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Who's Leaving Hearne and Why?

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Since it broke, we've asked for and receiving a huge response to the Hearne-Mumford schools controversy from viewers.

A lot of the talk has been about the quality of education kids are receiving in Hearne. We've taken a look at the 2004 TAKS scores of Hearne, and put those numbers next to those of Mumford.

3rd Grade: 69%
7th Grade: 45%
11th Grade: 21%

3rd Grade: 99%
7th Grade: 67%
11th Grade: 80%

These numbers reflect the students who passed all the tests in each of these grade levels. Mumford has more than a double digit percentage-point edge on Hearne. Mumford scored at or above the state and regional averages, while Hearne was below those averages.

It's also worth mentioning that Hearne's numbers did rise significantly from 2003, but were still well below Mumford's.

Many viewers have also said that what some have termed a "white flight" is, in fact, a flight from Hearne regardless of race. Indeed, looking at enrollment in Hearne schools from 1998 to 2004, whites have left in large numbers, but Latino enrollment has also dropped slightly, and the number of black students has also gone down.

While the majority of responses we've received are negative towards Hearne, there have been a few positive reactions. We went to Hearne today and heard the two sides of the story.

Andy Taylor, a father of three Hearne ISD students, said, "I think they're doing a pretty good job, and I believe the school board is looking pretty close for the education of our children."

But Nunzio Randazzo, a father of five Hearne students from years past, said, "It was terrible. Too much stealing, too much cursing, too much rough-housing in this area."

While in Hearne, we sat down with superintendent David Deaver, who declined an on-camera interview at the advice of the district's attorneys. In response to e-mails News 3 has received about disciplinary problems, he said all schools have them, but Hearne's are not bad in comparison to some.

He also said he was shocked that only white students were ordered to come back by Judge William Justice, and that Hearne would have welcomed back all students. However, in Hearne's response to Mumford's request for a stay, Hearne's lawyers explicitly request Judge Justice to "clarify the order to clearly state that it enjoins all white transfers from Hearne ISD."

If you have a comment on the Hearne-Mumford decision, you can e-mail us at news@kbtx.com or mailcall@kbtx.com. Stay tuned to News 3 for continuing coverage and your responses to the situation.