When it comes to public education in Texas, Senator John Carona believes that the state should be focused on broad oversight of curriculum and on specific measures for performance.
"I am a product of our state's public education system," Senator Carona proudly proclaims.
"Our largest school districts are urban districts where we see the greatest challenges. We need to continue to forge greater accountability from these districts."
But don't mistake the senator's message of accountability as one that lands exclusively at the feet of administrators and teachers. "Teachers of yesterday were hired to teach. Teachers of today are hired to raise kids ... and that's wrong. Parents must do more," he says.
"It's remarkable that our urban public schools can do what they do, given the modern day challenges before them. As has been said, our public schools are but a reflection of society's values at any point in time.
"In the last two sessions of the Texas Legislature, we have made strides in changing the student and teacher accountability systems, and in gaining support for public and higher education. We will continue to be challenged in the next two legislative sessions to provide for our students, teachers and retired educators as we adapt to changes in our state's economy and workforce education demands."