It's no secret: Texas is big. And it's getting bigger.
The Lone Star State has added about 5 million people since the turn of the century, and its population is expected to swell by another 5 million by 2020.
This week, NPR examines the dramatic demographic shifts underway in the Lone Star State in our series Texas 2020. We'll look ahead to how the second-biggest state could change in the next decade — and what that could mean for the rest of America.
"Common Core" is one of the biggest phrases in education today. To many educators and policymakers, it's a big, exciting idea that will ensure that America's students have the tools to succeed after graduation.
But a growing number of conservatives see things differently.
For years, states used their own, state-specific standards to lay out what K-12 students should be learning, for everything from punctuation to algebra. But those standards varied wildly, so the Common Core replaces them with one set of national standards for math and English language arts.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (foreground) speaks after a meeting with President Obama at the White House on Feb. 25. With him (from left): National Governors Association Vice Chairwoman Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin, and Delaware Gov. Jack Markell.
Credit Alex Wong / Getty Images
Republican Gov. Rick Scott, who is already executing prisoners faster than any Florida governor in modern times, signed a bill Monday designed to speed up the death penalty process.
Six weeks ago, Democratic Gov. Martin O'Malley moved in the opposite direction: He signed a bill abolishing the death penalty, making Maryland the sixth state to end capital punishment in as many years.
A little more than a year ago, Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker survived a recall election after an epic battle with unions that gave him folk-hero status with many conservatives. Some political observers now consider him a presidential contender.
But Walker is downplaying that talk, even as he takes steps that hint at national ambition.