Texas: Are We Willing to Settle for Mediocrity?

Diane Ravitch's blog

Jimmie Don Aycock was one of the best friends of public education in the state legislature. He fought for public schools when they were under siege by penny-pinching legislators who cut $5 Billion from the schools in 2011. The state’s economy rebounded, some funding was restored, but funding is still below where it was a decade ago.

Jimmie Don warned his fellow Texans that it costs real money to meet the needs of students today but the legislature has not dealt with the realities.

Here are the realities:

“First, poverty makes educating students more difficult and more expensive. Second, lack of English language skills makes educating students more difficult and more expensive. Unfortunately, about 60 percent of Texas students fall into the poverty category. Almost one in five Texas students speaks limited English.

“We have also learned some things that work even in the most challenging circumstances. We know that…

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