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Endorsement watch: Runoff reiteration

The Chron reiterates its endorsement of Judith Cruz in the HISD Trustee runoff.

To a large degree, the solution to the United States’ education problems is being worked out here in Houston. We’re the birthplace of some of the nation’s most successful charter schools – schools like KIPP and YES, which have shown long-term, measurable success in propelling low-income and minority kids to college.

The secrets to their success aren’t secrets at all. (Have you seen Waiting for “Superman”?) At the very top of the list is an insistence on high-performing teachers.

Research confirms what PTO moms already know: Some teachers are far better than others. No other single factor – curriculum, class size, dollars spent, or use of technology – makes nearly as much difference in a kid’s academic performance as the quality of his teachers.

As much as any urban school district in the nation, HISD has tried to raise the level of its teaching: to recruit the best new teachers; to reward those who perform best; and to improve or get rid of those who don’t measure up.

The district has a long way to go. And naturally, the strategy isn’t popular with teachers’ unions, which fight to save their members’ jobs no matter how poorly those members perform.

But we believe that our public schools’ main purpose is to educate children – not to provide guaranteed employment for adults.

For that reason, in the runoff election for HISD’s District VIII board member, we support Judith Cruz.

Is it just me, or is the tone of this endorsement different from their usual style for endorsements? Makes me wonder if the author of this particular piece is someone who doesn’t usually do them. I’m also not sure where the Chron’s disdain for the teachers union is coming from, or the money we’ll need to hire and retain all these high-performing teachers we’re being promised, but those are subjects for another day. Anyway, you can listen to my interview with Judith Cruz here, and my interview with her opponent in the runoff Juliet Stipeche here. Details about the early voting period for this runoff are here.

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