Policies We Support
Innovation. Rigor. Transparency. Empowerment. Flexibility. These are the keys to broad, meaningful reform in Texas.
No single solution will accomplish the transformational change Texas needs. We need a combination of policies to make a real and lasting impact:
Implement proven education technologies and teaching innovations.
Proven Innovative Programs at Work
Education Elements is an organization that tailors individual programs to help schools meet the needs of their very diverse student bodies, recognizing learning styles are different and technology can be a powerful tool in the classroom.
School of One is another nationally-recognized blended learning program that’s producing successful outcomes in New York-area schools.
Rocketship Education is working to eliminate the achievement gap in low-income neighborhoods, combining teacher development, parent empowerment, and individualized learning to deliver outstanding results for low-income students over the last four years.
- Require schools to provide students with state or district-approved online classes, especially when their schools don't offer those courses in the classroom.
- Stop limiting the number of students who may attend highly-effective online and blended learning schools by having them be part of the charter school system, thereby allowing them to be part of the state accountability system as well.
- Provide access to coursework for students interested in career technologies and specialties like health care training and other skilled trades, while continuing to provide a basic educational foundation for college.
- Award credit to students who can pass an exam that proves their knowledge of the course material, regardless of how much "seat time" they have spent in the classroom.
- Institute innovation waivers that allow school districts to implement pilot programs taking advantage of emerging learning technologies and new approaches. By the end of the pilot period, they must show results, or they lose the waiver.
Make high-performing school options available to every Texas family.
Currently less than one-quarter of 1 percent of Texas’ 4.9 million students is permitted to access online learning for school credit.
Imagine Texas high school students who can access Ivy League-quality learning online for courses not offered in their schools and get credit for that class when they pass.
Consider the power of online learning for Texas public school students whose health or medical conditions stand in the way of education in a traditional classroom.
- Allow every student to attend the public school of his or her choice, giving priority to local residents when more students apply than a school can serve.
- Remove the arbitrary cap on charter public schools in Texas and establish an independent oversight board to authorize new charters and close those that fail.
- Fund all public schools equitably, whether they are charter public schools or district schools, including giving equal access to facilities.
- Give more principals control over their budget, personnel, procurement, curriculum, instruction, school day and other vital areas they need to be efficient and effective.
Invest in the best teachers and teaching policies to improve student learning.
- Hold all teacher preparation program to the same high-quality standards, regardless of the type of program (traditional, alternative, etc.), by basing accreditation on the teaching effectiveness of their graduates.
- Require local school districts to establish annual teacher and principal evaluations that include improvements in student achievement.
- Give school districts the right to set their own pay scales to be able to attract and retain highly-effective teachers.
- Allow teachers to give grades as low as zero if that is what the student earns, instead of current law that forces teachers to grade no student below a 50.
Integrate an emergency, expedited fix for any failing Texas public school.
- Based on a consistent and appropriate system of accountability, rate schools and school districts on a standard that everyone - particularly parents - can easily understand and measure - such as letter grades, A-F, like Florida's system.
- Strengthen Texas' Parent Trigger option by giving parents earlier control and access in their school governance, especially for chronically-underperforming and failing schools.
- Establish a special district to fix failing schools after no more than two years of being rated an academic failure by the state.
For further information and research, please visit this site.