The strangle-hold monopoly public schools have on kids becomes a death-grip when failing institutions are allowed to continue performing academic malpractice. It’s disgusting.

Yet we see that happen repeatedly when school district officials and community activists (read: public school employees) maneuver to keep open schools that have clearly failed to perform. The latest example is in Austin where the state education agency is ordering the shut-down of the consistently poor-performing Pearce Middle School.

In fact, the state has been pressuring Austin Independent School District to fix the school for two years after it has consistently failed to meet academic standards.

Texas Education Agency spokeswoman Debbie Graves Ratcliffe nailed the situation exactly right in a story in the Austin American-Statesman.

“Imagine if Pearce were a child and if for the past 10 years it was in school, it had failed eight times,” Ratcliffe said, equating Pearce’s performance to a high school freshman being in the second grade. “We would be outraged if it were happening to a single child. Why shouldn’t we be outraged that it’s been happening to hundreds of them?”

We should be outraged. Parents should be marching on school district offices with pitchforks. The community should be demanding someone’s head.

Instead, the school district and self-proclaimed “community leaders” are demanding that the school be allowed to stay open — presumably so it can fail to perform even longer.

Meanwhile, kids are left uneducated and taxpayers are on the hook for ever more costly excess.

Michael Quinn Sullivan

A graduate of Texas A&M, former newspaper reporter, one-time Capitol Hill staffer, think tank vice president, and an Eagle Scout, Michael Quinn Sullivan and his wife have three children. He is the publisher of Texas Scorecard. Check out his podcast, “Reflections on Life and Liberty.”


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