I spent some time in Texas over the summer and was amazed to read this huge billboard on the road from Houston Airport to the city centre. Imagine if this said Want to do brain surgery – when can you start? OK, I am exaggerating to make a point, but given the choice to decrease state support for public education (with concomitant increase in class sizes and decrease in classroom resources) in Texas (see below) it is unsurprising that there are difficulties in recruiting teachers for public schools.
I read Lawrence Wright’s new book (an insightful and balanced read) God Save Texaswhich suggests that that we should all be very interested in Texas because this is the future of America. He also suggests the decreases to school budgets may be intentionally racist – most pupils in public schools are not white (p.281).