Five stories that have North Texas talking: New study gives teacher prep programs low marks, 14 West nursing home residents have died since explosion, new astronaut class boasts a Texan and more.
A new study blasts teacher prep programs at the college level, and Texas is not immune to the bad grades. The U.S. News and World Report study found that seven out of 10 college programs don’t adequately prepare candidates to teach reading. Nine out of 10 programs got a thumbs-down for instruction on teaching basic subjects like math.
Dozens of teaching prep programs at universities and colleges in Texas were graded, and 16 of them earned just one out of four stars. Eight programs in Texas made the “honor roll,” meaning a ranking of at least three stars. Dallas Baptist was the only school in the state to have more than one program on the honor roll. [NPR]
- Did West Explosion Lead To Deaths? Nursing home workers risked everything to pull residents of West Rest Haven out of the rubble in the aftermath of April’s fertilizer plant explosion. Everyone was evacuated and accounted for, and the Dallas Morning News reports that only one of the 130 residents died that night. But in the two months since the blast, 14 more residents have died. Administrator Rose Ann Morris says that’s about double the rate for normal nursing home living. It’s impossible to say for sure, but some medical experts say the shock of the explosion and the stress of evacuating and relocating may have rushed death for some patients. KERA spoke to nursing home resident Johnnie Sinkule after he was evacuated.
- A New Class Of Space Explorers: The shuttle program may be enjoying retirement, but that didn’t stop a near record number of applicants from aiming for the skies. NASA just selected a class of eight new astronauts from the second largest pool of applicants in history. Texan Victor J. Glover, who hails from Prosper, is among the elite eight. The U.S. Navy Lt. Commander is an F/A-18 pilot and graduate of the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School. He’s currently serving as a Navy Legislative Fellow in Congress.
- Not Beggars, But Definitely Choosers: Experts are predicting oil and gas hiring to rev up in the second half of this year, which is good new for Texas. The field has been booming for the past few years, but analysts say the pace of hiring slowed slightly in early 2013 so companies could catch their breath. But corporations have re-grouped and are ready to hire. Paul Caplan, president of Rigzone says applicants are asking for more money and are now more likely to turn down an offer which shows the market has tipped in job-hunters’ favor. [KUHF]
- East Meets North Texas: Starting tomorrow morning, shoppers looking for a legitimate taste of diverse Asian culture will only need to make one stop; and that stop’s in Garland. The Cali Saigon Mall’s grand opening is a nod to DFW’s growing Asian population; the U.S. Census revealed tremendous growth between 2000 and 2010 in Collin County in particular. The special event tomorrow at 9 a.m. will feature lion dances and food demonstrations from Vietnamese, Chinese, Korean and other Indian communities. This shopping center houses several dozen small businesses as well as a supermarket featuring foods usually found in Saigon and other Asian countries. The Cali-Saigon Mall, formerly known as Saigon Mall, is located at 3212 N. Jupiter Road in Garland.