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:

 

Houston Schools Ban Suspensions in Early Grades

by | Fri, Feb 12, 2016 at 11:26 am CST
State of Texas: Cops in the Classroom
Criminal Justice

State of Texas: Cops in the Classroom

Schools have been caught lately between two opposing trends: On one hand, juvenile crime rates are declining. On the other hand, school shootings have prompted administrators to beef up security. There's little reporting required about the details, but the trends are clear: There are more police in schools — and more students arrested — than ever, even as schools are generally getting safer. Read More

Houston Mayor Annise Parker
LGBT Rights

The Interview: Annise Parker

Houston’s former mayor reflects on HERO, use-of-force killings and getting things done.

Houston’s former mayor reflects on HERO, use-of-force killings and getting things done. Read More

State of Texas: How to Get Asylum or Become a Refugee
Border

State of Texas: How to Get Asylum or Become a Refugee

The United States has a long history of taking in people fleeing dangerous countries, but we also have a history of locking down the borders for fear of foreign infiltration. This is another era of peaking fear — congressional Republicans, joined by dozens of Democrats, voted in November to make it harder for refugees from Syria to come to the United States. Read More

Lincoln Park and Little Elm in Denton County
Culture

So Long, Lincoln Park

An oasis of low-income housing collapses in heartache, loss and an FBI investigation.

Lincoln Park went down in a mess of lawsuits, a federal investigation, political intrigue, betrayal, heartache and loss. Read More

A child draws at a school desk.
Education

Denial of Service

Among its dozens of accountability measures for school districts — including test scores and other data points — the Texas Education Agency (TEA) includes a target rate of special education participation. Stay close to the target and your school district gets left alone; veer too far from the standard and you can be sanctioned. So districts have a huge incentive to meet the state’s goals. This year, for the first time, the state average matched the target exactly. Read More

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