Five stories that have North Texas talking: Dallas has some of the country’s best high schools; folks aren’t happy about bringing deep fryers back to Texas public schools; once upon a time, women wearing shorts in Fort Worth was a problem; and more.
Dallas ISD has some of the best high schools in the country. That’s according to U.S. News & World Report, which has released its annual rankings. Dallas ISD’s School for the Talented and Gifted is No. 1 – for the fourth consecutive year. The School of Science and Engineering Magnet is No. 5. Another Texas high school made the top 10 – Carnegie Vanguard High in Houston. U.S. News considered student performance on state tests, how schools educate minorities and poor students, as well as participation and performance on Advanced Placement exams. U.S. News talked with the head of Dallas' School for the Talented and Gifted: “Principal Ben Mackey says high expectations and a supportive environment are among the keys to running a successful high school. His school enrolls about 250 students – roughly 60 per grade. ‘We are a small school and we believe very passionately that that is one of our major things that sets us apart,’ he says. ‘It allows us to really build and create a familial culture where I as a principal know every single student by more than just their name.’” Explore the rankings here.
- Some family heirlooms hidden in a dresser and found during a Houston-area estate sale will be returned to relatives of the man who died. Officials with Premier Estate Sales Network planned to hand over the estimated $10,000 worth of gold jewelry, dog tags, coins from the 1930s and other items on Thursday in Spring. Company representative Jeffrey Allen says a buyer on Saturday paid $125 for a supposed empty three-drawer dresser during an estate sale in Missouri City. The dresser was turned on its side, for loading, when Allen heard sounds like a "slot machine." A hidden bottom drawer yielded the valuables. Allen says the buyer kept the dresser but insisted the heirlooms be returned. The family's name and further details on them weren't immediately released. [Associated Press]
- Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller’s proposal to bring deep fat fryers and soda machines back to the public schools has generated quite a bit of concern. The Texas Tribune reports: “Some teachers, nurses and parents don't appear to share his appetite for sugary drinks and french fries. The Texas Department of Agriculture received nearly 200 public comments in response to Miller's proposed repeal of a 10-year-old state policy that bans deep fat fryers and soda machines in public schools while limiting the time and place where junk food can be sold. … Of the 194 commenters, 135 were opposed to the proposed changes. Deep fat fryers were the overwhelming target of concern, with commenters using choice terms – "surprised," "shocked," "disheartened" and "appalled" – to describe their outrage. ” [Texas Tribune]
- NPR explores the Texas Legislature’s efforts against same-sex marriage. “The bill that just got initial approval in the Texas Senate would protect clergy from having to conduct any marriage ceremony or perform any service that would violate their sacred beliefs,” NPR reports. “‘We want to make sure they are not ever coerced into performing a marriage ceremony that would violate their sincerely held religious beliefs,’ State Sen. Craig Estes told NPR. Estes sponsored the bill. The clergy are already protected from being compelled to do anything that would violate their religious beliefs; it's encoded in the language of separation of church and state in the Texas Constitution. But Estes argues that the Texas Constitution actually says nothing about same-sex marriage and the clergy's rights regarding such, so he wanted to firm up the language.” Read more here.
- Sixty years ago, wearing shorts caused problems in Fort Worth. NPR’s History Dept. reports: “In the spring of 1952, the Fort Worth City Council received a letter from a concerned citizen, the United Press reported. The council's brief consideration of banning shorts had made national news. When a person wears shorts, the alarmed woman wrote, it is "an advertisement for adultery." The woman told the council she was a "decent lady" who resented having to look at the "ugly legs" of men and women in shorts. Exposed gams, she added, were a "disgrace to humanity." Read more here.