Monday, August 13, 2012

 I read  Scott's blog recently and found his post about gas prices really interesting. In his post he mentioned a possibility of switching to electric cars, and I focused mainly on that and expanded on it. Here is my comment.

  I agree with you that gas prices are increasing to gruesome amounts, but I do not think that a switch  to electric/alternative fueled cars would be a simple task. As you said above that any attempt is better than no attempt. Currently electric cars do not look so great, which is probably an incentive people do not buy them. Anyways Telsa Motors ( is making series of electric cars that actually look nice, and is appealing to the customers. This could soon help with the switch.
  Also the Government is trying to make incentives of electric cars, due to the problem you stated above. One of them is to give up to $7500 in tax credit for those who buy electric cars. Right now it is an ongoing situation.  Recently the funding Obama originally planned for the electric car companies severely decreased ( as of June 2nd. The article also says many companies that were/are planning to make electric cars either haven't made their first delivery yet, gone out of business, or stopped production. So far the switch over to electric cars is not going very smoothly, with a lot of bumps in the road (no pun intended). I am not saying there are currently no electric cars, but just not a majority, because there are currently electric cars.
  If we can make a successful switch to electric cars then we would not have to rely on the Middle East for gas as much, and people with these cars can avoid the high prices. This will diffidently take a while for a major switch and to break the monopoly, but for now most of our nation is stuck with having to use the expensive gas. 

Friday, August 10, 2012

In recent years Texas public schools have had major budget cuts, resulting in cutting staff members, reducing bus services, school programs not properly being funded and even some schools shutting down , such as Veterans' Hill Elementary. Last year my high school cut a lot of the staff, and hired 1/3 of them back, yet a number of them were gone due to budget cuts. Also the classroom sizes increased to about 35-40 kids in a classroom, from the previous 25-30. If Texas used some of the Rainy Day Fund to fund schools, all these changes the school makes will not occur and the education quality will increase as well. The state is an economic re balancing issue, but we can fix that without messing with the education funds.

Currently school districts get money from local property tax, but we can see through changes this is not sufficient enough in some places. Schools are doing these changes to save money, because they are not being funded enough. If the state used the Rainy Day Fund (Not sure how much, but enough to help education) we would not have to make all of these cuts, to save little amounts of money such as a Forth Worth school district cut $1.5 million by cutting buses for kids who lived 2 miles radius of the school, the superintendent said  “It’s buses or teachers, and we’re choosing teachers.” If the budget was used they would not have to choose between these two things. This not only affects students, but teachers as well.

In order to save money schools might let some teachers go, and this can be devastating. According to this article about 100,000 of the states 330,000 will not return this fall. It isn't what the school wants to do it is what the school has to do. This accommodates 3.8% of people statewide who lost their jobs this school year. This would literally raise the unemployment rate 3.8%, from  6.9% to 10.7%. This would mean Texas would have their unemployment rate 2.5% more then the national average of 8.2%. 

Once theses factors are covered by the state the schools can focus on the educational quality of their students rather than these harsh choices. Maybe this could then raise the state's rating in public education? Maybe we are focusing too much on other issues about schools rather than the education? Maybe we should use the Rainy Day Fund to fund schools?

Friday, August 3, 2012

I read Thomas Brown's blog about how UT shouldn't carry the top 10% rule anymore, and here is my response to his blog.

  I could not agree with you anymore. I believe UT should switch into a complete holistic review instead admitting by top 10%. I would like to point out that they changed it from top 10% to top 8% now by passing senate bill 175  ( Now that takes up 75% of admissions and only leaves 25% to be holistically admitted. When UT determines admissions,excluding top 8%, they look at GPA,extra-curricular, essays, leadership, and volunteer hours. I like your example you have, but I am going to take that a step further . Let's say that there is a person who was in the top 8%, and all he did was study and has no volunteer hours or extracurricular activities and he has a GPA of 3.4. Let's say there is another person in another school who has a GPA of 3.4 and is not in the top 8%, but he is president of debate, is in  varsity football, and has 72 volunteer hours. Same GPA, but different schools and different standards of top 8%. The first person would get admitted into UT while the second person might not. This is due to the fact that there is the top 8% percent rule, and it happens all the time. I have a friend who came from another school, there he was in the top 2% of his class, and when he came to my High school he had a difficult time with his classes, and fell to top 40%. When I confronted him about this, he said that my school was harder than his old one. If he had stayed there he most likely would have graduated in top 8% while people at my school would not have do to different difficulties and standards. This is an issue and UT should switch into a holistic review, from the old top 8% rule.