Every child in Texas will graduate from high school fully prepared for higher education and the 21st century workplace as well as responsible citizenship.
To enable Texas public schools to achieve the mission by adopting and implementing the following public education policy initiatives:
Accelerate Deregulation and Innovation
Encourage districts to develop new, better ways of serving students, particularly for high school students, and allow wide-ranging authority at the district level for deregulation of human resource management as well as innovations in scheduling and delivery; establish new, rigorous standards for charter schools, with expanded authority for charters and equalized funding, and base continued accreditation on results of value-added assessments; adopt district and statewide public school choice; award scholarships to students with special education needs; provide district-funded transfers to students in failing schools; and establish a virtual/electronic high school program for all students in Texas public schools.
Higher Standards for Teaching and Learning
Strengthen the state curriculum standards, the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS), establish explicit, objective, and measurable benchmarks for academic proficiency K-12, and identify the reforms necessary for moving students enrolled in public schools from the current level of performance to a level of proficiency that is competitive both nationally and internationally.
New and Better Assessments
Strengthen the State’s criterion-referenced student assessments and supplement them in the early grades with norm-referenced tests, complete the implementation of end-of-course exams for core high school courses that correlate with postsecondary expectations, and adopt growth to standard and value-added student assessments for the school accountability system, teacher performance evaluation and professional development, and accreditation of teacher preparation programs.
Higher Standards for Academic Accountability
Significantly increase State standards for school district and campus performance, use results of value-added assessments for rating all schools, hold schools accountable for postsecondary readiness as determined by standardized assessments, and accelerate serious consequences for underperforming districts and campuses.
Higher Standards for Financial Accountability
Develop and implement a financial accountability rating system that distinguishes among school districts’ financial performance, brings enhanced transparency to education finance, and establishes productivity standards down to the campus level.
Attack the Reading Crisis
Improve the system of accrediting, preparing, certifying, and evaluating K-8 teachers by assessing all according to the value they add to student reading proficiency; change state policies to give teachers responsibility for classroom instruction by replacing learner-centered instruction with teacher-centered instruction; establish credentials for a K-8 Reading Specialist; create a new, improved K-8 Texas Reading Initiative with revised rigorous standards for reading and reading assessments.
Increase Educator Effectiveness
Expand alternative educator preparation and certification; expand new teacher mentoring; aggressively recruit non-traditional leadership for school administration; enhance professional development; create new career paths for teachers; adopt the Koret Texas Task Force recommendation for professional contracts for educators; introduce performance-based compensation for all educators based on value-added evaluation; and establish policies for mandatory remediation for ineffective educators leading to dismissal.