UTA hosts high school summit featuring Texas Gov. Rick Perry
Texas Gov. Rick Perry said there’s no better job-related asset than an educated child during remarks at the Texas High School Project Summit hosted by UTA in December.
“We must do all that we can to make sure more students graduate from high school, go to college and graduate from college,” he said. “Our students represent the future of the state of Texas because they are our future work force.”
Perry also said that Texas high schools should consider switching to a college preparatory curriculum because it would better prepare students to succeed in college.
The Texas High School Project is a $130 million public-private effort to ensure that more Texas high school students become college and job ready in an era of tougher tests and more rigorous curricula.
It partners the state of Texas, the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Communities Foundation of Texas to fund programs to bolster graduation rates, especially for underrepresented groups.
The state plans to invest $65 million in grants to school districts with low-performing high schools. The Gates Foundation will contribute $35 million, the Dell Foundation $20 million and the Communities Foundation of Texas $7 million. The first grant recipients are expected to be announced early this year.
The money will help redesign underperforming high schools and create new ones. Types of schools discussed include charter schools, early college high schools and schools focusing on math, science and technology.
The summit attracted about 200 educators and business representatives who listened to administrators from high-performing districts discuss the reasons for their success.
“It is of great concern that throughout the last decade the population of Texas grew faster than the number of people enrolling in and graduating from our colleges,” said Jerry Farrington, chairman of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. “Clearly, we must do a better job of educating all Texans or we’ll lose the competitive edge that Texas has always enjoyed.”