Houston’s public schools range from mediocre to rotten – as is tragically the case in most inner cities. Fortunately, under a 2015 state law, passed by a bipartisan legislative majority, if a school district has a campus with a failing grade for five consecutive school years, the commissioner is required to appoint a new board of managers. (Our only gripe is why they tolerate even TWO consecutive failing grades?)
Well, Houston’s schools have failed five times in a row to cross that low bar. Some 200,000 Houston kids are being victimized by this educational ineptitude. So last week state officials announced they would take over the failed school district. Thank God.
Predictably, the unions are throwing a hissy fit.
Randi Weingarten, head of the American Federation of Teachers, exploded:
The Houston Federation of Teachers claims the state takeover may lead current teachers to opt out of their contracts by the April 15 deadline.
Well hallelujah. This is a great way to weed out bad teachers – and reward the good ones. The district is also offering a $2,500 signing bonus for new teachers. That’s on top of the $61,500 starting salary.
The last time Houston’s school district was taken over was in 2008. Only 25 of its roughly 350 teachers were competent enough to be rehired. Things are no better today.
The fiasco of Houston schools should only further embolden Governor Greg Abbott to keep pushing for universal school choice in the Lone Star State. Minorities will be the big winners.