Thursday, June 28th, 2012...7:41 pm

As Texas Goes . . . So Goes Education

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Keep in mind that Texas sets the textbook agenda for much of the US:

Romney can tick off the failings of the president like any other Republican but he precedes each one with a friendly word or tip of the hat. It drives conservatives crazy, not only but also in Texas, where the preferred oratorical style is closer in tone to the Book of Revelations. In a verbal scuffle over cutting health care costs a few years back, Texas state legislator Debbie Riddle went for the jugular of entitlement in the preferred style: ‘Where did this idea come from that everybody deserves free education, free medical care, free whatever? It comes from Moscow, from Russia. It comes straight out of the pit of hell. . . .

The extra money [George W.] Bush had approved as governor slipped away under his successor, Rick Perry. Class sizes crept back up. Special programs were dropped. Even former First Lady Barbara Bush was appalled by the train wreck, lamenting in the Houston Chronicle a year ago that pay for teachers in Texas ranked thirty-third in the nation, and the stte was thirty-sixth in high school graduation rates, forty-seventh in literacy, and forty-ninth in the verbal section of the of the national Scholastic Aptitude Test.

–Thomas Powers, review of As Texas Goes . . .: How the Lone Star State Hijacked the American Agenda, by Gail Collins, in New York Review of Books, 12 July 2012.

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