Garcia Rates AISD "Unacceptable"
Garcia notes that the state rates five of Austin's 10 high schools as "low-performing." As a whole, the district now has "the worst record for educating poor children of all the major cities in the state." When Garcia's own children attended Reagan High School in the early Eighties, they got an excellent education, he says, but the current generation of students is being shortchanged.
Garcia puts the blame for poor performance directly at the feet of school board president Kathy Rider and Supt. of Schools Pat Forgione. "The demographics in our schools have changed tremendously, from 65% white to 65% minority," he says. "I don't think Rider understands what the problem is, and I think Forgione is a statistician who has been too far away from real pedagogy for too long. I don't think he's the right person in that leadership position." He proposes inviting parents to a frank discussion of "what needs to be done in order for their children to have success in Austin schools," and working with the Mexican consul to jointly develop methods of teaching immigrant children new to U.S. schools. "We're not taking this problem as seriously as we need to," Garcia concluded, "and there is no excuse for that."