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Austin American-Statesman - - VIEWPOINTS -

does, and is in­flu­en­tial in se­lect­ing its mem­bers. In Al­lan IDEA’s case, its gov­ern­ing struc­ture is some 300 miles away in South Texas, where IDEA is head­quar­tered. The school did put in place a lo­cal ad­vi­sory board, but the Austin district’s author­ity over IDEA Al­lan is re­stricted to what is stip­u­lated in the part­ner­ship con­tract.

Those dif­fer­ences never sat well in Austin where government trans­parency and accountability are highly val­ued.

End­ing the con­tract also poses chal­lenges. The big­gest of those is im­prov­ing per­for­mance and grad­u­a­tion rates of East­side Me­mo­rial High and the schools that feed into it. In the past, East­side Me­mo­rial has failed to meet state stan­dards. Texas Ed­u­ca­tion Com­mis­sioner Michael Wil­liams told us this week he views the Austin board’s vote to dis­solve the IDEA part­ner­ship as “a lo­cal mat­ter.” He said he would not rush to make a de­ci­sion re­gard­ing East­side Me­mo­rial but would wait to see what the district does to ad­dress the school’s low per­for­mance. That is a wise de­ci­sion. East­side did not get into aca­demic trou­ble overnight and last­ing so­lu­tions re­quire time and a lit­tle pa­tience, some­thing that has been lack­ing as pro­grams, prin­ci­pals and teach­ers have been ro­tated like fla­vors of the month.

We urge Carstarphen and trustees to in­clude the com­mu­nity this time in search­ing for so­lu­tions.

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