Tag Archives: greg abbott

Abbott Lays Out Lackluster College Plan

The Republican running for Governor, Greg Abbott, released a lackluster college plan today. Instead of providing much needed resources for universities who must help students catch up and become “college-ready,” Abbott proposed to fund our institutions based on outcomes. On top of this, Abbott proposed a plan to expand high-enrollment online college courses for college students.

If one wants to attempt to read the plan, here it is.

Basically, Abbott’s plan holds much-needed resources hostage, while his online college plan only hurts the brick-and-mortar institutions that have put Texas on the higher education map.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott will call for students to receive college credit for taking massive open online courses — often referred to as “MOOCs” — as part of the higher education plan he unveils on Tuesday, sources with knowledge of his plans say.

[…]

MOOCs are online courses with unlimited enrollment that anyone — regardless of whether they are enrolled at a university — can sign up for and take for free. Right now, the courses rarely earn students college credit.

What Abbott’s plan does is negatively affect student-faculty relationships as these courses have unlimited enrollment. Perhaps they might work for some survey course in which students just regurgitate information, but the effect a faculty member has on a course in expanding critical thinking through course discussion will certainly be evident. For sure, these unlimited enrollment courses will not work for courses in ones major course of study. And since he is so supportive of outcomes-based funding, the fact is that these high-enrollment college courses have a high-flunk-out rate–students just leave the courses and never complete them.

Above all, and unlike Wendy Davis, Abbott has ignored the fact that 1/2 of community college and 1/3 of university students enter unprepared, thanks to funding cuts and lack of investment in K-12. Abbott should know a little about this as he has supported K-12 funding cuts and recently lost a lawsuit brought by hundreds of Texas school districts regarding school finance. But, I digress. If students are entering our institutions unprepared after learning in brick and mortar K-12 classrooms, how does he expect these students to be successful in online courses?

Greg Abbott isn’t offering anything regarding college affordability and tuition controls or student financial aid. In short, the Greg Abbott plan does nothing to improve graduation and retention rates. What it does do is bring Texas a step closer to privatizing public higher education.

I wouldn’t even credit Greg Abbott with supporting the status quo, as it seems he is more in tune with digging a deeper grave for state institutions of higher education.

Stick with Wendy Davis’ higher education plan. It works for all Texans.

Wendy Supports What?

wendyI won’t lie (and neither will my Facebook page), I wasn’t very happy with the announcement that Senator Wendy Davis supports “open carry” of handguns. In my opinion, it opens up a whole can of worms, including questions about whether she would support “campus carry” and other non-priorities. If she desires to be pulled into those other debates, then she’ll get bogged down in that, instead of real issues. I continue to have faith that her campaign team will remain committed to issues that actually matter.

So, then I came to this conclusion:  It’s been too long since I voted for or supported a candidate who was supportive 100% of the “Democratic Platform According to DosCentavos.” If anything, one of my close associates reacted to my feelings:  “C’mon where is she from? Fort Worth. They probably still have gunfights at the Stockyards.” And then I remembered that once I was also a Democrat who demanded ideological purity or commitment proven through Democratic Primary participation, until I started meeting former Republicans who switched to and worked for the better Party. You know, people who are like Senator Davis.

And then I began to rationalize like a good little Democrat:  Well, at least she’s not calling South Texas a “third world” country; she’s not calling for the militarization of South Texas and the hunting of Mexican Americans; she’s not proposing cutting school funding; she’s not making immigrants and Latinos a campaign piñata during a right-wing primary; and she’s not proposing keeping millions of poor Texans (mostly of color) uninsured. No, we all know that Greg Abbott is running on all of these things, as are the rest in his right-wing party.

So, an issue like “open carry” is not going to make a ballot decision for me since it can still be stopped at the legislative level. And depending on what comes out of the Lege, it can be vetoed, weakened, or even, if possible, filibustered by the next Wendy in the Senate, whomever he or she may be. This is a democracy and the people must participate no matter the party of the elected official, to ensure that the highest priorities are met. And that’s why it’s even more important that people vote. If my mom can do it from her pre-op room before surgery today, then anyone can do it.

Also, some say she’s pandering, or that she’s the mastermind of some political ploy. Honestly, I don’t think so. I really do believe it when she says she supports “open carry.” I’m just glad our next Lt. Governor, Leticia Van De Putte, was equally honest that she did not support “open carry.”

My friend Cody Pogue has his view, and as he hopes of Democrats, Wendy Davis has not lost my vote. We know the damage Greg Abbott, Rick Perry, and the Republicans have inflicted on Texas while lining their and their friend’s pockets. I still believe in Wendy Davis much like I believe in the power of my vote and democratic participation.

Texpatriate gives his view, too.

Garcia to Abbott: Clarify Your Stance On Texas DREAM Act

One of my favorite State Senators, Sylvia Garcia of SD6, challenged gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott today on his stance on the Texas DREAM Act. The law allows children of immigrants who meet certain residency requirements to go to Texas colleges and universities at the In-State tuition rate.

In anticipation of Greg Abbott’s campaign stop in Houston tomorrow, State Senator Sylvia Garcia asked Greg Abbott to clarify his positions on the Texas DREAM Act. When first pressed on the issue of the Texas DREAM Act, Greg Abbott said he did not have time to answer the question. Abbott later said the law was “flawed,” “needed to be reformed” and that it should be “fixed.”

“Greg Abbott can’t have it both ways. The Texas DREAM Act has allowed many kids in our communities to become the first in their family to go to college,” said Texas State Senator Sylvia Garcia. “I’m astounded that a candidate for Governor would campaign on the fact that he’s trying to decrease opportunities for young Texans. He can’t use our community just for photo-ops.”

When Abbott campaigned in San Antonio last week, U.S. Congressman Joaquin Castro asked for clarification as well. “The Texas DREAM Act has allowed thousands of students to contribute to our community and state,” said Congressman Joaquin Castro. “Greg Abbott’s reckless proposals to undercut educational opportunities for Texas students would take our state backwards.”

Abbott is trying to be as right as possible while trying to be friendly to Latinos, which never works. He’s trying to “fix” something that isn’t broken, that works fairly well, and that expands opportunities, rather than decrease them (as Abbott seems to enjoy doing on a whole list of issues).

I remember the good ol’ days when right-winger Rick Perry signed the law, no questions asked. How did this law suddenly become a piñata for Republicans?

Kudos to the Senator!

 

Abbott’s Hispandering vs His Real Message

So, we’ve heard that Greg Abbott likes to get an “awww!” from Latinos when he mentions he married a Latina. Well, this weekend, he showed up and spoke at a local Latino business club thing, along with a whole bunch of other Republicans trying to play nice with brown biz folk.

My response? Meh! Policies matter, people!

Anyway, soon after Wendy Davis announced, along with all of the mysogynistic, anti-woman stuff that has been tossed at her, Abbott stated that she would bring “California values” to Texas. He’s probably trying to speak to the racist homophobes who get off on that kind of stuff, but I think it sends a real message to Latinos given CA Governor Jerry Brown’s recent signing of Latino and immigrant friendly laws.

Brown just signed a law which helps stop local law enforcement from doing immigration enforcement and the undue racial profiling that comes with it. Wendy Davis voted against SB9 in 2011, which Abbott supported, and would have done the opposite of CA’s Trust Act. I don’t know about you, but this is a California value I like.

Another bit about Greg Abbott’s disdain for “California values,” it turns out Brown also signed a bill allowing undocumented immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses. Doing so will provide access to vehicle insurance–a boon to public safety, the economy, and business interests. Gregg Abbott’s campaign attacked Wendy Davis for supporting a similar measure during her recent visit to TribFest.

Abbott supported cutting billions from public education and universities. Abbott has fought against access to health care (Obamacare), which Latinos support in huge numbers. Latinos even supported expanding Medicaid, but Abbott did not.

I don’t know about you, but I’m thinking “California values” means anything pro-Latino and/or Pro-Immigrant. Message received.