Putting Texas School Children First Helps Ensure Our Economy’s Future Success
( Gov. Ofc Release)
CORPUS CHRISTI – Gov. Rick Perry has announced the creation of Texas Education on iTunes U, which offers a modern approach to keeping teachers and students engaged and informed by providing free, supplementary educational content that can be accessed anywhere.
“iTunes U will easily and efficiently distribute Texas-based educational materials to teachers, parents and students statewide, and will help improve Texas education and secure our position as the best place to live and work in the years to come,” Gov. Perry said. “The quality of education in Texas is steadily improving as we continue to combine tried and true teaching methods with new technology to achieve educational success.”
Texas Education on iTunes U will allow teachers to access professional development and support materials, while giving students access to information to help with understanding concepts or conducting additional research on a subject area. Additionally, iTunes U will serve as a venue for state agencies and non-profit organizations to post their educational content.
“Texas Education on iTunes U represents another addition to Texas’ efforts to put rich and relevant content into the hands of our teachers, students and the public at large,” Commissioner of Education Robert Scott said. “iTunes U gives the state a dynamic platform to provide content on-the-go.”
Gov. Perry also announced a challenge for math educators to generate professional development content, such as videos or podcasts, focusing on algebra readiness for Texas Education on iTunes U. This will create an online resource to help teachers ensure their students master the curriculum or better understand a concept.
Texas Education on iTunes U expands Project Share, a collaborative effort with the New York Times and Epsilen LLC, which will enable the creation and delivery of high quality professional development in an interactive and engaging eLearning environment. The online platform, unveiled this spring, also provides access to online resources, online course content, academic networking and professional learning communities. The Project Share initiative currently supports more than 146,000 teacher accounts, and the website (www.projectsharetexas.org) will link directly to Texas Education on iTunes U.
Ensuring that Texas remains a leader in job creation depends on the development of our workforce. Gov. Perry has previously outlined several education initiatives for the 2011 legislative session, including:
· A $160 million expansion of the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) program, increasing the number and scope of T-STEM Academies and funding STEM scholarships to help ensure students receive a competitive education in these subjects.
· Expansion of the Virtual School Network (VSN) to create the Texas Virtual High School that will provide students who have dropped out of school an opportunity to earn a high school diploma through virtual courses, while improving access to high-quality courses for all students. The VSN was created during the 2007 Legislative Session to establish a statewide network of online courses available to students across the state. These virtual courses give students access to classes their schools may not offer, additional access to dual credit opportunities, and additional flexibility to help keep students in school.
· Generation Adelante/Generación Forward, which encourages Texas high school graduates to pursue higher education by providing them with information about college applications, financial aid and college visits. These college fairs also give students the opportunity to speak with representatives from more than 30 colleges, universities and technical colleges from across the state.
· Requiring high school students to be enrolled in school or working toward a GED to be eligible to keep a Texas driver license.
· Providing a tax incentive to employers who grant their employees two hours a week of paid time off to return to school or study for their GED. Once the employees have received their diploma or GED, the employer is eligible to receive $1,500 per student in credit toward sales tax liability.