Apr 10, 2012

ARTICLE: Closing Entire Districts

Texas School Closings Rare, But Should They Be?

"Of the state’s 1,024 school districts, nearly 50 have been identified as “unacceptable” — which means less than 65 percent of their students passed state math exams and less than 70 percent passed them in reading. The ratings also take dropout and graduation rates into account. Those worst-performing districts serve a higher percentage of low-income and minority students — and on average, receive less in funding — than their higher-rated counterparts."

"When news broke in January that Premont ISD would suspend athletics to cut costs in an effort to avoid closure, state Rep. Scott Hochberg, D-Houston, vice chairman of the House Public Education Committee, requested information from the TEA on the average amount of funding each district receives and their accountability ratings. He said he found a correlation between funding and performance: The districts with the lowest accountability ratings get an average of $1,000 less per student than those with the highest such ratings. And districts that are rated unacceptable are overwhelmingly those with high percentages of minority and low-income students."

I have four possible solutions: 

1) Turn them into charter districts. Seriously, just adding the word, charter, will make everything better. 

2) Pass out district vouchers to everyone. You know that will work. Those kids will go to other school districts and just bloom right before your eyes. 

3) Give incentive pay to the teachers. Yeah, yeah, I know what I said in the last post. It'll work this time. If incentive pay can change average workers into productive members of society, think about the results when you give teachers a few extra bucks. Or a fruit basket! 

4) Deal with the poverty in the areas.

Actually, only one of those is a reasonable solution. However, if you have a political or moral reason to reject it, fine, but that's the issue. And the decision-makers are dealing with it by giving money to successful districts... because they obviously need it.

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