The Texas Legislature has convened for its biannual 140-day run and public education, unlike anytime in recent memory, has taken center stage in public opinion. As well it should, as evidenced by recent data on student education outcomes as reported by Texas 2036:
- 52% of students are on grade level in reading
- 40% of students are on grade level in math
- 62% of jobs in Texas will require a postsecondary credential by 2030
- 26% of Texas high school graduates earn a postsecondary credential within six years of graduation
- Yet 87% of schools earned an A or B rating in the state accountability system
What’s wrong with this picture? It’s pretty clear. And these results have essentially flatlined for the past decade, long before the hit from the COVID pandemic. In addition, the issue today is not limited to the failure of the system to meet the educational needs of Texas students; it is also being used in many instances by the progressive left as a tool for “woke” indoctrination.
Many of us have spent decades attempting to reform the system from above. Although we’ve made progress on some fronts, inevitably those reforms have been undone over time. We must face a reality which has evaded us for years: really meaningful reform will only come by allowing parents the option to select a school that best meets the needs of their children and have the funding follow the child. Only when competition enters the equation will the education establishment transform itself to meet the needs of Texas students.
I have joined the board of Liberty for the Kids, the leading advocacy organization for school choice in Texas. This will be a difficult fight, but this is the best opportunity we have had for meaningful reform in several decades. If you would like to help, go to www.libertyforthekids.com.