Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Texas Gubernatorial Race 2006: Public Education

Republican Rick Perry:
- Created the Early Start program to improve pre-school.
- Created a public-private initiative called the Texas High School Project which tries to increase high school graduation rates and college attendance rates for at-risk students attending low-perfoming high schools. This program focuses on science, technology, engineering, and math.
- Signed legislation that requires Texas high school students to receive four years of math, language, science, and social studies. This will begin with the 2007 school year.
- Increased teacher pay and benefits and offers performance pay-based incentives for teachers who succeed in "economically disadvantaged schools."
- Signed legislation to help students who have been bullied and offers options (such as classroom re-placement) for students who have been bullied.
- Signed legislation that protects teachers from "frivolous lawsuits."

Democrat Chris Bell:
- Provide quality public education to kids.
- Stop looking at the value of textbooks from the standpoint of whether or not they will "please partisan censors and state bureaucrats." Textbooks should be chosen for their educational value.
- Hire and retain qualified teachers.

Independent Carole Keeton Strayhorn:
- Give the Texas Assessment at the beginning of the school year rather than at the end in order to give the teachers an opportunity to teach according to the needs of the students.
- Reinstate school performance reviews.
- Give raises to teachers immediately with increases every two years.
- Veto any legislation or plan that offers money for vouchers.

Independent Kinky Friedman:
- Stop drop-outs.
- Spend more on education.
- Pay teachers what they're worth.
- Teach to more than the standardized tests.

Libertarian James Werner:
- Full-value vouchers available to all parents for any public or private educational institution in the state.
- Parents will be allowed to remove their children from failing schools.
- Lower drop-out rate.

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