Friday, August 30, 2013

It's hot in Austin (Texas, that is)

I'm at Saxet U. 
We're in Austin for a family wedding and to hang out with old friends.

That's the capital of Texas -- not Chicago's west side. Big difference. Check out the demographics. The last time I was here, the population was about 200,000. Now it's close to a million, mostly white, although not for long. Like Chicago, the Mexican population will soon be the largest.  One of the fastest growing American cities.  An economic boom town with lots of corporate HQs here. Very hip. Great music scene. Lots of college students partying tonight to get in shape for tomorrow's first football game of the season with pushover New Mexico St.
Austin, Tx. --
White: 68.3% (Non-Hispanic Whites: 48.7%)
Hispanic or Latino: 35.1% (29.1% Mexican, 0.5% Puerto Rican, 0.4% Cuban, 5.1% Other)
African American: 8.1%
Austin, Chicago's west side --
About 250,000, 87% African-American. High poverty and youth unemployment. Schools being closed, along with health clinics and other community resources. Population shrinking as Chicago under Daley and Rahm push black families out of the inner-city.
One thing common to both Austins is a two-tier school system where test scores are used to sort and track kids as well as teachers. This Austin Chronicle article, "In the name of Ann Richards", gives a graphic example of a top-tier school that "exits" those with lower scores.
"According to the principal, the goal is not to 'exit' students but rather help them become successful students at the school." He added, "There are times, however, where the parent, teachers, and student agree that ARS may not be the best place for them." Mason-Murphy sees it differently: that it was made clear to parents that their daughter was not wanted.
I'll be on Rag Radio this afternoon on KOOP 91.7-FM. We'll also be streaming. It's104 in the shade (if I can find some shade). So we'll head over to Maria's Taco Express, on Lamar, between Walgreen's and Matt's El Rancho, about 5 for something cool. If you're in town, stop by.

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