by Nathan Empsall, Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 03:20:42 PM EDT
You may not like where they come down on the subject, but it can’t be argued that Texans at least take the issue of primary education seriously. The electoral success of George W. Bush’s 1994 gubernatorial and 2000 presidential platforms proves that, as does the enormous public interest in the Texas School Board textbook shenanigans.
It’s no surprise, then, that Democratic candidate for governor Bill White has been focusing on education this week. Today his staff hammered incumbent Repub Gov. Rick Perry for his record on education, but not before White himself went positive with his own plan, outlining five points at the National Council of La Raza's annual conference yesterday. It’s heartening see a border state Democrat standing up to vicious right-wing lies about Latinos and La Raza, especially with so many running the other way after the administration’s Arizona lawsuit. Thank you, Bill “Backbone” White. This from White’s campaign:
White hammered incumbent career politician Rick Perry on recent revelations of the Texas Education Agency's Enron-style accounting on school accountability measures.
"They decided to cheat, and then once caught cheating they failed to acknowledge responsibility and accept accountability. They counted failing scores as passing," White said. "How can you teach individual responsibility to students, or emphasize the importance of parental responsibility, if the state's CEO and his appointees don't accept responsibility? How can you hold teachers, principals and school boards accountable if accountability does not start at the top?"
"Pretending that schools are improving, rather than actually improving them, has been a pattern in Texas during the last decade under this governor," White said, citing Perry's failure to account for the actual dropout rate and his veto of a bipartisan bill that would have expanded early childhood education.
"The choices confronting Texas are very stark and very plain. Will the state with one out of every ten Americans in public schools set a goal, tell the truth about where we are and where we want to be, and act to educate its younger population that is largely Hispanic? Will we, as did generations before us, act on the fact that young Texans are our greatest resource, or will we simply pretend they are? Will we plant for a future with great abundance, or will we forgo that hard work and live off our harvest?" White asked.
Perry spoke at an education event today, and White’s spokesperson Katy Bacon fired back in a press release: "Does Rick Perry think it's acceptable that Texas ranks 49th out of 50 states in the percentage of adults with a high school diploma? That SAT and ACT scores are lagging while college tuition rates have skyrocketed 93 percent. Only a career politician would try to brand this as success, accountability and preparing the workforce for the future."
La Raza? Education? A tie in the polls? The chance to bump up of secessionist Rick Perry ahead of redistricting? Support Bill White now at our ActBlue page.