In response to the 4/24/2012 post, “The Superintendent’s Corner: Consolidation,” a reader writes:
Louisiana has county (parish) school districts. Should we aspire to have as dysfunctional a system as theirs?
SC Response. Dr. Seabolt was making the case that a county-wide system is not an improvement over the current situation. In the case of Louisiana, I would argue that there are two primary reasons why the quality of schools is generally better in Texas.
First – Accountability. For over ten years, Texas has had an accountability system that requires identified at-risk student populations to be taught at a required level. There are repercussions when schools and districts fail at this. People lose jobs (frequently) and schools are closed (infrequntly). In short, there is a greater disincentive to performance failure in Texas than in Louisiana.
Second – Racism (both overt and covert). In Louisiana, it is more socially acceptable (and easier) to segregate student populations and underfund minority schools and districts than it is in Texas. Over time, this has increased the education gap between minority populations in the two states.
What frightens me is that our current generation of right and far right political leaders in Texas seemingly prefers the underfunded school model. It’s up to you to decide if their motivation has a racial bias.
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