Wednesday, November 24, 2004

What's in the water in Texas?

There's been something funny in the water in Austin lately. Unfortunately, it hasn't changed the thinking of the state's leaders.

The Governor's Business Council, a Gov. Bush invention, recently released a report on how to "make Texas public schools great." Predictably, one of their remedies is to expand charter schools in the state. Apparently they missed the report released by the Department of Education last week which covered the performance of charters in five states, including Texas. From the New York Times yesterday:

In Texas, ... the study found that 98 percent of public schools met state performance requirements two years ago, but that only 66 percent of the charter schools did.

So clearly we need more of them? Interesting.

The Austin Chronicle has an article this week that describes the background of the Governor's Business Council's report and how the GBC -- as the name would suggest -- does little else but lobby for Governor Rick Perry's plans. The Chronicle suggests that the GBC report is little more than an attempt to give Gov. Perry and the Republican Legislature cover for refusing (yet again) to substantially increase funding for schools in the legislative session which kicks off in January.


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