A half-century ago, Republicans and Democrats came together to finally enshrine in law the principle that all of us – regardless of race, color, or national origin – are created equal.He was not finished. He went on to boast of the educational opportunities for blacks in Texas.
Shedrick Willis was a slave who, before the Civil War, had been bought and sold on the steps of the McLennan County Courthouse – the very place where Jesse Washington would later be dragged to his death.
When I was governor of Texas, I had the proud distinction of appointing Willis’ great-great-great-grandson, Wallace Jefferson, to be the first African-American on the Supreme Court of Texas. In 2004, I appointed Wallace to be the Supreme Court’s first black Chief Justice.
Texas’ high school graduation rate went from 27th in the country in 2002, to 2nd highest in the country in 2013. Our most recent graduation rate for African-Americans was number one in the nation: 13 points higher than the national average.Whoa Governor! We fact check here. And fact check I did. Governing.com does a wonderful job of tracking high school graduation rates by states and by race and the governor was speaking the truth. Nationwide, black students graduated at a rate of 69 percent; Hispanics graduated at 73 percent; whites graduated at a rate of 86 percent. The top ranked states for all student were Iowa, Texas, Nebraska, Vermont, and Tennessee. Read from the bottom up it's the District of Columbia, Nevada, Oregon, Georgia, and New Mexico.
For black student graduation rates Texas leads followed by Montana, Tennessee, Arkansas, and Maryland. From the bottom it's Nevada (with a shameful low of 48%), Minnesota, Oregon, District of Columbia and Michigan. Asians do best in New Jersey graduating at a 95% rate while in Nevada, Minnesota, and the District of Columbia only 74% graduate high school. If you can't teach Asians what the hell can you do?
On another page Governing reviews the graduation rates among low income students. The national rate was 73.3%. The highest ranking states were Kentucky, Texas, Indiana, Nebraska, and Tennessee. From the bottom up it was District of Columbia (58.9%), Alaska, Oregon, Colorado, and Georgia.