Education in Texas


Education in Texas

There are 181 colleges, universities and dozens of other institutions engaged in the research and development of Texas.Fact|date=February 2008 Most public universities are members of six different systems: University of Houston, University of North Texas, University of Texas, Texas A&M University, Texas State, and Texas Tech. The University of Texas at Austin, Texas A&M University, University of North Texas and University of Houston are Texas's four largest comprehensive doctoral degree-granting institutions with a combined enrollment of over 165,000.

The state also has many private universities. Rice University—one of the country’s leading teaching and research universities—ranked the 17th-best university overall in the nation by "U.S. News & World Report". [ [http://www.usnews.com/usnews/edu/college/rankings/brief/natudoc/tier1/t1natudoc_brief.php America's Best Colleges 2006] . "U.S. News & World Report"] Additionally, Southwestern University—the oldest university in the state—was chartered by the Republic of Texas.

The state's public school systems are administered by the Texas Education Agency (TEA). Texas has over 1,000 school districts—all but one of the school districts in Texas are separate from any form of municipal government. School districts may (and often do) cross city and county boundaries—an exception to this rule is Stafford Municipal School District. School districts have the power to tax their residents and to assert eminent domain over privately owned property.

Texas also has numerous private schools of all types. The TEA has no authority over private school operations; private schools may or may not be accredited, and achievement tests are not required for private school graduating seniors. Many private schools obtain accreditation and perform achievement tests to show parents the school's interest in educational performance.

The state has some of the fewest restrictions on homeschooling. Neither TEA nor the local school district has authority to regulate home school activities. There is no minimum number of days in a year, or hours in a day, that must be met, and achievement tests are not required for home school graduating seniors. The validity of home schooling was challenged in Texas, but a landmark case, "Leeper v. Arlington ISD", ruled that home schooling was legal and that the state had little authority to regulate the practice.

Primary and secondary education

Texas has over 1,000 school districts, ranging in size from the gigantic Houston Independent School District to the 13-student Divide Independent School District in rural south Texas. All but one of the school districts in Texas are separate from any form of municipal government, hence they are called "independent school districts", or "ISD" for short. School districts may (and often do) cross city and county boundaries. School districts have the power to tax their residents and to use eminent domain. The sole exception to this rule is Stafford Municipal School District, which serves all of the city of Stafford.>cite press release| title = Comptroller Strayhorn to Review Stafford Municipal School District| publisher =Texas Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn| date =2003-09-16| format =HTML| url =http://www.cpa.state.tx.us/news/30916stafford.html| accessdate =2008-06-28]

The public school systems are administered by the Texas Education Agency (TEA). The TEA is divided into twenty Educational Service Center "regions" that serve the local school districts. The "Robin Hood plan " is a controversial tax redistribution system that provides court-mandated equitable school financing for all school districts in the state. Property tax revenue from property-wealthy school districts is and distributed those in property-poor districts, in an effort to equalize the financing of all districts throughout Texas.

Especially in the metropolitan areas, Texas also has numerous private schools of all types (non-sectarian, Catholic, and Protestant). The TEA has no authority over private school operations; private schools may or may not be accredited, and achievement tests are not required for private school graduating seniors. Many private schools will obtain accreditation and perform achievement tests as a means of encouraging future parents that the school is genuinely interested in educational performance.

It is generally considered to be among the least restrictive states in which to home school. Neither TEA nor the local school district has authority to regulate home school activities; state law only requires that the curriculum 1) must teach "reading, spelling, grammar, mathematics and a study of good citizenship" (the latter interpreted to mean a course in civics) and 2) must be taught in a "bona fide" manner. [cite web| url=http://www.thsc.org/FAQ/default.asp| title=Texas Home School Coalition FAQ| accessdate=2006-04-29] There are no minimum number of days in a year, or hours in a day, that must be met, and achievement tests are not required for home school graduating seniors. The validity of home schooling was challenged in Texas, but a landmark case, "Leeper v. Arlington ISD", ruled that home schooling was legal and that the state had little or no authority to regulate the practice.

TAKS

The Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) is a standardized test used in Texas primary and secondary schools to assess students' attainment of reading, writing, math, science, and social studies skills required under Texas education standards. It is developed and scored by Pearson Educational Measurement with close supervision by the Texas Education Agency. Though created before the No Child Left Behind Act was passed, it complies with the law. It replaced the previous test, called the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills or TAAS, in 2003.

Colleges and universities

There are 181 colleges, universities and dozens of other institutions engaged in the research and development of Texas within five different university systems.Fact|date=February 2008. The University of Texas at Austin, Texas A&M University, University of Houston and the University of North Texas are Texas's four largest comprehensive doctoral degree – granting institutions with a combined enrollment of over 145,000. Texas's controversial alternative affirmative action plan, Texas House Bill 588, guarantees Texas students who graduated in the top ten percent of their high school class automatic admission to state-funded universities. The bill was created to encourage diversity while avoiding problems identified with policy in the "Hopwood v. Texas" (1996) case.

University of Houston System

[
University of Houston] The University of Houston System is the largest urban state system of higher education in the Gulf Coast, which has four universities with three located in Houston. Its flagship institution is the University of Houston (UH), which is the only doctoral degree granting extensive research institution in Houston and is the third largest in the state of Texas with an enrollment of over 36,000. The interdisciplinary research conducted at UH focuses on such areas as superconductivity, space commercialization, biomedical engineering, economics, education, petroleum exploration and management. UH is also home to over 40 research centers and institutes. Amongst the University of Houston's colleges is the University of Houston Law Center. The UH Law Center's Health Law and Policy Institute is ranked number one in the nation while the Intellectual Property Law Program is ranked fifth, according to "U.S. News & World Report".

University of North Texas System

The University of North Texas System, has three schools in the North Texas region, all of which are in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. The flagship institution is the University of North Texas (UNT) located in Denton. UNT, considered one of the top music schools in the nation, is the largest in the region and fourth largest in the state with an enrollment of over 34,500. The fields taught at UNT focus on such areas as business management, education, engineering, hospitality, music and science. The UNT system also oversees the University of North Texas at Dallas, the only university located in the city limits of Dallas, and the University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth, the only college in Texas that specializes in osteopathic medicine.

University of Texas System

The University of Texas System (UT), established by the Texas Constitution in 1876, consists of nine academic universities and six health institutions. UT System institutions enrolled a total of 182,752 students in fall 2004 making it one of the largest systems of higher education in the nation. In 2004, the University of Texas at Austin, which is the largest institution in the UT System and in the state of Texas, maintained an enrollment of 50,377 students.The University of Texas at Austin was once the largest institution in the United States, but it is now one of the top three largest by population. Seven doctoral programs at UT Austin rank in the top 10 in the nation and 22 degree programs rank in the top 25, according to a comprehensive study of the quality of graduate schools conducted by the United States National Research Council. Four of the seven medical schools of Texas are within the University of Texas System. In 2004, the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas was ranked the 12th highest ranking medical school in the United States, with four of Texas's 11 Nobel laureates. [ [http://www.tamest.org/nobelprize.html The Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas] list of Texas Nobel Laureates]

Texas A&M University System

The Texas A&M University System, established by the 1871 Texas legislature, is the second largest state university system of higher learning in Texas. Its flagship institution, Texas A&M University located in College Station, opened in 1876 and is the state's oldest public institution of higher education. Funded research generally exceeds that of all other Texas universities including UT Austin, and Texas A&M ranks among the top ten national universities in research. It is the second largest university in the state of Texas and also one of the top 10 largest schools in the nation. The University of Texas's rivalry with Texas A&M dates back to the late 19th century.

Texas State University System

Another major public universities in Texas is Texas State University-San Marcos (formerly Southwest Texas State University).

Texas Tech University System

The Texas Tech University System was established in 1996, though Texas Tech University in Lubbock has existed since 1923. The Texas Tech system consists of two academic universities, Angelo State University in San Angelo, a nationally recognized regional university and Texas Tech University in Lubbock, the flagship campus, a research institution which has the second largest contiguous campus in the United States and is the only school in Texas to house an undergraduate institution, law school, and medical school at the same location. The system also includes the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Centers, found in Amarillo, El Paso, Lubbock, and Odessa and eight learning centers in Abilene, Amarillo, Fredericksburg, Highland Lakes, and Junction. It has international campuses in Quedlinburg, Germany and Seville, Spain.

Other Dallas/Fort Worth schools

Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex is also the home to several other universities including three UT System institutions, University of Texas at Dallas, University of Texas at Arlington and the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. Texas Women's University, in Denton, is the largest state-supported university for women in the United States. In additton traditional 4-year schools, four community college districts have a combined total population of almost 150,000 students. The Metroplex is home several private universities such as Southern Methodist University, which has the Metroplex's largest law school, University of Dallas, and Texas Christian University. For more information see: List of Dallas-Fort Worth area colleges and universities

Other Houston Schools

Houston is also the location of Rice University, which boasts one of the largest financial endowments of any university in the world. The small undergraduate student body has one of the highest percentages of National Merit Scholarship winners in the United States. Rice University maintains a variety of research facilities and laboratories. Rice is also associated with the Houston Area Research Center, a consortium supported by Rice, the University of Texas at Austin, Texas A&M University, and the University of Houston.

Another liberal arts college in Houston is the University of St. Thomas. It was founded by the Basilian Order in 1947 as a Roman Catholic university. Former UST president Archbishop J. Michael Miller currently serves in the Roman Curia as the prefect of Catholic universities throughout the world. The campus is also home to some major historic buildings, such as the Link-Lee Mansion (once the largest house in Texas) and Hughes House (the childhood home of Howard Hughes).

Further, Houston is home to Texas Southern University, the first historically black college and university to house a law school; it was also the first state-supported institution in the city of Houston. Over the years, the university's educational facilities and programs expanded, and many of its graduates began to achieve local, regional, and national recognition for their influence in politics, education, business, technology, medicine, and the arts. Its pioneering spirit continues today.

an Antonio schools

San Antonio is home to many colleges and universities, such as The University of Texas at San Antonio, the second-largest institution of the University of Texas System, which is expanding to become a research university. Other universities in the city are the University of Texas Health Science Center, Trinity University, St. Mary's University, University of the Incarnate Word, and Our Lady of the Lake University.

Baylor University

Baylor University, chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas, is the oldest university in Texas operating under its original charter. It purports to be the largest Baptist university in the world, having an enrollment of over 14,000 students. Baylor is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and is a member of the Association of Southern Baptist Colleges and Schools. The convert|735|acre|km2|sing=on campus is located just southeast of downtown Waco, roughly bounded by Interstate 35, Speight Avenue, Eighth Street and the Brazos River.

Austin College

Austin College is a private liberal arts college affiliated with the Presbyterian Church USA and located in Sherman, Texas, an hour north of Dallas. Chartered in November 1849, it is the oldest college in Texas under original charter and name as recognized by the State Historical Survey Committee. The school is named after Texas hero Stephen F. Austin, who along with his sister Emily, deeded 1,500 acres (6 km²) of land to the college. Another important figure in Texas history, Sam Houston, served on the original board of trustees for the school. "U.S. News & World Report" ranked Austin College among the top 100 colleges in the category of "Best Liberal Arts Colleges" for 2006. Austin College also ranked among the "Best 361 Colleges" in the "2006 Princeton Review", was profiled in Loren Pope's "Colleges That Change Lives", and was profiled in the 2005 edition of Kaplan's "Unbiased Guide to the 331 Most Interesting Colleges". Austin College is also ninth on the "U.S. News"' 2006 list for "most students studying abroad." It is a member of the International 50, a group of the top colleges in the nation for international focus.

Medical research

Texas is home to several research medical centers. The state has eight medical schools,cite web |title =Texas Medical Schools and Hospitals |publisher =Texas Medical Association |date =2006-08-03 |url =http://www.texmed.org/Template.aspx?id=86 |format =HTML |accessdate =2008-04-28] three dental schools, and one optometry school. Texas has two Biosafety Level 4 (BSL-4) laboratories: one at The University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) in Galveston, [cite web|url=http://www.bioscrypt.com/about/press/press-2004-10-14.shtml|year=October 14 2004|title=University Selects Bioscrypt for Biosafety Level 4 Lab|publisher=Bioscrypt|accessdate=2006-04-29] and the other at the Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research in San Antonio—the first privately owned BSL-4 lab in the United States. [cite web|url=http://www.sfbr.org/pages/about_resources2.php|title=BIOSAFETY LEVEL 4 (BSL-4) LABORATORY|publisher=Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research|accessdate=2006-04-29]

The Texas Medical Center, in Houston, is the world's largest concentration of research and healthcare institutions, with 45 member institutions in the Texas Medical Center. [ [http://www.texmedctr.tmc.edu/root/en/GetToKnow/FactsandFigures/FactsAndFigures.htm Facts and Figures] . "Texas Medical Center". 2006. Last Retrieved 2007-03-17.] More heart transplants are performed at Texas Medical Center than anywhere else in the world.cite web |title =Background Statistics > People and Politics (most recent) by state |publisher =State Master |date =2008-05-08 |url =http://www.statemaster.com/graph/bac_bac-background-people-and-politics |format =HTML |accessdate =2008-05-08] San Antonio's South Texas Medical Center facilities rank sixth in clinical medicine research impact in the United StatesCitation |date =2007-04-03 |year =2007 |title =Health Science Center ranks sixth in clinical medicine |edition =7 |volume =XL |publisher =University of Texas Health Science Center |url =http://www.uthscsa.edu/hscnews/singleformat.asp?newID=2353 |accessdate =2008-04-28] .

Dallas is home to the American Heart Association and the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, "among the top academic medical centers in the world".cite web |title =About UT Southwestern |publisher =University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center |url =http://www8.utsouthwestern.edu/home/about/index.html |format =HTML |accessdate =2008-04-28] vc|date=June 2008 The University of Texas Southwestern Medical School at the center employs the most medical school Nobel laureates in the world.cite web |title =UT Southwestern Fact Sheet |publisher =University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center |date =2008 |url =http://www8.utsouthwestern.edu/vgn/images/portal/cit_56417/43/32/2800592006_Fact_Sheet.pdf |format =PDF |accessdate =2008-04-28] The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center is one of the world’s highly regarded academic institutions devoted to cancer patient care, research, education and prevention.cite web |title =About MD Anderson |publisher =The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center |url =http://www.mdanderson.org/about_mda/ |format =HTML |accessdate =2008-04-28] vc|date=June 2008

Top 15 Texas universities by Enrollment

Top 12 Texas universities by Research and Development expenditures

Top Texas universities by Nobel Laureate affiliation

Texan universities ranked according to their number of Nobel laureate affiliations are:
*University of Texas at Austin: 9
*University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas: 5
*Texas A&M University: 4
*Rice University: 3
*University of Texas at Dallas: 3
*The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston: 2
*Baylor College of Medicine: 2
*Southern Methodist University: 1
*University of Houston: 1

References

ee also

*List of colleges and universities in Texas


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