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New in Trib+Edu: Who’s the Next Texas Education Chief?

In this week's edition of the Trib+Edu newsletter: Sizing up the contenders to succeed Michael Williams at TEA, tracking the progress of the follow up to No Child Left Behind and an interview with Kevin Cokley of the University of Texas at Austin.

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As Texas Population Grows, More Languages are Spoken at Home

Immigrants from all over the world — China, Russia, India, Italy, Venezuela — gathered at the First United Methodist Church in downtown Austin on a recent Monday with a shared goal: learning English. In one classroom, they ran through pronunciation exercises, sounding out phrases like “sit on the seat” and “so you saw him.” In another, they learned vocabulary words related to apartment complexes. “Fire escape, playground, big screen TV, balcony,” they repeated after their teacher, stumbling over “recreation room” and “landlord.”

As the state's demographics shift, the number of languages spoken in Texas households is growing — up to 164 in the last U.S. Census count. So are the challenges associated with providing educational services to an increasingly diverse state population. Of the 23.7 million people in Texas who are five years of age or older, more than a third speak a language other than English at home.

You Say You Hate Black Friday. Maybe You’re Just Lying to Yourself.

Over the past five years, Black Friday has migrated steadily into Thanksgiving, with each new year bringing fresh examples of big box stores flinging their doors open on Turkey Day. But this year the trend hit the skids. Though Walmart and the other usual suspects will still open on Thanksgiving Day, many big retailers—Costco, Nordstrom, Marshalls, and Home Depot, for example—are holding the line. Outdoor superstore REI went even further, announcing that it will be closed not only on Thanksgiving, but all the way through Black Friday. Are consumers finally starting to get fed up with the holiday shopping hype?

Earth Doesn’t Have Be Doomed Like Atlantis — We Can Change Course

This story originally appeared in Slate and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration. When it comes to confronting global climate change, we don't have much experience to draw on. As world leaders prepare to meet in Paris starting on November 30 to hash out a binding international agreement to limit greenhouse gases, it appears that we are in new and frightening territory, without the past as a reliable guide. History, however, can offer some important lessons. Archaeologists in recent years have discovered that dramatic weather events helped lay the foundations for our very civilization.

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Meet the world’s 25 most endangered primates

Every two years, primate experts compile a report that highlights 25 primates that are in severe crisis. These are the most endangered monkeys, apes and lemurs in the world. On Tuesday, an international coalition of 63 primate conservation experts -- including the Primate Specialist Group of IUCN's Species Survival Commission (SSC), Bristol Zoological Society, the International Primatological Society (IPS), and Conservation International – released the latest edition of the report “Primates in Peril: The world's 25 most endangered primates”. The 25 primates are most threatened by habitat destruction, hunting for food and illegal wildlife trade. “The purpose of our Top 25 list is to highlight those primates most at risk, to attract the attention of the public, to stimulate national governments to do more, and especially to find the resources to implement desperately needed conservation measures,” Russell Mittermeier, Chair of the IUCN/SSC Primate Specialist Group and Executive Vice Chair of Conservation International, said in a statement.