Oh, that's right...always. It has always mattered. Texas has seemed to catch this drift, ranking high among states in spending in education. However, it's not spending that's the problem. It's spending in the right places that's important. Is it really alright for superintendents to receive high percentage increases while teachers rates stay drastically lower? Why should only roughly 50 cents on the dollar make it to the classroom and their teachers?
Lately on the federal level education has been taking the backseat to slightly more pressing issues with the war in Iraq, social security, and health care. This means that now more than ever the states need to step up and really push for better reform in schools. Not too long ago a bill proposed to issue tax-free books failed (yet again) to make it through the legislature. Just last week I purchased books for the new school year, and I am looking at spending $500 just to buy books just for the Fall 2007 semester!
Recently Texas decided to drop the top 10 percent rule, meaning that universities will no longer be required to admit students simply because they had a high enough GPA in relation to their peers. If I had to say one thing, I would say this is a step in the right direction. I am not saying grades are unimportant, but I am saying that it should not be the only thing that matters. I recall upon a friend of mine named Mitch that always took upper level classes so he could challenge himself. Well Mitch was also a football player and a member of many student organizations, and in the end he pulled B's in these tough classes. When he barely dropped out of the top 10 percent, he was denied admittance to UT, despite good SAT scores and his extracurricular activities. One year later he is finally able to transfer from a satellite school, but he missed out on a year of a better education simply because of this shortsighted rule. Thank god for this, and I hope that we only progress our education system with more reforms such as these, taking away from the standardized nature of 'no child left behind.'