AUSTIN – Today the Texas House of Representatives will discuss CSSB 1718, a bill that would create an “Achievement School District” (ASD) with a statewide Superintendent responsible for improving the state’s lowest-performing primary-education campuses.
“Interventions in under-performing schools are too often ineffective for many reasons, including local political pressures and diffusion of responsibility,” said James Golsan, TPPF’s Center for Education Policy Analyst. “The ASD approach removes a failed school from local pressures to the jurisdiction of a state-appointed superintendent with the expertise and authority necessary to take the bold actions. The Commissioner of Education and the local school district also have the option to contract with a high performing, open-enrollment charter school for the administration of the school. These are key mechanisms for Texas students, parents, and taxpayers, who need improved educational outcomes for our children – and can’t wait for incremental change that leaves them shortchanged.”
Golsan continued, “States like Tennessee and Louisiana have created special-purpose districts such as this to oversee their lowest-performing schools and turn them around. In Louisiana’s Recovery School District, the percentage of students who scored basic or above has increased to 82 percent (a 16 point increase) and the annual high school dropout rate has decreased substantially, from 11.4 percent to 4.1 percent since 2007.”
James Golsan is a policy analyst with Texas Public Policy Foundation’s Center for Education Policy, a non-profit, free-market research institute based in Austin.
The Texas Public Policy Foundation is a non-profit, free-market research institute based in Austin.