Can Competition Save Texas’s K-12 Public Schools? No.

There are people who believe and ideologies (political and philosophical) that claim competition can fix Texas’s K-12 Public Schools.

Experience does not support those beliefs and claims.

The example is Texas’s Public 4-year Institutions of Higher Education.

Texas’s Public 4-Year Institutions of Higher Education. At these institutions:

They compete for their students;
Students voluntarily attend;
Some students pay for the privilege of attending;
Some students are paid (in whole or in part) to attend; and
Students, who are deemed incapable of meeting expectations, are not admitted.

How are Texas’s colleges and universities performing? One measure is rates of completion.

The Chronicle of Higher Education reports on college completion. In one report, (College Completion: Who graduates from college, who doesn’t and why it matters (Texas)) it documents Texas’s colleges’s and universities’s 4-year graduation rates (2010) of first-time students.

Here are the 4-year graduation rates of some of Texas’s 35 college’s and universities.

University of Texas (Austin) 52.5% (highest)
Texas A&M University (College Station) 46.2%
University of Texas (Dallas) 41.9%
Texas Tech University 37.0%
Texas State University (San Marcos) 24.8%
Texas Women’s University 23.1%
Stephen F. Austin State University 21.9%
Sam Houston State University 21.6%
Texas A&M (Commerce) 21.4%
West Texas A&M University 19.1%
University of North Texas 19.0%
University of Texas (Tyler) 17.7%
Texas A&M University (Corpus Christi) 17.0%
Tarleton State University 17.0%
University of Texas (Arlington) 16.2%
Texas A&M International University 15.8%
University of Houston (main campus) 14.8%
University of Texas-Pan American 13.3%
Texas A&M (Kingsville) 10.8%
University of Texas (El Paso) 7.6%
University of Houston (Downtown) 1% (lowest)

The overall rate was 24.4%. The overall 6-year graduation rate was 49.0%.

Conclusion

Data from Texas’s Public 4-Year Institutions of Higher Education, where competition is a variable, suggests an answer to the question, Can Competition Save Texas’s K-12 Public Schools? And that answer is “no.”

About drjstewart

Christian, husband, father, educator, writer, and photographer.
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