A former board member of the Austin Independent School District is trying to get state lawmakers to increase mandates on Texas public schools. Specifically, liberal activist Kendall Pace wants Texas to follow other states in mandating all high school juniors to take a college readiness exam.

This comes even as school administrators around the state claim their out-of-control spending is the result of unfunded mandates from the Texas Legislature. In truth, most of the mandates school bureaucrats point to are those required of every business – like compliance with fire codes and withholding for taxes.  They also claim “unfunded” mandates include tax notices and compliance with the state’s open meetings and open records laws.

In a message posted to Twitter, Pace ask “why not” to liberal State Rep. Donna Howard (D-Austin), who in turn showed approval for the measure by “re-tweeting” it. Like other Democrats, Howard has condemned mandates on public schools… when convenient for her political rhetoric.

Additionally, teachers and parents have in recent years loudly criticized the heavy handedness of the required testing regimen, which distracts from actual classroom education.

Perhaps most importantly, one has to wonder what value is gained by the students in taking a college readiness test when most high school graduates don’t go to college. Public education has been plagued by a bias towards useless college degrees at the expense of vocational training for well-paying – and much-needed – careers.

Michael Quinn Sullivan

Michael Quinn Sullivan is the publisher of Texas Scorecard. He is a native Texan, a graduate of Texas A&M, and an Eagle Scout. Previously, he has worked as a newspaper reporter, magazine contributor, Capitol Hill staffer, and think tank vice president. Michael and his wife have three adult children, a son-in-law, and a dog. Michael is the author of three books, including "Reflections on Life and Liberty."


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