Re: Aug. 27 commentary, “Two views: The sad ABCs of the Texas’ A-F school ratings”
It’s a shame that Glenn W. Smith needs to cherry-pick his facts to advance Progress Texas’ agenda of denying Texans school choice.
Had Smith read the Statesman recently, he might have realized that:
• Public school districts will get about 38 percent of their funding from the state in 2019, and can levy local taxes, which public charters don’t (PolitiFact Texas, Aug. 15).
• Public charters, which are public schools, get only 4.5 percent of the state’s $42 billion education budget (Texas Education Agency data).
• Smith neglected the fact that despite only representing 5 percent of the state’s students, charters composed more than a quarter of the schools receiving A’s (Statesman, Aug. 25).
Rather than lamenting the new TEA grading system, Smith might instead focus on the data it yields to learn how we might continue to improve our public schools, both charter and Independent School Districts.
PHILLIP RAMATI, TEXAS CHARTER SCHOOLS ASSOCIATION DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS, AUSTIN
Re: Aug. 27 commentaries, “Two views: The sad ABCs of the Texas’ A-F school ratings” and “Two views: Why Texas’ A-F school accountability system is working.”
After reading the editorials by Glenn W. Smith and Kara Belew, I think the A-F system is the most effective system available for now. Our public schools are not what they should be. Austin Independent School District’s enrollment is diminishing; administration is questionable; parenting is vague; taxes increase; and nothing seems to change.
The train has been derailed for some time, and we cannot get back on the track. So, maybe, we should give this A-F grading system a chance. We all suffer the mess our public school system is delivering. Our kids deserve to get an education if they want it. Let’s give it a go.
MIKE EDGAR, AUSTIN
Re: Aug. 25 commentary, “Abbott, lawmakers should remove false history from Capitol.”
If the defenders of the Confederate States of America would like to leave the plaque up, perhaps we can compromise. Removal of a few words will correct the errors and allow the plaque to stay in place. I suggest the following (dashes indicate deletions):
“We, therefore, pledge ourselves to preserve pure ideals, to honor our veterans, to study and teach the truths of history (one — of which is that the war between the States was — a rebellion — to sustain slavery) and to always act in a manner that will reflect honor upon our noble and patriotic ancestors.”
I have a grinder and some polish, and I can make the corrections in less than an hour. If someone wants me to get started, please let me know.
WILLIAM DOWER, AUSTIN
It was very refreshing to read the eloquent words of praise and respect from George Bush, Barack Obama and others about the death of Sen. John McCain.
This is in total contrast to the hateful words that spew from the mouth of Donald Trump. To fuel his temper tantrum, he raised the American flag on the White House back to full mast from just after midnight Sunday until Monday afternoon. This outrageous act is the epitome of shameful and disrespectful behavior. This man has no tact, no class, no integrity, and certainly, no dignity.
I, for one, am embarrassed and ashamed that Trump represents my country.
CYNTHIA PREUSS, ROUND ROCK
As we pay tribute to John McCain, many of us lament a bygone era when lawmakers could compromise without being labeled as disloyal or weak. We do ourselves a disservice, however, if we do not recognize that politicians we have empowered have created the environment where “compromise” is a dirty word. Ted Cruz is chief among these people in the Senate, which is why none of his colleagues supported his run for president and few joined him in his crusades to shut down the government to protest budget compromises.
We have a choice: We can elect people like Cruz, who claim to be principled while really only seeking to stir up emotional mobs; or we can choose contemplative leaders like Beto O’Rourke, who seek to unite us behind solutions.
Straight talk. Substance over politics. Integrity. These were hallmarks of the Senate once before — and they can be again.
MICHAEL LANDAUER, GRAPEVINE
What happened to the Republican Party? We have a president who is a huge liar and a promiscuous cheater who is tainted with corruption and collusion.
Most, but not all, Republicans in the Congress, the Senate and the state governments are simple enablers unwilling to acknowledge that the swamp they live and work in is directed by a cesspool of autocrats, filthy-rich people who don’t care about anybody other than themselves, and have discarded traditional conservative values like a lazy smoker throws a cigarette butt out the car window.
Our current president is accused of serious criminal conduct, and most Republicans in power look away or run away rather than take a stand for what’s right for our country. It appears that Rex Tillerson was correct in his assessment of Donald Trump. He just didn’t realize that his assessment also applied to so many others in the Republican Party as well.
JOHN GREENWAY, AUSTIN