Author Archives: Houmanitarian

High Court Deadlocks on Immigration Order Case

After the Supreme Court deadlocked on the White House’s immigration plan last week, the ruling of the lower court was allowed to stand. A situation which continues lots of pain for families of undocumented aliens split apart.
(Video: KTRK 13 News)


Responses to the Supreme Court immigration decision (Houston Chronicle)

Children at Risk Releases Houston School Rankings for 2016

children-at-risk-school-rankingsAs they do every year, Children at Risk published their 2016 look at schools in the state of Texas this week. Produced regionally throughout Texas, these reports look at a host of factors in schools to determine where they think the best performers are located. And with a keen eye for high-performing but low-income schools, they have often been used as a guide to see how educational reforms are working in districts and charter systems overall.

As they kicked off this year’s report in Houston, a list of “Gold Ribbon” schools were introduced (see list below) that were determined by looking at a variety of factors:

  • Student Achievement Index – Performance on STAAR Reading and Math tests
  • Campus Performance Index – An adjustment of achievement indicators to eliminate bias toward campuses with low percentages of economically disadvantaged students
  • Growth Index – The improvement over time on standardized test scores in Reading, English, and Math
  • College Readiness Index – graduation rates, SAT/ACT participation rate and scores, and AP/IB participation rate and scores

President and CEO, Dr Bob Sanborn, introduced the report on Monday, and then appeared on Houston Matters to discuss how they do their research and produce their findings.

Houston’s Gold Ribbon schools are listed below, but a full copy of the report with all schools can be found on the Children at Risk website.



Will There be Flood Insurance for Houston’s Future Storms?

Report Finds Trouble with FEMA’s Long Term Funding

PBS Frontline investigates trouble in flood insurance program.

PBS Frontline investigates trouble in flood insurance program.

With so much flooding around Houston in the past month, we already have FEMA working overtime to assist those with damages from our mid-April storms. But a recent special investigation from PBS’s Frontline and NPR, reveal the future of the agency we rely on for these spring storm floods – as well as may need again in the event of a hurricane – is in real peril. Meanwhile private insurers, who work as agents for flood coverage, still are making a sizable profit.

Noting that, “Over the last 11 years, the program has fallen billions in debt; a 2015 report from the Government Accountability Office said [FEMA] was unlikely to be able to repay the money it has borrowed from taxpayers. Worse yet, the program has been accused of waste, poor oversight and fraud.

Scientists anticipate that the U.S. will face rising tides and increasingly severe weather as the climate changes — and will therefore be more prone to disastrous floods. But Congress has repealed provisions that would have garnered more funding for the National Flood Insurance Program, and FEMA’s projected budgets get smaller, not larger, through 2021.

Can the program afford the next major disaster?” (PBS Frontline)