’s director of communications and then deputy chief … Read More

Politics

Who’s Sinking Faster: Rick Perry or Dave Carney?

With news of a possible Carney demotion, you have to wonder where he's been this whole time.

Yesterday, the Perry presidential campaign pushed hard for attention around the governor’s latest endorsement: highly controversial Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio. Instead, most Perry headlines focused on his double-gaffe, getting both the voting age and the election date wrong.  Less noted, … Read More

Education

Fighting for Schools at Home and Statewide

John Folks doesn’t seem like the sort of guy to rev up a crowd. With white hair and a friendly twang, the 63-year-old superintendent of San Antonio’s Northside Independent School District is hardly a radical activist. But when he took … Read More

Tyrant's Foe

Fighting for Schools at Home and Statewide

John Folks doesn’t seem like the sort of guy to rev up a crowd. With white hair and a friendly twang, the 63-year-old superintendent of San Antonio’s Northside Independent School District is hardly a radical activist. But when he took … Read More

Education

Virtual Schools, Virtually Unregulated?

After a technical switch, a virtual school gets around accountability standards

At this point, the Texas Virtual Academy shouldn’t exist.  Under the state’s accountability rules, the school should have been shut down or overhauled after failing to meet state standards two years in a row. Instead, students are enrolled now for … Read More

Education

Virtual Schools; Not-So-Virtual Loopholes

After failing to meet state standards, the Texas Virtual Academy is supposed to be shut down. So how has the for-profit company running it?

At this point, there shouldn’t be any more Texas Virtual Academy. It should have shut down because it failed to meet state standards two years in a row.  Instead, students attended yet another year, with almost no interruption, thanks to … Read More

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