Thursday, May 18, 2006

Public schools tank again

Apparently 11% of high school seniors in public schools in Texas failed at least one part of the exit-level TAKS test, meaning that they can't graduate. Considering that nobody at my school, not even the special-needs kids, failed the TAKS test, and that last year the only person to fail the test was a special-needs kid, it's obviously not a problem of intelligence. (There are about 480 kids in the senior class, so it's not a question of small sample size either.)

So why did other schools do so poorly, or, to make the question easier, why did mine do so well? Because the district is almost entirely composed of people who want a good education for their children - you can buy much better houses elsewhere in the city for a lot less money than the houses people can buy in this district. Some people live in tiny duplexes on the very edge of the district, because that's how much their children's education matters to them.

One other school in Dallas, Southlake Carroll, also reported no failing seniors. It's even bigger than Highland Park, and people also choose to live there because of their children's education.

Both these schools are known in the area as quasi-private (in fact, there's something of a movement within HPISD to flip the TEA the bird and privatize), because the taxes that people pay to live in the district amount to tuition. Naturally we'd do far better if the state didn't force us down, but the competition for students that schools like Highland Park and Southlake Carroll experience is what makes them good.


Post a Comment

<< Home