College and career readiness in elementary school? Seriously?!
Young children should be encouraged to explore and question, to learn how to respect boundaries and foster teamwork.
The world doesn't always have a single correct answer to choose from a list. If we want students who are able to solve problems without clear cut answers and work through frustrating challenges, then we need to develop these skills in an environment that supports and nurtures curiosity.
Students should be given the supports and services they need from the beginning, reading specialists and high quality pre-k are a must.
Since the 2011 school year, Austin ISD has had fewer and fewer students enroll. Early grades, particularly K-2nd, have seen the sharpest decline.
Why does this matter to people without young kids? Money.
Every student who attends a private school, charter school, or moves out of the district increases the amount of money Austin taxpayers send to the Texas Legislature. Want more of your money to support your neighborhood schools? You have to start with attracting and keeping young families in the district.
Keeping our money in our community is only half the battle. Austin taxpayers are supporting duplicate services (e.g. buses, nursing staff, security), and we’re paying a premium for the ones offered by the school district. It's time to set aside egos, bring the accountants and lawyers to the table, and start treating tax dollars like the limited resources they are.
The Austin community pays more money to support the state's public education system than any other single community in Texas. More than San Antonio, Dallas, or Houston. And yet, our issues and concerns have been ignored, our community a political punchline. The district needs a new negotiation strategy, and it needs one fast.