The PJ Tatler

Texas Races to the Top in Education

Texas is a very big, small-government state. No place on earth is perfect, but Texas does an amazing job of leaving the law-abiding alone while dealing with crime and, according to Forbes, has managed to keep its takers-to-makers ratio viable despite the graying of America at large. The trade-off for all this, according to what’s left of the Texas left, is that we’re not properly educating the next generation because we’re not spending enough per pupil in the classroom. When Gov. Rick Perry rejected President Obama’s “Race to the Top” game because it came with tricky federal strings, the Texas left derided him and mocked him. They insist that Texas under our dullard governor is falling behind.

Well. That idea has been shot down. Comparable big blue states spend more, but graduate fewer students, than Texas.

The Department of Education has just released its first state-by-state comparison of education statistics, and the report has a few surprises. Texas performed extremely well, tying five other states for the third-best graduation rate in the country, at 86 percent.

And Texas isn’t the only high-performing red state: Indiana, Nebraska, North Dakota and Tennessee all place within the top ten as well. Meanwhile, New York, Rhode Island, and California, all of which take a traditional, high-spending, blue model approach to education, are closer to the middle of the pack , with graduation rates in the mid-70s.

The blue state model is a failure across the board. It doesn’t deal well with past promises made under threat from the unions, it fails to deal with the present reality of a weak economy and insane government spending, and it is now shown to be failing to keep up with the future as well. The blue state model is running out of money to steal from one batch and promise to hand out to another. But the arrogant blue staters keep exporting their poisons on us anyway.

We’re more than fed up with that.

As for our dullard governor, he is the only one to come up with something that has a chance to bend the higher education cost curve back toward sanity: the $10,000 university degree. Due to Texas’ outsized influence, if that initiative succeeds here it may drive similar changes elsewhere, making higher education affordable for millions who cannot afford it, at least without going into crippling debt, now.