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Current Articles

The Legislative Reference Library produces a weekly list of current journal articles for members of the legislative community. Each week, librarians select and abstract articles of interest to the legislature from the latest issues of over 300 journals, newsletters, state documents, and trade publications. Electronic copies of the Current Articles list are distributed to legislative offices each Friday.

The Legislative Reference Library is located on the second floor of the State Capitol building in Room 2N.3. For more information, please call the Library at 512 463-1252.

October 16, 2014 list Print (PDF)

"The bulletproof classroom." By John Cloud. Bloomberg Businessweek, October 6-12, 2014, pp. 60-64
Discusses strategies employed in schools to avoid or combat school shooters. Explores lightweight armor in the form of white boards and clip boards so that students, teachers, and school officials have some protection in the event of an incident.
"Changing minds, one knock at a time." By Sasha Issenberg. Bloomberg Businessweek, October 13-19, 2014, pp. 30-31
Examines how door-to-door canvassing can change voters' minds on controversial issues, such as gay marriage.
"Fracking's funny numbers." By Asjylyn Loder and Isaac Arnsdorf. Bloomberg Businessweek, October 13-19, 2014, pp. 41-42
Explains that oil drilling companies often provide different estimates to federal regulators and investors. Discusses how companies use resource potential estimates rather than proven reserves when lobbying lawmakers to lift a 39-year-old crude oil export ban.
"Waking the sleeping Hispanic giant." By Melissa R. Michelson. Campaigns & Elections, September/October 2014, pp. 52-55
Discusses best practices for increasing voter participation among low-frequency voters in communities of color.
"Culture counts: engaging black and Latino parents of young children in family support programs." By Shannon Moodie and Manica Ramos. Child Trends, October 2014, pp. 1-16
Considers family support programs and services for reaching black and Latino families with a goal of encouraging young children's education and development.
See: http://www.childtrends.org/wp-content/uploads/2014 ...
"Profiles of adolescents who are not in good health." By Kristin A. Moore and Vanessa H. Sacks. Child Trends, October 2014, pp. 1-13
Describes adolescents in poor health and their personal, family, and neighborhood characteristics, using data from the 2011/2012 National Survey of Children’s Health. Includes table listing results by state.
See: http://www.childtrends.org/wp-content/uploads/2014 ...
"The 'silver tsunami': aging in the workforce." By David Harrison. CQ Weekly, September 29, 2014, pp. 1224-1225
Explores whether older workers, ages 55 and above, are an asset to the nation's workforce. Discusses the current trend towards delayed retirement and the reasons workers are retiring later. Suggests the economy benefits from older workers and that younger workers are not being displaced.
"Gay people's rights: so far, so fast." Economist, October 11th-17th, 2014, pp. 25-27
Discusses the change in attitudes toward homosexuality in America. Calls the change in public morality "startlingly quick" for a country where public opinion on controversial social issues usually changes slowly.
"Oil companies: unsustainable energy; Oil firms in Kazakhstan." Economist, October 11th-17th, 2014, pp. 73-74
Explains how oil exploration and production companies, the "upstream" part of the oil industry, are responding to slumping oil prices.
"Regulating big American insurers: questionable claims." Economist, October 11th-17th, 2014, pp. 78, 80-81
Reports several of America's biggest insurers are fighting federal regulators' attempts to subject them to expensive and complicated new rules, part of the financial reforms enacted to prevent the recurrence of events that led to the 2008 financial crisis.
"Rethinking the high school diploma." By Chester E. Finn, Jr., Richard D. Kahlenberg, and Sandy Kress. Education Next, Winter 2015, pp. 1-7
Presents commentary by Chester E. Finn, Jr. of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute; Richard D. Kahlenberg of the Century Foundation; and Sandy Kress, adviser to the George W. Bush Institute, on awarding high school diplomas. Considers whether states should adopt a two-tiered high school diploma system — issuing both academic and basic diplomas.
See: http://educationnext.org/rethinking-high-school-di ...
"Energy without borders." By Jacqueline Benton. Fiscal Notes, October 2014, pp. 1-8
Considers the implications for the energy industry if the ban on crude oil exports, created after the 1973-1974 OPEC oil embargo, is lifted. Discusses production in the Eagle Ford Shale.
See: http://www.window.state.tx.us/comptrol/fnotes/fn15 ...
"Does revamped testing level the playing field?" By Frank DiMaria. Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education, October 6, 2014, pp. 6-8
Discusses the College Board's redesign of the SAT and implementation of initiatives to help low-income high school students receive better test preparation. Includes criticism that questions whether the new initiatives can close the gaps in test scores between white students and historically underserved minority students.
"Making the hours count." By Alexander Holt. Internet Resource, 2014, pp. 1-10
Looks at the length of the school day and the challenges in measuring half-day or full-day schooling for early childhood education. Documents the research base on the effects of increasing instructional time in early education.
See: http://www.newamerica.org/downloads/Making_the_Hou ...
"Why should high-income countries help combat Ebola?" By Annette Rid and Ezekiel J. Emanuel. JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association), October 1, 2014, pp. 1297-1298
Discusses reasons why developed nations should assist undeveloped countries where Ebola is spreading. Provides both humanitarian and scientific reasons for helping such countries strengthen their health care systems and infrastructure.
"Charter schools as black boxes." By Pedro A. Noguera. Nation, October 13, 2014, pp. 27-28
Discusses the need for accountability and transparency in the charter school movement.
"The last teacher." By Gordon Lafer. Nation, October 13, 2014, pp. 30-33
Criticizes Rocketship Education's school reform model involving elimination of teachers and focus on educational testing. Notes state legislative responses to low-performing schools in Tennessee, Michigan, and Wisconsin, including creating special school districts and replacing the public schools with private charter schools.
"Human trafficking cases rarely result in restitution, study says." By Katelyn Polantz. National Law Journal & Legal Times, October 6, 2014, pp. 11, 14
Highlights report that shows the justice system is failing to provide legally-required restitution to victims in nearly two-thirds of federal human trafficking cases. Notes the United States Department of Justice disputes the report's findings, pointing out the department's zero tolerance for traffickers and that prosecutions have grown by 50 percent in four years.
Report at: http://www.htprobono.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/0 ...
"The long-term forecast for the Texas economy." Perryman Report and Texas Letter, Vol. 31, No. 7, 2014, pp. 1-3, 6
Presents long-term projections for the Texas economy through 2040. Notes the services sector will be the source of the majority of new jobs — 4.3 million of the total gain of 6.8 million jobs.
"FDA misses the mark with food labeling rules." By Robert Scharff and Sherzod Abdukadirov. Regulation (CATO Institute), Fall 2014, pp. 34-38
Claims the United States Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) proposed food labeling and serving size rules are built on poor analysis and unlikely to meet the agency's goal of providing more accurate nutrition labels that allow consumers to make healthier food choices. States the FDA's proposed regulations fail to maximize net benefits for consumers and do not reduce the regulatory burden on small businesses.
See: http://object.cato.org/sites/cato.org/files/serial ...
Related information at: http://www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceRegulation/Guidanc ...
"When Ebola protection fails." By Jon Cohen. Science, October 3, 2014, pp. 17-18
Examines the risks to health care workers who have contact with Ebola patients during treatment. Provides perspectives from health care workers who contracted Ebola and survived.
"Predatory lending." By Olivia Carmichael Solis. Texas Banking, October 2014, pp. 8-11
Discusses the recent 70 percent increase in property tax loans and risks for consumers. Describes the history of the tax lien lending industry and new property tax lender requirements in SB 247, 83rd Legislature, R.S.
"Tobacco dangers: 50 years of progress threatened." By Kara Nuzback. Texas Medicine, October 2014, pp. 18-25
Examines tobacco regulation over the years and the health consequence of tobacco use.
Report at: http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/library/reports/50-y ...
"Fear factor; A tale of two viruses." By Jeffrey Kluger, Emily Barone, and Tessa Berenson. Time, October 20, 2014, pp. 32-35
Discusses how the federal government is working to contain the Ebola virus and the Enterovirus D68. Details how the two diseases differ regarding cases, transmission, symptoms, and treatment. Includes historical timeline of disease containment in the United States.
"The paperless classroom is coming." By Michael Scherer. Time, October 20, 2014, pp. 36-38
Reports the national shift to digital technology in the K-12 classroom. Discusses pros and cons of replacing paper, textbooks, and pencils with computers and tablets. Profiles a California teacher who has enthusiastically embraced paperless learning.