Wendy Davis' Smears of Abbott's Education Plan Fall Flat

Wendy Davis' Smears of Abbott's Education Plan Fall Flat

The Wendy Davis campaign took great pains to paint Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott’s education policies as “hostile to Texas values” by using an out-of-context footnote from a high-profile policy analyst. In a fundraising email sent to supporters on April 4, Davis argued that supporting her campaign was akin to “support[ing] Texas families.”

In a statement given to Breitbart Texas, Abbott Communications Director Matt Hirsch said, “Senator Davis clearly knows she can’t win on substance so she is making a desperate play for style points.”

The unfounded swipe from the Davis campaign originated on the left-leaning Huffington Post that referenced a footnote credited to American Enterprise Institute (AEI) scholar Charles Murray. In it, Abbott utilized Murray’s research to argue that early public education programs like Pre-Kindergarten must be held to top performance standards or would otherwise risk becoming wasteful expenditures–regardless of intention. Such stances on policy have been painted as harmful to minority children and families. 

The out-of-context quote of concern ripped out of the pages of Murray’s book Real Education read: “Family background has the most decisive effect on student achievement, contributing to a large performance gap between children from economically disadvantaged families and those from middle class homes,” according to the Dallas Morning News.

Murray has been praised by former key Obama Administration advisor Jared Bernstein and former President Bill Clinton.

The accusations in the blog are intended to take the reader straight to the idea that utilizing such scholarship would be driven by racism. However, there is no evidence to support these claims. In fact, if Greg Abbott is elected governor in 2014, Mrs. Abbott, will make history as the first Latina First Lady of the state of Texas, according to the Texas Tribune

“With each passing day it becomes clearer and clearer that Sen. Davis has a surface-level spending plan–not a substantive education plan. Looking at the numbers, it’s clear that Greg Abbott’s Educating Texans plan is robust, specific and solution-oriented while remaining fiscally responsible while Sen. Davis’ plan goes short on substance and big on spending,” said Hirsch in a written statement.

Breitbart Texas reported on the fiscal and policy differences between the Abbott campaign’s Educating Texas plan and the high-priced rhetoric Davis brings to the PK-3 (pre-kindergarten to 3rd grade) table. The 26-page comprehensive Abbott pre-K through grade 3 plan contains seven policy recommendations while the three page Davis plan contains two.

Follow Merrill Hope on Twitter @OutOfTheBoxMom