Newspaper clipping headlined, "Clements, White clash on schools," June 16, 1986
Newspaper clipping from the Houston Chronicle headlined, "Clements, White clash on schools," June 14, 1986, concerning Mark White and Bill Clements first meeting during the 1986 gubernatorial campaign where they disputed education reform policy.
Clippings (information artifacts)
White, Mark, 1940-Clements, William P., 1917-2011
"White Interregnum, 1983-1986"
Texas A&M University
Cushing Memorial Library and Archives
"William P. Clements Campaign Records, 1977-1989"
Campaign Records Addendum
Cushing Memorial Library & Archives
Mark WhiteEducation Reform
Clements Texas Papers
Clements White clash on schools ct-evuorclir joi 14 19k1 Ely ANNE MAME Kit_DAY Houston Chronlcie Austin Bureau AUSTIN — In their first face-to-face meeting of the 1986 gubernatorial cam- paign, Gov. Mark White and his Repub- lican challenger former Gov. Bill Clements clashed over educational re- forms. White defended the controversial ed- ucational reform law of his administra- tion, noting that student achievement scores dropped two points during Clements' term and that teacher pay ranked 30th in the nation while Clem- ents was In office. "We used to give diplomas to kids who couldn't even read them. Didn't you know, 13111? Or didn't you care?" White repeatedly chided Clements. Clements drew cheers and several rounds of sustained applause from the 1,300 members of the Texas Associa- tion of Secondary School Principals, when he chastised White for sending his wife, Linda Gale, to meet with educa- tors. "You know, that's commendable, he does need to know, even wrondliar 1," Clements quipped. Pleased by his warm reception. Clements practically claimed the en- dorsement of the scilool principals. "I certainly had the sense that I talked about the things they wanted to hear. I think in a way they endorsed me this morning." Clements said. White said, "Many people would like to go back to doing It the old way. Some people are dismayed and discouraged and fearful of facing the future, and Bill Clements is pandering to that ap- proach." White said many principals and teachers support him, and "most Im- portant of all, parents support me. They pay the taxes for the schools, and they want the best schools. They don t want second-best." Saying that he supports the reforms "in concept," Clements called for "fine- tuning" the controversial "no pass, no play" provision, the teacher career lad- der, discipline measures, teacher pa- perwork, and restoring authority to lo- cal school boards. Local school boards should have a say In textbook selection, Clements said. 1 want you to know as your gover- nor for four years. 1 have never known a piece of legislation to conic out of our Legislature that could not be improved upon, believe me," Clements said Clements drew sustained applause from the principals' group 1% hen he said that the "career ladder" in the education reform law "has literally de- stroyed the morale of our teachers -- The no-pass. no-play rule in the edu- cation reform law, which prohibits fail- ing students from participating In ex- tracurricular activities for six weeks, should be shortened to a three-week suspension period. Clements said. The six-weeks penalty is serving as "a dis- incentive" to students, Clements said Saying that "credibility and integ- rity" will be key issues in the guberna- torial campaign, Clements reminded the principals that In 1982, White said he would not raise stale taxes But White defended the tax bill passed to fund the educational reforms While Clements was governor. While said.—oll prices were going up, and student achievement scores were going down." "This Isn't a fairy tale," White said. We couldn't turn our education system from a poor. neglected stepchild into a princess overnight. It isn't Cinderella " "Pumpkins don't turn Into carriages there's no magic fairy that leaves money for good schools under the states pillow at night_ It takes real money," White said. Again calling on White to convene a special session of the Legislature to deal with the states $1.3 billion budget shortfall, Clements said While should urge lawmakers to pass a bill that would allow the use of "budget execu- tion authority" by a panel of key law- makers, the governor and the state comptroller. That panel could make decisions about how to revise the states budget, Clements said.