Dueling Divas Stage Public Pillow Fight
Texas Education Agency (TEA) Commissioner Shirley Neeley and Secretary of Education Margaret Spelling had a laugh at the expense of Texas children. It was all great fun. You see, when nearly half of Texas schools missed the Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) requirements mandated by No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Neely changed accountability rules thereby abandoning nearly 2 million Texas children to failed schools. Spellings response was to fine Neeley barely ten cents per child.
The TEA was fined $444,282 or about .001345455% of the agencies budget. The agency spends over $33 Billion dollars a year. With this $33 Billion, it controls the lives of over 4 million Texas children. Texas teachers failed nearly half of those children. By statute, the abysmal failure of these Texas teachers should have resulted in Neeley communicating with the parents. The communication should have admitted failure and provided options permitting students to seek educational opportunities from competent providers. Thanks to Neeley, these hapless children will remain trapped in failed Texas public schools.
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Texans thought the TEA might be called to task by the Federal Department of Education. We waited eagerly as Spellings furrowed her brow and pursed her lips. When it was all said and done, she rejected the pleas of Texas parents. Instead she sided with Educrats, unions, administrators, and the failed system they represent. Because of Spellings’ inadequate response, dollars will continue to gush from Austin and our children will continue to suffer.
Thank you Secretary Spellings.
Let’s bring the fine a little closer to home. It’s very important that readers understand that this is a “show fine.” The only reason to waste time with a fine as trivial as this is to be able to say you did something. This fine is nothing but a CYA for the Secretary. It serves no other purpose.
Continuing, if you were one of those incompetent Texas teachers earning an average of $41,000/year and were fined .001345455% of your salary, your fine would be about 55 cents. If you were a Texas superintendent in charge of a school full of these incompetent teachers, you’d be earning at least $200,000/year. Your fine would be about $2.69.
Secretary Spellings hopes that Texas parents will believe that inflicting a pittance of a fine on an arrogant agency willing to walk away from their mandate will produce results.
Inexplicably, these ladies are in charge of educating Texas children.
There are some things the government does well. At the federal level, we need the government to organize and maintain an army to fight our wars. Try though I might, I could never have personally defeated the old Soviet Union. At the state level, we need roads. Try though I might, I could never personally build a road from Red River to the Gulf of Mexico.
The things best left to government are those tasks where success and failure are very, very clear. For example, if the US Army fails, we all have to learn a new language. If the roads aren’t passable, then, the roads aren’t passable. Both circumstances are irrefutable.
NCLB was an attempt to introduce this type of irrefutable certainty into public education. Texans’ are tired of failure, tired of excuses, tired of kids that can’t read, write or compute. As far as most of us were concerned, NCLB was the last hurrah for public education as it’s currently administered. Now that they’ve failed, we want our fully funded Texas education vouchers.
Before NCLB, education was a different matter. There was wiggle room for incompetent educators to make excuses for their failures. There’s no more wiggle room. If not for Neeley and Spellings meddling, two million Texas children would be poised to flee failed Texas public schools.
For incomprehensible reasons, Neeley and Spellings decided to protect incompetent teachers and damn Texas’ most vulnerable children to Texas’ worst schools.
It doesn’t have to be this way. Vouchers enable all parents to assure their children receive the best education available. Vouchers enable parents to do the job the TEA and the Department of Education refuse to do.
The only reason the incompetent teachers that failed nearly 50% of our children still have jobs is because their parents can’t afford to flee their schools. Fully funded education vouchers rectify this inequity. With vouchers, incompetent teachers will be forced from their positions. When every Texas child is learning from a qualified educator, we’ll leave Austin and Washington to conduct their pointless histrionics in a vacuum.
Education is not something the state does well. We need to relieve them of the burden.
Given our present system of public education, is it any wonder our children can’t read or write? Is it any wonder that Texas Public Schools are referred to as: “The Locomotive To Third World Status?” Is it any wonder that millions of Texans have zero confidence in our public school system? It is any wonder that the only thing a growing number of Texas parents want from their public schools is out?
We can’t control what Neeley and Spellings do. We can, however, make them irrelevant. To do so, we need fully funded Texas education vouchers permitting parents to take full control of their children’s education. Full control means parents direct their children to the best public, private or parochial school available to assure their offspring maximize their learning and maximize their success.
Texas parents gave these women time to show us something. Neeley had an opportunity to call her associates to task, she didn’t. Spellings had an opportunity to call Neeley to task, she didn’t. We now know that neither of these ladies is conspicuously overburdened with courage or character.
Public pillow fights to hide systemic incompetence will not educate our children. It’s now time for these ladies to go away. It’s time to put parents in charge. It’s time for fully funded Texas education vouchers.
Work with us!! We’re committed to Educational Excellence for all Texas children. That means empowering parents with “The Power of The Purse.”
Write the Governor, your state senator, state representative and your State Board of Education Representative today. Urge them to join Texas parents and Texas Educators working for our children. Urge them to support 100% Fully Funded School Choice in Texas.
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