one more thing (didja ever notice how, when you're writing a paper, the end stages get really slow and distraction-prone? welcome to my life.): the "texas miracle," sucking it up again.
the houston schools were the jewel in the crown of dubya's texas education reform, one of the few policies from his time as guvnuhr that he could even think of labelling a success. but, like much else (see below), the supposed miracle was just an exercise in really good spin. did the texas system improve schools? no. did it lead to dishonesty in reporting? yes.
and who suffered? as always with this regime (in any of its incarnations), the people who are least able to defend themselves are abandoned in environments where they have most need of self-defense. read the article. there was a disabled girl dragged from her wheelchair and raped in a bathroom, a developmentally disabled boy severely beaten and left on the floor...the list goes on. these crimes, and several thousand others, were never reported to the state.
ah, the perverse incentives of educational "accountability."
ps: don't forget! less than three months ago houston schools were found to have covered up thousands of dropouts! boy, that texas miracle is sure miraculous!