Patrick Michels

Patrick Michels
Patrick Michels is a reporter for the Texas Observer and a former legislative intern. He has been a staff writer and web editor at the Dallas Observer, and a former editor of the Texas Independent. He has a bachelor's in journalism from Northwestern University, a master's in photojournalism from the University of Texas at Austin, and is a competitive eating enthusiast.

By Patrick Michels:

Texas Education Commissioner Michael Williams
Education

Back from the Brink

How one Austin high school rallied to save itself

Unlikely as it seemed not too long ago, students, teachers, neighborhood activists and even the state’s top education official are all singing the same happy song about Eastside. What’s remarkable, they all agree, is how the community has helped the school succeed where so many other reform attempts had failed. The activists who fought to keep the school open say that Eastside could be a model for how schools on the brink of being erased can make it. Read More

school bus
Education

Ghosts of Truancy Laws Past

This school year, for the first time in 20 years, Texas students won’t face criminal penalties for missing school. Texas is one of just two states in the country to handle truancy cases in criminal court, and in 2013 alone … Read More

Brandon Brooks captured the very moment when McKinney officer Eric Casebolt — who resigned with pay, pension and benefits following the incident — pinned 19-year-old Tatyana Rhodes to the ground outside a pool party in June.
Criminal Justice

Advocates Call for Extra Training for McKinney School Police

When Texas students come back to school this month, they’ll be joined in many districts by police officers, members either of a dedicated school police force or city police assigned to patrol the schools. This fall, for the first time, officers in the largest school districts will have to take training on how to interact with the kids they police. Read More

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