ICYMI: The H⁠i⁠ll Runs yes. every k⁠i⁠d. Op-Ed: Texas spec⁠i⁠al sess⁠i⁠on should ex⁠t⁠end v⁠i⁠r⁠t⁠ual learn⁠i⁠ng

August 13, 2021

August 13, 2021

AUSTIN, TX – The Hill published an op-ed penned by Andrew Clark, executive director for yes. every kid., that called for the Texas legislature to help shift Texas to a ore student-centered education system by expanding virtual options for students and attaching funds to each child.

Read the op-ed here.

Below are some excerpts from the op-ed:

“Gov. Greg Abbott has called lawmakers back into special session to address a handful of priorities. This includes a critical one missing from the last call — advancing a student-centered education.

The purpose of education is to empower students to discover, develop, and apply their unique abilities. Yet, the basic framework of our public education system has not changed for more than a century. We still require students to learn the same material, at the same rate, and in the same manner as every other student.

While it is impossible to redesign a hundred-year-old system in one swipe, there is some low hanging fruit available for policymakers to pick.

For starters, Gov. Abbott should call on the legislature to pass a version of House Bill 1468, which expanded virtual options for students, from this past Regular Session. This bill had bipartisan support late in session but got stuck in late-session politics. It should be revived to put modern-day, virtual options into the hands of families and teachers.

Another way to advance student-centered education is to attach funding to each child and to make those dollars portable to the school or educational courses of their parents choosing. In this way each student’s journey is uniquely designed for them and not used to fund one approach for every child.

While doing this for the full amount of a student’s education might not be possible today, billions of federal discretionary dollars are available to Texas. Some of those dollars should go directly to families to support their children’s unique educational needs, particularly now.

Without legislative intervention, education will continue to be a formulaic ritual where performing well on test scores is the primary objective for students and educators.

Our elected leaders have a great opportunity to start the transformation to a student-centered education in Texas now.

They shouldn’t miss it.”

Click here to read the full op-ed.