Remember how Sid Miller had the collossal nerve to speak out against Shapiro's bill that would bring accountability to charter schools that get unacceptable ratings? And, um, as it happens, his wife runs the school .. and he lied about her position? Well, the bill didn't pass and there's a lengthy discussion of the Erath Excels Charter School in the Bryan-College Station Eagle.
Just 10 percent of Erath Excels' 114 students passed the TAKS math test last year, compared to 75 percent in all state public schools. It also had a 14 percent dropout rate, way above the state average.
But Republican Rep. Sid Miller, who employs O'Neal at his landscaping company, said the school can't be expected to meet traditional standards when its students arrive three to six grades behind other children their age.
"If we don't save these kids and get them educated they're going to end up back out on the street, in our penal system or on our welfare system," Miller said. "I think they're doing a great service. I don't think we should give up on those schools."
Um. Is the point of charter schools that we taxpayers in Texas FUND to subsidize children that otherwise would be in prison? Not according to the TEA.
What are the purposes of charter schools?
The purposes of charter schools are to: (1) improve student learning; (2) increase the choice of learning opportunities within the public school system; (3) create professional opportunities that will attract new teachers to the public school system; (4) establish a new form of accountability for public schools; and (5) encourage different and innovative learning methods.
Seems Mr. Miller is missing the "establish a new form of accountability for public schools" part.
One of the people interviewed in the article that has some glowing words to say about Erath Excels (guess her son was one of the 10 percent that actually passed) is not exactly an unbiased commenter-she WORKS for Miller at his landscaping company in Stephenville.
O'Neal said she isn't worried about Erath Excels' test scores or its dropout rate. What's important to her is that Cooper talks again. He dreams of the future. And most importantly, he smiles.
"There's more to a charter school than passing that TAKS score. A whole lot more," O'Neal said. "It's what they do for the children."
Fine. Then go find a school that does the same thing but is run by DONATIONS and not be state funds. Because as long as charter schools take our money and agree that they will live up to the standards that TEA sets for them, the ones that are failures should be ... CLOSED. Now.