Why Johnny Can’t Learn

In the decade since the No Child Left Behind Act made “accountability” the buzzword of public education, underperforming schools across the country have endured not-so-private dramas of survival. At the insistence of the government, failing institutions must quickly turn themselves around or close up shop.

Amy Cook

The San Jose–born singer relocated to Marfa in 2004 and Austin in 2005, after growing restless pursuing a music career in Los Angeles. Her latest, SUMMER SKIN (Roothouse/Thirty Tigers), out August 28, was produced by Craig Street and features bass playing by Meshell Ndegeocello and guest appearances from Patty Griffin, Ben Kweller, and Robert Plant.

The Big Test

Last January, at the Texas Association of School Administrators (TASA) midwinter conference, education commissioner Robert Scott strode to the stage to give a presentation about student performance. A trim man with a youthful face and short blond hair, he did not begin his remarks with the kind of cheerleading that the audience had come to expect from previous meetings. “I’m going to try to do things a little bit differently this year,” he said.

Jennifer Walden, Plastic Surgeon

Walden, who grew up in Austin, was the salutatorian of her class 
at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. After 
completing an aesthetic surgery fellowship at the Manhattan Eye, Ear, and Throat Hospital, she built a successful practice in New York City, 
then returned to her hometown in 2011. She is a co-author of 
the book Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.

Cinco De Mayo Cocktails

Tomorrow is the day to put on your finest over-sized derby hats and sombreros and sit in front of the television sipping homemade cocktails for Cinco De Mayo and Derby Day. We’ve put together a list of two cocktail recipes to make at home for the occassion.

Drink.Well. Couple Falls in Love over Wine, Spirits, Brews, and All-American Cuisine

Near the end of February 2012, former New Yorkers Michael and Jessica Sanders opened their American neighborhood pub, drink.well., in the North Loop District of Austin, featuring a delicious selection of all-American cocktails, craft beers, wine, and spirits on the menu.

Bill Collings, Luthier

Collings makes some of the best acoustic guitars in the world and counts Lyle Lovett, Pete Townshend, Keith Richards, and Joni Mitchell among his customers. His company, located outside Austin on U.S. 290, is famed not only for the high quality of its instruments but also for its refusal to make bargain versions, the way Martin, Gibson, and Taylor do. The average price for a new Collings acoustic is $5,000, but as fans will tell you, it’s worth it.

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