Friday, July 24, 2009

Eliot Shapleigh: Texas on the Brink

Every once in a while you get a little report card issued out of State Senator Eliot Shapleigh’s personal website. It’s a good read and just a little embarrassing because it shows just what I have been ranting and raving about on this blog.

Texans would rather have lower taxes than a properly educated population.

You can read it here, but I have isolated the points of greatest concern below.

  • Highest percent of uninsured children in the nation
  • In last place in the percentage of residents that have a high school diploma
  • Near last place in SAT scores.
  • The most polluted air in the nation (hey, we’re good at something anyway).

He closes with this fun fact:

“Let us not forget that the business of Texas is Texans. To ‘Close the Gap’ in Texas, we must graduate more of our best and brightest with the skills to succeed in a world based on knowledge. If we invest in our greatest resource, Texas will be the state of the future. If we do not, family incomes will fall an average of $6,000 by 2040.”

Texas is on the brink. The choice is ours.”


Anonymous said...

How much higher do your taxes need to be to get this straightened out?

Don't just talk about raising taxes, tell us how much more you're willing to pay?

I want this fixed. How much higher do taxes need to be?

Morgan Howard said...

Money is not the only important element in reforming education but for conservatives to argue that money is off the table to make the system better is illogical, complacent and discriminatory. You won't attract or keep quality teachers if you don't pay a competitive salary. You won't have students wanting to stay in school if they don't have equal access to quality resources (like good teachers who feel compensated). Until illogical, complacent and discriminatory attitudes are reformed about the education system, there will continue to be no progress in affirming the intentions of our Founding Fathers to protect the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Anonymous said...

I want to pay more. How much are we all going to need to pay to get this fixed?

Are teachers at schools with lower test scores worse than teachers at the schools with higher test scores?

Hal said...

It's too simplistic a question. And therein lies the fallacy of NCLB and teacher accountability.

OK, here's an analogy. One state wants to rate the quality of its lakes by the number of ducks that are attracted to them. The more ducks there are, obviously the better the lake.

However, the rating doesn't take into account the number of duck hunters sitting behind blinds or which lakes are most hunted.

How much more do we need to invest in education? By some standards, Vermont has the highest performing students in the nation. They pay over $11,000 per student per year. Texas pays somewhere in the $6400/student/year rate. Somewhere between that, I imagine.

curls_your_hair said...

"Texans would rather have lower taxes than a properly educated population."

Actually, here in our county we pay the most in property taxes for this failing system in the state. Maybe if more of the money were actually directed to the classroom and instruction and less were going to district vendors who prey on the tax dollars we could see improvement.

Hum, aren't you a teacher halfempty? I smell an agenda. I would rather see the tax burden for schools spread out/shared by all who benefit from the system. Not just the vendors who seem to run our big city superintendents and boards.

Anonymous said...

But aren't test scores for some of the "disadvantaged" going up just because President Obama is in office?

Anonymous said...

Check the demographics and average income in Vermont and compare to same for Texas. Think it has anything to do with test scores?

Patriot Missive said...

Cut the FBISD administration by half, keep our FBISD board's records and process "open," and then cut the class sizes to 15 kidos per class. We'll all have the smartest kids anywhere and our taxes will stay in check.