The United States of America known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U. S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D. C. and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico; the State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean; the U. S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The diverse geography and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.
Paleo-Indians migrated from Siberia to the North American mainland at least 12,000 years ago. European colonization began in the 16th century; the United States emerged from the thirteen British colonies established along the East Coast. Numerous disputes between Great Britain and the colonies following the French and Indian War led to the American Revolution, which began in 1775, the subsequent Declaration of Independence in 1776; the war ended in 1783 with the United States becoming the first country to gain independence from a European power. The current constitution was adopted in 1788, with the first ten amendments, collectively named the Bill of Rights, being ratified in 1791 to guarantee many fundamental civil liberties; the United States embarked on a vigorous expansion across North America throughout the 19th century, acquiring new territories, displacing Native American tribes, admitting new states until it spanned the continent by 1848. During the second half of the 19th century, the Civil War led to the abolition of slavery.
By the end of the century, the United States had extended into the Pacific Ocean, its economy, driven in large part by the Industrial Revolution, began to soar. The Spanish–American War and World War I confirmed the country's status as a global military power; the United States emerged from World War II as a global superpower, the first country to develop nuclear weapons, the only country to use them in warfare, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Sweeping civil rights legislation, notably the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Fair Housing Act of 1968, outlawed discrimination based on race or color. During the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union competed in the Space Race, culminating with the 1969 U. S. Moon landing; the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 left the United States as the world's sole superpower. The United States is the world's oldest surviving federation, it is a representative democracy.
The United States is a founding member of the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Organization of American States, other international organizations. The United States is a developed country, with the world's largest economy by nominal GDP and second-largest economy by PPP, accounting for a quarter of global GDP; the U. S. economy is post-industrial, characterized by the dominance of services and knowledge-based activities, although the manufacturing sector remains the second-largest in the world. The United States is the world's largest importer and the second largest exporter of goods, by value. Although its population is only 4.3% of the world total, the U. S. holds 31% of the total wealth in the world, the largest share of global wealth concentrated in a single country. Despite wide income and wealth disparities, the United States continues to rank high in measures of socioeconomic performance, including average wage, human development, per capita GDP, worker productivity.
The United States is the foremost military power in the world, making up a third of global military spending, is a leading political and scientific force internationally. In 1507, the German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller produced a world map on which he named the lands of the Western Hemisphere America in honor of the Italian explorer and cartographer Amerigo Vespucci; the first documentary evidence of the phrase "United States of America" is from a letter dated January 2, 1776, written by Stephen Moylan, Esq. to George Washington's aide-de-camp and Muster-Master General of the Continental Army, Lt. Col. Joseph Reed. Moylan expressed his wish to go "with full and ample powers from the United States of America to Spain" to seek assistance in the revolutionary war effort; the first known publication of the phrase "United States of America" was in an anonymous essay in The Virginia Gazette newspaper in Williamsburg, Virginia, on April 6, 1776. The second draft of the Articles of Confederation, prepared by John Dickinson and completed by June 17, 1776, at the latest, declared "The name of this Confederation shall be the'United States of America'".
The final version of the Articles sent to the states for ratification in late 1777 contains the sentence "The Stile of this Confederacy shall be'The United States of America'". In June 1776, Thomas Jefferson wrote the phrase "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" in all capitalized letters in the headline of his "original Rough draught" of the Declaration of Independence; this draft of the document did not surface unti
Independent school district
An independent school district is a type of school district in some US states for primary and secondary education that operates as an entity independent and separate from any municipality, county, or state. As such, the administrative leadership of such districts is selected from within the district itself and has no direct responsibility to any other governmental authority; this independence also implies that the district has its own taxing authority, outside the direct control of other governmental entities. The state of Texas has by far the largest number of independent school districts, with all of its districts falling into this category; the term independent may be used to describe other types of school districts, though this is less common. The use of the term independent can vary in actual application in those states that use the term. In Kentucky, for example, all school districts are independent of the state and municipal governments. However, state law defines an "independent school district" as one whose jurisdiction does not cover an entire county, instead covering a city or cluster of cities.
As school districts were formed in the United States, they have been tied to municipal or county governments who have funded and administered them. In Texas during the early 1900s, school districts were divisions of county or municipal governments as in most of the country; the onset of the Texas Oil Boom changed many aspects of the state and many communities within it. Sudden discoveries of large petroleum reserves created numerous boomtowns whose populations multiplied tremendously in short periods; the growth was a mixed blessing for these communities. The rapid demographic change in the once small towns initially caused severe strain on the local school systems unprepared for the rapid influx of students; as money was flowing in the communities, obtaining tax revenue efficiently where it was needed was complex. Communities dealt with these problems by establishing independent school districts which could establish their own taxing authority and more adjust to changing financial demands. By 1921-2, the state had 7,369 common school districts.
Through the middle of the 20th century, many smaller common school district combined to become independent school districts. This type of school district is still the standard in Texas today. In the state of Texas, each district is run by a school board; the elected council of the school board helps determine educational policy within the boundaries of the school district, its taxable area, "independent" of state lines. The board has the ultimate say in the hiring and firing of principals and superintendents and other district-wide administrative positions; the employment of teachers in individual schools, however, is left to the principal and administrative staff of the respective schools. A school board is organized as a division under the respective city government of the city in which the district is located, but in areas where districts are older than nearby cities, a district can serve areas outside the city limits of the city it is named for. For example, Lewisville Independent School District encompasses the city limits of Lewisville, The Colony, Flower Mound, Highland Village.
In fact, it is common for multiple small suburbs or communities, with distinct city governments, to be served by a single school district. Conversely, large cities may include part or all of several school districts associated with communities that became part of the city by annexation while retaining their own school districts; the term "independent" is applicable in modern times, despite its early origins. As an example, the City of Dallas and the Dallas Independent School District are separate-run entities. In Kentucky standard school districts are organized at county level, with the district borders being identical with county boundaries unless the county contains one or more independent districts; the latter type of district is separate from any county district. Since 2013, the state has 53 independent school districts along with 120 county districts; the largest concentrations of independent districts are found in Northern Kentucky and the eastern coal region. Independent districts can be associated with: a single city—such as Ashland, Bowling Green, Owensboro, or Paducah—or a cluster of adjoining cities—such as the Caverna district, serving Cave City and Horse Cave.
Kentucky independent districts can cross county lines. The two cities served by the Caverna district are in different counties. Another such district serves a city divided by a county line. Education in Kentucky Education in Texas
Institute of Education Sciences
The Institute of Education Sciences is the independent, non-partisan statistics and evaluation arm of the U. S. Department of Education. IES' stated mission is to provide scientific evidence on which to ground education practice and policy and to share this information in formats that are useful and accessible to educators, policymakers and the public, it was created as part of the Education Sciences Reform Act of 2002. The first director of IES was Grover Whitehurst, appointed in November 2002 and served for six years. Dr. Mark Schneider is the Director of IES. IES is divided into four major research and statistics centers: National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance —NCEE conducts large-scale evaluations and provides research-based technical assistance and information about high-quality research to educators and policymakers in a variety of different formats. NCEE's work includes evaluations of education practices supported by federal funds. Dr. Matthew Soldner is the Commissioner of NCEE.
National Center for Education Research —NCER supports research to improve student outcomes and education quality in the United States and pursue workable solutions to the challenges faced by educators and the education community. NCER supports training programs to prepare researchers to conduct high quality, scientific education research. Dr. Elizabeth Albro is the Commissioner of NCER. National Center for Education Statistics —NCES is the primary federal entity that collects and analyzes data related to education in the United States and other nations. Among the programs and initiatives that NCES oversees is the National Assessment of Educational Progress. Dr. James Lynn Woodworth is the Commissioner of NCES. National Center for Special Education Research —NCSER sponsors and supports comprehensive research, designed to expand the knowledge and understanding of infants and children with disabilities, or those who are at risk of developing disabilities. NCSER supports training programs to prepare researchers to conduct high quality, scientific special education research.
Dr. Joan E. McLaughlin is the commissioner of NCSER; the National Board for Education Sciences serves as an advisory board for IES and has 15 voting members, who are appointed by the President of the United States. The Board includes several ex-officio, non-voting members, including the director of IES, the commissioners of the four centers, representatives of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, the U. S. Census Bureau, the U. S. Department of Labor, the National Science Foundation; the Board advises and consults with the director and the commissioners to identify research and organizational priorities for IES. Dr. Larry Hedges, of Northwestern University, is the chairman of the National Board for Education Sciences. Title 34 of the Code of Federal Regulations Institute of Education Sciences Official Website National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance Website
Boyd is a town in Wise County, United States. The population was 1,207 at the 2010 census, it is thirty miles northwest from the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex. Boyd is located at 33°5′41″N 97°33′48″W; the town has a total area of all land. As of the census of 2000, there were 1,099 people, 407 households, 306 families residing in the town; the population density was 382.1 people per square mile. There were 435 housing units at an average density of 151.2/sq mi. The racial makeup of the town was 87.99% White, 0.36% African American, 1.36% Native American, 0.18% Pacific Islander, 7.83% from other races, 2.27% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 14.01% of the population. There were 407 households out of which 40.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.1% were married couples living together, 14.7% had a female householder with no husband present, 24.6% were non-families. 22.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.4% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older.
The average household size was 2.70 and the average family size was 3.13. In the town, the population was spread out with 29.9% under the age of 18, 9.6% from 18 to 24, 29.2% from 25 to 44, 21.3% from 45 to 64, 9.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females, there were 94.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.5 males. The median income for a household in the town was $35,438, the median income for a family was $40,781. Males had a median income of $29,219 versus $22,237 for females; the per capita income for the town was $14,929. About 15.6% of families and 21.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 30.9% of those under age 18 and 11.9% of those age 65 or over. The Town of Boyd is served by the Boyd Independent School District; the school district includes four schools: Elementary, Intermediate and High Schools. A new Boyd High School was constructed, it is three times the size of the former high school building, needed to accommodate a growing population.
Murry Hammond from the Dallas-based rock band the Old 97's is from Boyd. Billy Joe Tolliver, former Texas Tech and San Diego Chargers QB, among others, is from Boyd. Bo, First Dog to Barack Obama, was bred in Boyd. Peter Mayhew, most famous for his role as Chewbacca resides in Boyd. Boyd's High School football team, the Boyd Yellowjackets, are the 1983 AA & 2004 Division I - AA State Champions; the Yellowjackets were 1999 AA Division I State Finalists. The Lady Jacket basketball team went to the AA State Finals in 1980 and 2001; the Boys Cross Country team went to the AAA State meet in 2017. The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Boyd has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps
Texas Education Agency
The Texas Education Agency is a branch of the state government of Texas in the United States responsible for public education. The agency is headquartered in the William B. Travis State Office Building in Downtown Austin. Mike Morath a member of the Dallas Independent School District's board of trustees, was appointed commissioner of education by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Dec. 14, 2015 and began serving on Jan. 4, 2016. Prior to the late 1940s, Many school districts in Texas did not operate schools but spent money to send children to schools operated by other districts. In the late 1940s state lawmakers passed a bill abolishing those districts, prompting a wave of mass school district consolidation. TEA is responsible for the oversight of public primary and secondary education in the state of Texas, involving both the over 1,000 individual school districts in the state as well as charter schools, it is responsible for the safety of students. However, it does not have any jurisdiction over parochial schools nor over home schools.
Although school districts are independent governmental entities, TEA has the authority to oversee a district's operations if serious issues arise. This can be in the form of requiring the district to submit corrective action plans and regular status reports, assigning monitors to oversee operations, in extreme cases closure of a school campus or the entire school district; the University Interscholastic League, which oversees academic and athletic interscholastic competition in Texas public schools, is a separate entity not under TEA oversight. In addition to primary and secondary education, TEA has oversight duties with respect to driver's education courses and defensive driving courses. On November 7, 2007, Christine Comer resigned as the director of the science curriculum after more than nine years. Comer said that her resignation was a result of pressure from officials who claimed that she had given the appearance of criticizing the teaching of intelligent design. In 2009, the Board received criticism from more than fifty scientific organizations over an attempt to weaken science standards on evolution.
In 2010, a group of historians, including Jean A. Stuntz of West Texas A&M University in Canyon, signed a petition to oppose the revisions in the social studies curricula approved by the state Board, changes which require the inclusion of conservative topics in public school instruction. For instance, Jefferson's name must be restored to a list of Enlightenment thinkers. There must be emphasis on the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States in regard to property rights. Students must be taught that new documents, the Venona project, verify U. S. Senator Joseph R. McCarthy's suspicions of communist infiltration of the U. S. government during the post-World War II era. Stuntz told the Amarillo Globe-News, they don't know what they're doing."In October 2012, The Revisionaries, a documentary film about the re-election of the chairman of the Texas Board of Education Don McLeroy and the curriculum controversy was released. In late January 2013, PBS's Independent Lens aired an abridged version the film.
Texas House Speaker Joe Straus of San Antonio said that the government should "take a look" at the structure of the Board and consider a nonpartisan or appointed board if the elected members are "not getting their job done and they're not pleasing the Legislature or the citizens we ought to take) a thorough look at what they are doing." In 2010, it was said to be "drafting its own version of American history", including altering school textbooks to remove what it said was a "left leaning bias" and making changes that are said to have "religious and racial overtones". For example, the proposed curriculum would downplay Thomas Jefferson's emphasis on the separation of church and state, would include a greater emphasis on the importance of religion to the founding fathers. Other changes include downplaying Abraham Lincoln's role in the civil war and putting more emphasis on the Confederate leader Jefferson Davis, questioning the Civil Rights Movement in addition to downplaying Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy, removing such instances and points of history such as downplaying slavery, putting more emphasis on the states rights cause during the Civil War.
Critics of the proposed changes believe that such a focus on the religious elements of the founding period could cause teachers to omit lessons on history more pertinent to national standards. The current Commissioner of Education is Mike Morath. A former member of the Dallas Independent School District's board of trustees, he was appointed commissioner of education by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Dec. 14, 2015. The commissioner's role is to manage the Texas Education Agency; the Commissioner co-ordinates efforts between state and federal agencies. TEA is overseen by a 15-member State Board of Education, elected from single-member districts for four years; the board devises policies and sets academic standards for Texas public schools, as well as overseeing the state Permanent School Fund and selecting textbooks to be used in Texas schools. Since 2011, the board can still recommend textbooks, but public school districts can order their own books and materials if their selections are not on the state-approved list.
So far, most districts have continued to follow
Texas is the second largest state in the United States by both area and population. Geographically located in the South Central region of the country, Texas shares borders with the U. S. states of Louisiana to the east, Arkansas to the northeast, Oklahoma to the north, New Mexico to the west, the Mexican states of Chihuahua, Nuevo León, Tamaulipas to the southwest, while the Gulf of Mexico is to the southeast. Houston is the most populous city in Texas and the fourth largest in the U. S. while San Antonio is the second-most populous in the state and seventh largest in the U. S. Dallas–Fort Worth and Greater Houston are the fourth and fifth largest metropolitan statistical areas in the country, respectively. Other major cities include Austin, the second-most populous state capital in the U. S. and El Paso. Texas is nicknamed "The Lone Star State" to signify its former status as an independent republic, as a reminder of the state's struggle for independence from Mexico; the "Lone Star" can be found on the Texan state seal.
The origin of Texas's name is from the word taysha. Due to its size and geologic features such as the Balcones Fault, Texas contains diverse landscapes common to both the U. S. Southern and Southwestern regions. Although Texas is popularly associated with the U. S. southwestern deserts, less than 10% of Texas's land area is desert. Most of the population centers are in areas of former prairies, grasslands and the coastline. Traveling from east to west, one can observe terrain that ranges from coastal swamps and piney woods, to rolling plains and rugged hills, the desert and mountains of the Big Bend; the term "six flags over Texas" refers to several nations. Spain was the first European country to claim the area of Texas. France held a short-lived colony. Mexico controlled the territory until 1836 when Texas won its independence, becoming an independent Republic. In 1845, Texas joined the union as the 28th state; the state's annexation set off a chain of events that led to the Mexican–American War in 1846.
A slave state before the American Civil War, Texas declared its secession from the U. S. in early 1861, joined the Confederate States of America on March 2nd of the same year. After the Civil War and the restoration of its representation in the federal government, Texas entered a long period of economic stagnation. Four major industries shaped the Texas economy prior to World War II: cattle and bison, cotton and oil. Before and after the U. S. Civil War the cattle industry, which Texas came to dominate, was a major economic driver for the state, thus creating the traditional image of the Texas cowboy. In the 19th century cotton and lumber grew to be major industries as the cattle industry became less lucrative, it was though, the discovery of major petroleum deposits that initiated an economic boom which became the driving force behind the economy for much of the 20th century. With strong investments in universities, Texas developed a diversified economy and high tech industry in the mid-20th century.
As of 2015, it is second on the list of the most Fortune 500 companies with 54. With a growing base of industry, the state leads in many industries, including agriculture, energy and electronics, biomedical sciences. Texas has led the U. S. in state export revenue since 2002, has the second-highest gross state product. If Texas were a sovereign state, it would be the 10th largest economy in the world; the name Texas, based on the Caddo word táyshaʼ "friend", was applied, in the spelling Tejas or Texas, by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves the Hasinai Confederacy, the final -s representing the Spanish plural. The Mission San Francisco de los Tejas was completed near the Hasinai village of Nabedaches in May 1690, in what is now Houston County, East Texas. During Spanish colonial rule, in the 18th century, the area was known as Nuevo Reino de Filipinas "New Kingdom of the Philippines", or as provincia de los Tejas "province of the Tejas" also provincia de Texas, "province of Texas", it was incorporated as provincia de Texas into the Mexican Empire in 1821, declared a republic in 1836.
The Royal Spanish Academy recognizes both spellings and Texas, as Spanish-language forms of the name of the U. S. State of Texas; the English pronunciation with /ks/ is unetymological, based in the value of the letter x in historical Spanish orthography. Alternative etymologies of the name advanced in the late 19th century connected the Spanish teja "rooftile", the plural tejas being used to designate indigenous Pueblo settlements. A 1760s map by Jacques-Nicolas Bellin shows a village named Teijas on Trinity River, close to the site of modern Crockett. Texas is the second-largest U. S. state, with an area of 268,820 square miles. Though 10% larger than France and twice as large as Germany or Japan, it ranks only 27th worldwide amongst country subdivisions by size. If it were an independent country, Texas would be the 40th largest behind Zambia. Texas is in the south central part of the United States of America. Three of its borders are defined by rivers; the Rio Grande forms a natural border with the Mexican states of Chihuahua, Nuevo León, Tamaulipas to the south.
The Red River forms a natural border with Arkansas to the north. The Sabine River forms a natural border with Louisiana to the east; the Texas Panhandle has an eastern border with Oklahoma at 100° W, a northern border with Oklahoma at 36°30' N and a western