Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Dr Forgione to Retire

Dr. Pat Forgione, the longtime Austin ISD Superintendent, announced his retirement today.

Forgione has been superintendent for nearly 10 years, and will be stepping down just as the state begins a review of the Texas public school accountability system. It'll be interesting, at least to those of us with school-aged kids, to see which candidates emerge to replace Forgione, and what issues arise during the ensuing debate.

Over the past few months, I've been meeting with a number of parents, teachers, principals and others in both the Austin and Round Rock ISDs. Anectdotally, there seems to be a lot of anger and anxiety regarding standardized testing, the overall testing culture, dropout rates, parental involvement and, at the most basic level, whether the school sysyems are effectively preparing our students for college and/or living wage jobs in the "new" economy.

I've heard that a third of central texas 9th graders will never graduate from high school. Of those that do graduate and go on to college, half will have to take remedial courses because they don't have the skills necessary for standard freshman classes. We can do better than that!

What education issues are most important to you and your family? What pressures do you feel as a parent, teacher or administrator? What do want to see the new superintendent tackle?

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