With vouchers stalled in the Texas legislature, the privatizers turned to another strategy to create new opportunities for entrepreneurs.

They want a state district for schools with low test scores, where the state can hand the schools over to private organizations.

There is not a shred of evidence that this improves education for the children in those schools.

The models are Michigan, where the state authority turned over to segregated, impoverished black districts to for-profit charter corporations, and Tennessee, where the schools are being turned into charters.

Neither effort has studies or results; they just got started. Both represent the privatization of public education and the decimation of community schools.

I learned about this from the following comment on the blog:

From your home state:


I don’t know if you are aware of this, but it could spell disaster.

The worst schools in Texas could be placed in a special statewide school district to help turn those campuses around under legislation approved by the Senate on Wednesday. The measure by Sen. Royce West, D-Dallas, would establish the Texas Achievement School District to operate schools that have been rated low-performing for two consecutive years. The campuses would be removed from the jurisdiction of their regular school districts and placed in the new ASD by the state education commissioner, who would also appoint the superintendent for the statewide district.

West emphasized that low-performing schools would not have to be placed in the Achievement School District, calling it one of multiple options that could be used to handle the campuses. Asked how many campuses could be in the ASD if it were now in existence, West said as many as 15 from across the state could be under the management of the district. The ASD superintendent would be empowered with a range of options to improve achievement at the schools, including replacing staff or contracting with an alternative management group. The campus would return to its regular school district once student performance was back on track.

“Studies in other states have shown promise with this approach,” West explained. “This is the right thing to do for children that are trapped in low-performing schools.” Senate Education Committee Chairman Dan Patrick said the state must find new ways to address schools that are “perennial failures,” and he asserted that the legislation would support that goal. One senator questioned whether moving failing schools to the new Achievement School District would artificially inflate the performance ratings of their regular school districts, who would no longer have the low-achievement campuses. But West responded that the small number of schools involved would not have much impact on district ratings. Passed on a 26-5 vote, the Senate measure now goes to the House. And also, The Johns Hopkins University (of which I am an alum), is now offering an online MFA for TFA Corps members.