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Texas Commissioner of Education Mike Morath has threatened to take over the state’s largest school district—Houston Independent School District—because one high school has persistently received low test scores. That school—Wheatley High School—enrolls high proportions of students who are low-income (88%) and in need of special education (19%), but Morath doesn’t care.
Morath sent similar letters to three other districts.
This is nuts. Using its test-score based rating system, the state has rated Houston a B+ district. Yet the state commissioner wants to oust the elected board because one school has low scores!
Remember when Republicans were the champions of local control. Those days are gone. Republicans are now the champions of privatization and autocracy.
Morath is not an educator. He earned his undergraduate degree in business administration, then became a software developer, then a businessman and an investor. He was elected to the Dallas ISD school board, where he advocated turning the entire district into a”home-rule charter system,” a dream of privatizers like billionaire John Arnold.
How do Texans feel about Governor Gregg Abbott and Commissioner Morath taking control of any district that they target?
How do Texans feel about giving up their independence to state politicians and bureaucrats who don’t have a clue about how to improve schools?