Monthly Archives: July, 2016

Texas Women are also our Heroes

July 27th, 2016 Posted by writings 0 comments on “Texas Women are also our Heroes”

This last week in Dallas marked a rash of bloodshed that was horrific from any perspective. The men and women who were injured in the line of duty had vowed to protect the public and five did with their lives. We owe all of them an enormous debt of gratitude and respect. As a woman, I want to comment on two of the injured, Misty McBride and Gretchen Rocha.

Ms. McBride is a Dallas Area Rapid Transit police officer whose career is in public safety, and last week she was the one attacked.

Ms. Rocha was a newly minted police officer in the Dallas Police Department when she was shot. A fellow police officer near her was fatally wounded and she took him to the hospital.

Both of these women are now recovering but their lives are forever changed.

Taking a Stand for Education

July 27th, 2016 Posted by writings 0 comments on “Taking a Stand for Education”

It is commonplace for us to say that we want the best for our children, including education, but it is not so commonplace to be sure we give it to them.  Education is the essential underpinning of every human activity – whether it is simply to be able to communicate with each other, have the mental tools to create innovative solutions to problems, or earn enough to care for ourselves.

As adults, we should all care about whether our public school system is delivering the goods. It would seem that it is struggling and we may or may not be mindful of where the shortfall lies.

In late May, Texans for Positive Economic Policy in conjunction with the Texas A&M University, issued the educational transparency tool called Texas Smart Schools.  It can be found at and it provides data pertaining to each and every school district in the state, including all charters, with information as detailed as how our individual campuses are performing.

The Texas Legislature in HB 4, which was passed last session, made improvements to the pre-kindergarten program and it is going to be critical that those efforts are able to be measured.  What works?  And what doesn’t?  Both metrics are vital to making any  needed changes.

The U.S. Government Accountability Office report which surveyed the years between 2000 and 2014 found that schools with higher indices of poverty had a much narrower curriculum for their students.  That doesn’t bode well for those students in an increasingly global economy.

When we put together Texas Smart Schools, we hoped that educators, parents, business men and women would take the time to actually look at how their local schools and districts are performing.  If there is a nearby school that is outperforming its peers, it should be applauded first, and then copied.  What are they doing and how are they doing it?

For a number of decades, there have been a series of reports in frightening repetition which look at American students as they fail to compete effectively with children from across the globe. Our obligation as Texans and citizens is to engage in efforts that will produce the best educational results for all.  Yes, all Texans.  And right now.  These Texans in school today don’t have any time to waste.  I urge you to look at Texas Smart Schools, and work to make all schools perform at their highest potential.  This kind of transparency can be transformative.
Susan Combs, former Comptroller, and Principal of Texans for Positive Economic Policy, based in Austin.

Congratulations Prime Minister Theresa May

July 27th, 2016 Posted by writings 0 comments on “Congratulations Prime Minister Theresa May”

After the British voters decided to leave the European Union, pundits figured that Boris Johnson,  the former mayor of London and lead advocate for the exit, would be the new prime minister, and head of the Conservative Party.  That looked solid until his allies deserted him.

Suddenly, Theresa May, the widely respected Home Secretary, became the lead candidate.  There was a brief skirmish with Andrea Leadsome but that vanished when Ms. Leadsome intimated that Ms. May wasn’t qualified because she hadn’t had children.  The negative reaction to those comments prompted her withdrawal from the race leaving Ms. May in undisputed first place.

She will be only the second female prime minister and comparisons to Margaret Thatcher and Angela Merkel are being made.  How did she get there?  She came from a conservative background, with her father a Church of England vicar.  Her mother was a traditional homemaker.  But as with so many leading women, she distinguished herself by hard work, focus on details, and keeping her head down.  In the difficult and challenging position of Home Secretary, she faced down the police union and achieved other results that would not have been expected.  I read somewhere that Mr. Cameron feared her ascendancy and didn’t assist her rise.

I am personally  thrilled to see her get the job, not because she is a woman, but because she is the right person for the job. She is not only  ready for it, but she has the temperament, and is respected buy levitra vardenafil.  She has earned the trust and respect of the public as well as her colleagues.  One even called her a ‘damned difficult woman’, which in my book is a high accolade.

Given the Brexit vote, she will need to forge a path through the very thorny thickets that lie ahead by giving the citizens a sense of a new vision, while  showing the public that a steady hand is on the tiller.

Congratulations to Theresa May.  My fingers are crossed that she and our friends across the Pond are going to have a successful new era.


Museum of the Big Bend

July 8th, 2016 Posted by projectSummary 0 comments on “Museum of the Big Bend”

Susan’s family has deep roots in the Big Bend region. Her family’s ranch is in Brewster County where she grew up on a ranch that’s been in her family since 1882. Susan is passionate about the area and proudly serves on the advisory council of the Museum of the Big Bend.

I am a truly passionate Texan who appreciates the heritage and history of our great state. The Museum of the Big Bend is a Texas treasure dedicated to preserving our Texas history and celebrating our ancestors. I encourage you to make a visit to this Texas gem. Learn more here:

Make Healthy Easier

July 8th, 2016 Posted by projectSummary 0 comments on “Make Healthy Easier”

Unhealthy lifestyles have become an increasing issue across our country and our state.

Susan partnered with It’t Time Texas to create an initiative to create a healthy future for our children. It’s Time Texas works with other statewide organizations to utilize resources and empower Texans to live healthier lives.

Learn more here:


July 6th, 2016 Posted by projectSummary 0 comments on “TXSmartSchools”

Transparency is vital to the improvement of our educational system in Texas. After many years of championing this initiative, TXSmartSchools was launched thanks to the efforts of Texans for Positive Economic Policy and Texas A&M University in College Station. This program allows parents to research their children’s schools as well as encourage school administrations to improve in struggling areas and celebrate their school’s accomplishments. You deserve to know the education Texas schools are providing for your children levitra 20mg.

The heart of the TXSmartSchools website is the Apples2Apples data exploration tool that enables you to interact with Texas public school and district data.

Just pick any Texas school or district — or several schools and districts — and Apples2Apples will retrieve the data and suggest fiscal peers for comparison.

Learn more here: