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2002 Stories by Margaret Downing

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  • Wake-Up Call

    published November 28, 2002

    Only 2 percent of fifth-grade students who take the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills science test in Spanish will pass it. Ninety-eight... More >>

  • Judging Rory

    published October 31, 2002

    Carolyn Casale Taub stood there in her nice black dress, waiting to get through the five-minute formality that she had been assured would go so... More >>

  • Power Plays

    published October 24, 2002

    On Tuesday, October 15, Houston school district trustee Jeff Shadwick took time out from his early-morning schedule to visit T.H. Rogers school... More >>

  • Basic Truths

    published September 12, 2002

    He took command, grabbing the pulpit, spinning away from it, making and remaking his points in the beautiful rolling tones that spoke to his... More >>

  • Myths and Legends

    published September 5, 2002

    For months, Captain Mark Aguirre of Houston's South Central Patrol Division carried around a videotape of late-night drag racing along Westheimer... More >>

  • The Old West

    published August 22, 2002

    Virgil Dugan doesn't get around too well anymore. He walks carefully through his house, tethered by a lengthy oxygen cord that wraps around his... More >>

  • Reality Check

    published July 25, 2002

    Jesus, Mary and Joseph would feel right at home in Houston these days. The county's mental health agency is turning away new nonemergency... More >>

  • Million-Dollar Babies

    published June 27, 2002

    The Houston Independent School District has been keeping children in the alternative schools run by a private company months, even years, after... More >>

  • Common Cents

    published June 20, 2002

    Every day, Maverick Chevalier, who seems to be a courtly, gentle man, 41 years of age, fishes his own feces out of the toilet, puts it in a... More >>

  • The Big Deal

    published June 6, 2002

    Fat little piggies -- that's who to blame for all this. The children of America have become a non-marching army of Pillsbury Doughboys after... More >>

  • A Fixer-Upper

    published May 30, 2002

    When HISD Superintendent Kaye Stripling sent a task force of educators into Jesse Jones High in January to sort through what had become one of her... More >>

  • IMAX by Extraterrestrials

    published May 16, 2002

    A narrow tunnel closes in on you. You squeeze your way through an opening that looks no bigger than a doggy door. The tiny room beyond -- that's... More >>

  • God Only Knows

    published May 2, 2002

    When Marti and Donna Rickard walked into the Vineyard Church in the Heights for the first time, they knew this was the church for them. "They did... More >>

  • Telling Secrets

    published April 18, 2002

    The new white T-shirts are covered with bright colors. Some of the painting is messy and frantic, some exactingly precise. In most cases it's not... More >>

  • A Split Decision

    published April 18, 2002

    Last week, Superintendent Kaye Stripling got word to Jones High School Principal Lawrence Allen that he could keep his job, but she was pulling... More >>

  • The Great Divide

    published March 7, 2002

    It was a standard high school parents meeting, beginning with a lengthy discussion of senior photos and student yearbooks. Adults, tired at the... More >>

  • Otherworldly

    published February 28, 2002

    The camera tracks through the house. It flickers past school desks, blue cereal bowls and a dog kennel. There is no sound as it sweeps down a... More >>

  • It's About Time

    published January 24, 2002

    In the last school year, Zoe Bubier was devastated when she got the news that she wouldn't be able to go to kindergarten -- she'd missed the... More >>

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