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I love Texas. I love it because it’s my home state but I also love it because so many people there are wonderful, sometimes wacky, often fascinating, and downright real. (I don’t love the politicians who think that greed is good and that no one has any obligation to help anyone else.) But my first thought when I recently skyped in to the dinner of the Friends of Texas Public Schools was that I miss the sound of Texas voices. Twangy, like me.
I love the Moms Against Drunk Testing (aka Texans Advocating for Meaningful Student Assessment). I love Community Voices for Education in Houston. I love the courage and persistence of the Texans fighting to save their public schools.
Another great Texas organization is. Their goals are mine. They truly put children first. Lots of times people on our side can’t explain their goals clearly. This is what Texas Kids advises friends to do as they reach out to their legislators:
1. Adequate and equitable funding for public schools, according to Judge Dietz’s ruling. They are not required to wait for the Supreme Court ruling.
2. An end to the draconian testing and assessment programs, which have taken the joy out of both teaching and learning and which are doing far more harm than good. Texas has been testing since the late 1970’s. If testing were the “cure” for low achievement or “gaps,” then the problems would have been solved long ago. It is truly insane to keep on doing something that so clearly does not work!
3. Let them know that charters are the gateway drugs for the end to public schools, and we need to stop them now. Evidence is piling up that charters do not perform better than public schools and, in fact, in many cases perform worse than the worse. Also let them know that we in Texas do not support vouchers for private schools or home schools. Those funds need to be allocated to the 5 million Texas children in public schools. Schools that focus on profit and not the needs of kids are not what we want.
Three points. Understandable goals. Thank you, Texas Kids Can’t Wait!
Here is their current issue: Stopping an ALEC-style corporate takeover of low-performing schools:
Texas Kids Can’t Wait
Another bill to facilitate the corporate take-over of public schools has been filled by Democratic Senator Royce West of Dallas.
Senate Bill 520, authored by Sen. Royce West, was filed, and it is one we must do everything we can to defeat.
It establishes the Texas Opportunity School District, which is exactly the same thing as last session’s proposed Texas Achievement School District and New Orleans’s Recovery School District. There is ZERO credible research that such a strategy works for any kid anywhere.
SB 520 would take out of school district local control all low-performing schools (that is, schools with high rates of poverty, as we all know) and turn them over to a charter school management company under the “supervision” of the Commissioner.
Local taxpayers have to continue paying for this great gift to charter companies; the buildings are turned over to the Charter companies; and the local taxpayers must maintain them. What a deal, huh? Yeah, for the charter companies. But a terrible thing to do for kids, families, neighborhoods, and communities.
High schools in urban areas will be the biggest losers of this proposed scheme since disproportionate numbers of high schools are on the low-performing list. But there would also be many middle schools and many elementary schools in the scheme as well.
See why we call the charter schools the gateway drug for school privatization? There will never be enough charter schools for the privatizers. And they want taxpayers to foot the bill for this nonsense at increasing rates since they are determined to cut and eliminate business taxes.
You can read the bill here:;
Please contact Sen. West, plus your own representative and senator asap and let them know that we expect them to base policy on solid research and on what is best for kids.
We thank you for your continued support and activism on behalf of Texas children. We have come a long way in the past two and one-half years in making people more aware of the issues and providing them information about how they can make a difference. Stay involved. Share information with your friends and family. Stay in touch with your elected representatives, beginning with local school board members, but including state legislators, statewide office holders, and congressional representatives. Be prepared to vote in every election. Keep the kids at the center of the discussion.
Bonnie and Linda
Texas Kids Can’t Wait
Email: [email protected]
Call us at either 254-855-0594 or 254-709-2912
Texas Kids Can’t Wait | Texas Kids Can’t Wait | Waco | TX | 76712