Great Things are Happening in Texas Public Schools – and Some Not-So-Great Things

The slogan is often true.  Students in public schools are learning to build robots, and one may someday discover a Grand Unified Field Theory.  But it’s the bad things in our public schools that make school choice necessary.  No one is saying that all our schools are bad.  But like our big cities that are falling apart, the schools are run by Democrats.

Progressive ideas permeate them — such as DEI – diversity, equity and inclusion that divides Americans into oppressed and oppressors.  The 1619 Project teaches American history through the lens of slavery, and the LGBTQ agenda which holds that biological males can compete in women’s sports.  This is why Texans have voted for school choice.

Random Samplings is brought to you by the Texas Public Policy Foundation.

Public schools could easily be fixed – if public school advocates wanted to fix them.

They don’t.  Public schools have become a full-fledged bureaucracy whose number one goal is protect the status quo, and the number two goal involves constantly asking for more funding.   Unfortunately, the status quo is failing and more funding isn’t the answer.  What is?  Fix what’s gone wrong and then ask for the funding.

If someone made me King, here’s what I’d do:

First, I’d expunge all the left-wing crap (mentioned by Paul Simon in the song “Kodachrome”) and put in a back-to basics curriculum where students learn math, science, grammar (God help us with today’s grammar), fair and balanced history, computer science, English, and foreign language.  I’d add a course on personal finance, which I could have used when I was in school.  And civics is a must.  We ought to start teaching kids about the Constitution in the first grade.

Video: When I think back on all the crap I learned in high school…

Instead of teaching that America was born in the sin of slavery, I’d teach them how America fought a war to abolish slavery, and how equal rights has become not only the law of the land, but also the way most people believe.  America is an exceptional nation and we ought to teach that.  I’d teach the warts, along with the fact that America fought two world wars on behalf of freedom, and those wars are marked by tombstones in Arlington National Cemetery and Flanders Fields.

Second, I’d make it a law that schools are not required to teach the children of people who have entered our country illegally.  That’s a dumb thing that we do, and it’s a magnet for illegal immigration.  We should require that children entering our public schools be fluent in English.  The idea that some districts teach in over a hundred languages is ridiculous.  No wonder our kids are failing in basic skills.


Third, I would empower teachers to maintain discipline in their classrooms, and I would indemnify them against charges of racism if a minority child is punished for being disruptive.  The racism charge only hurts the child, because he knows he can get away with it and the teacher is powerless.

Fourth, I would totally end any influence in schools by the LGBTQ agenda.  Kids can get their information on homosexuality from Tik Tok and other social media, in the movies, and in DC and Marvel Comics.  Our schools ought to stay out of the business of conspiring with a child for a sex change without the parents being informed.  Biological males must be kicked out of girls’ sports.  Stop the Gay Pride celebrations and stop bringing Drag Queens into our schools.  Clean up the school libraries and get rid of the porn and gay sex manuals.

There’s more left-wing lunacy that could be discussed, but these things would be a good start. Note that all of these left-wing ideas are not in all our schools.  But pretty much all of the schools have at least some of them.  I think that’s why Texas voters went big for school choice.

Some reflections on the Super Tuesday election, and how Gov. Abbott changed the Texas House.

This election was about school choice – plain and simple.  The Governor was miffed that his top priority – school choice – was opposed by rogue Republicans in the Texas House of Representatives.  He vowed to oppose them and he kept the promise.  As it turned out, enough of the GOP anti-choice House members were voted out, that it’s likely the next legislative session will be far more pro-parents.

The Battle in Bell County – District 55 – was perhaps the mostly closely watched. 

Hillary Hickland, a stay-at-home mother of four from Belton decided to take on longtime incumbent Hugh Shine.  At first, Hickland was given little chance against a powerful politician such as Mr. Shine.  But when he came out as a strong opponent of school choice, the Governor stepped in to endorse Hickland, making three appearances in the county on her behalf.  Other big names endorsed her as well, including Donald Trump.


The local establishment was solidly for Shine – especially the local public schools community. 

Note that Shine, a one-time Democrat, had many conservative credentials.  And virtually every big-name community leader in Temple and Belton came out for him.  But Hickland had the big names at the state and national levels, and the campaign began to get nasty.  From the first, I felt that Hugh Shine would be virtually impossible to beat.  Months ago, Lou Ann Anderson and I did an hour-long podcast with Hickland to get a feel for her politics and her chances.  I had never met her before, but I came away impressed with her knowledge of the issues and her personal integrity.  I also felt she had zero chance.

This negative ad was paid for by the Hugh Shine campaign (Scan by WBDaily)

However, I talked with her briefly on the Saturday before Super Tuesday and asked about how the campaign was doing.  Her answer astonished me.  There was no question in her mind about winning.  She told me that the only issue was whether she could do it without a runoff.  Her confidence, along with one other thing, got me to thinking.

That other thing was a series of ads and mailers from the Shine campaign comparing Hillary Hickland to Hillary Clinton.  The mailers smacked of desperation.  When I saw them, I wondered why Hugh Shine would let his consultant do something like that.  The ads were despicable.  They showed Hillary Hickland looking into a mirror and seeing Hillary Clinton.  They asked which Hillary is a liar, and answered by proclaiming: they both are.

Back in 1964, there was an ad from Lyndon Johnson showing a little girl picking daisies when a mushroom-shaped cloud appears behind her.  The implication was that Barry Goldwater would start an atomic war.  The ad was disgusting, but effective.  It was negative advertising at its worst, implying something that wasn’t true.

Video:  The ultimate negative TV ad — “Daisy.”

Negative advertising – mudslinging – is risky.  If there’s an element of truth it, it can work.  But there’s always a chance that it will backfire if the people see it as having gone over a line.

It’s just my opinion, but I think this ad cost Mr. Shine hundreds, if not thousands, of votes.  You have to be able to control your consultant – or whoever came up with the idea for this ad, even if was the candidate himself.  Pointing out your opponent’s shortcomings is necessary.  Dragging her through the mud is counterproductive.

Gov. Abbott and Hickland at the endorsement (Photo by Lynn Woolley for WBDaily)

For the record, I have interviewed Rep. Shine on my Austin radio show on Talk 1370.  Jim Cardle and I did a standard interview that Hugh himself would tell you was fair and journalistic. I would have done an hour-long podcast with him but he stopped answering emails when I pleaded with him to support school choice.  Had he taken my advice, he’d have been reelected.

I’ll state publicly that I would still like to do a podcast with him, and talk about his career in the House and ask him about school choice.  It would be civil and fair, as that’s my style.  Cardle & Woolley is not a “gotcha” show and neither is the Planet Logic podcast.  It’s about discussing ideas.  I would interview him in a heartbeat if he were to accept the invitation.

The school choice train has left the station.

We’ll get it now.  And we’ll see who’s right.  The public school community sees disaster ahead.  The school choice community – which apparently is far larger – sees a far better public school system because of one thing: the public schools will have to improve in the face of competition.

The non-woke public will now have a choice that rich people have always had. 

Parents can be more than parents; they can be customers.  Customers have powers that parents sometimes don’t.  If they don’t like the gay displays at Target, they can shop somewhere else.  If Target loses business, it will rethink what it’s doing – and become better and more in tune with its customers.  Soon, parents can do more than just fume about the left-wing influences that public schools have on their children.  If they don’t approve of what their children are being taught, they will have a way to take their business elsewhere.  And that’s a good thing.  That’s the American way.

Lynn Woolley is a Texas-based author, broadcaster, and songwriter.  Follow his podcast at  Check out his author’s page at  Order books direct from Lynn at https://PlanetLogicPress.Square.Site.  Email Lynn at

You have a choice.  You can buy this book or not.  (Right now, “not” is winning. But we can turn that around!

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