Texas pride is its own animal. In Colorado (among other states), there has been an influx of people from both California and Texas.
When asked, a typical Coloradan is annoyed with the new arrivals. However, their problem seems more acute if the person comes from Texas. Texans can’t help themselves, wearing burnt orange or maroon, “whooping,” flying the Lone Star flag on their car, sporting bumper stickers that say “NATIVE TEXAN” in the middle of a state they left Texas to find. Can’t stop talking about how much better it is where they left. Ridiculous.
When I arrived, however, I was surprised by how well Texas could back up a lot of its claims. It is one thing when a young man from Mitchell, South Dakota (200 miles from my hometown) wins the NBA Rookie of the Year Award. It’s another thing when you see that kind of thing happen on your street…or even your block. The sheer number of people in this state, the geographic enormity of it, and the general pro-Texas feel create success. For some.
Less than half, actually.
And by “success,” I’m just talking about living in a school zone that isn’t a failing one.
Today, Texas is facing the results that come from (a) ignorant bravado; (b) one-party rule similar to that in China; and (c) a general lack of interest in children can bring–failing schools.
A lot of them. 56% of them. Of course, the Texas Education Agency spins it as a 44% success rate. [Note: there is no “Department of Education” around here–it’s an agency, like the Central Intelligence Agency. That way, it sounds like guns could get involved. Texans, at least those in power, tend to like things like that. Call it pride. Seems more like “(a) bravado.”]
The reason? High standards! Rigor! This FANTASTIC business climate! In this budget cycle, Texas CUT more money from its budget than most states HAVE in their total budget. Taxes remain low! Texas is “open for business (wink).” We have failed proudly this year! This is what God wanted us to do: fail our children by the very standards set by this governor, this legislature, this board of education, this tax code, these voters. Of course, the obvious solution would be to set up for-profit ventures (“Open for Business!”) instead of fortifying public schools. There’s money to be made somewhere.
Follow the money, find the conservative.
THIS should be the ONLY issue in Texas statewide elections this year. If somehow people start discussing whether Barack Obama is a “seecrit Mozlim,” the response should be, “OVER HALF THE SCHOOLS IN THIS STATE ARE FAILING!” If the issue turns to gun control, it should meet with “OVER HALF THE SCHOOLS IN THIS STATE ARE FAILING!” If this is about who is the best choice to control runaway government and high taxes, the answer should be the first one to understand that “OVER HALF THE SCHOOLS IN THIS STATE ARE FAILING!”
If this situation doesn’t change the face of Texas politics, it’s time for others to take over the Democratic Party (and the Republican Party, for that matter). It could be a third party…or a fourth party. All I know is this: the wing of the Texas Republican Party in power right now is an abject failure at governing.
OVER HALF THE SCHOOLS IN THIS STATE ARE FAILING!