All Hat, No Wildcatter
In “The Wildcatter” [April 2023], Russell Gold extolled the virtues of Elon Musk and his advancement of solar power and batteries used for storage of solar energy. I agree that the advancement of electrical storage is amazing and much needed. But the story makes no mention of battery disposal or the cost or location of such. The batteries used by Tesla are made from complex materials. Is this going to be a problem when these batteries are depleted and require replacement?
Thomas Brown, Houston
I take issue with your assessment of Elon Musk: He is not a Texan. Period. Nor is he a Texan at heart. For a magazine based in Austin, you must have a very slanted view of things like protecting Bastrop County and the Colorado River from the likes of Musk.
Camille Abbott, Dripping Springs
If Musk can benefit all Texans by making it rain from Pampa to Port Isabel and from Terlingua to Texarkana, then let’s consider his canonization. Until then, he’s just another carpetbagger who came to Texas for personal enrichment.
Rick Zimmerly, Mountain Home
Best in Class
Every state legislator should read your article “The Problem With Low-Performing Schools? It Isn’t Just the Schools” [April 2023] before considering Governor Abbott’s plan for education savings accounts. As Bowman notes, 29 percent of our children’s day is spent in school, and 71 percent is spent outside the halls. Why pour money into the system as is?
As a teacher for 26 years, I knew which kids would probably fail because I knew the homes from which they came. Randy Bowman’s At Last program is an innovative solution. Children need comfort, counseling, mentoring, and close relationships, none of which can be found in the classroom with 25 other students competing for teacher time. Kudos to Bowman, and let’s get this idea into our state legislature.
Loretta Bedford, San Augustine
Hope. Compassion. Intrigue. Optimism. Those emotions dominated the hundreds of responses I’ve received to date to the article, “The Problem With Low-Performing Schools? It Isn’t Just the Schools” by J. K. Nickell. In conversations with neighbors on my block, with fellow Texans, with fellow Americans, and even with folks in Argentina during a recent visit to the U.S. ambassador, this story on our At Last program has inspired tons of responses.
From whom? Men and women, white-collar and blue-collar, up and down the age continuum and across ethnic lines. They described being unable to put the story aside and becoming emotional—often shedding tears—while reading it. An innovation capable of transforming educational outcomes for America’s impoverished children was born in Dallas. Thanks for sharing this unique Texas story.
Randy A. Bowman, Dallas
This article originally appeared in the June 2023 issue of Texas Monthly. Subscribe today.