The Commissioners should recommend strategies to ensure students are prepared for future growth at each stage in the educational pipeline. Specifically, the Commissioners should consider:
- Improvements to the state’s subsidized childcare programs that will increase kindergarten readiness and options for working parents;
- The implementation of House Bill 3’s focus on early reading;
- Methods to support middle school students in strengthening literacy and quantitative reasoning skills and improving readiness for high school and future success; and
- Strategies to ensure students demonstrate the knowledge and skills necessary to be successful in their college, career, or military service.
To improve student readiness in Texas, a number of strategies have been identified related to high-quality childcare, early reading, middle school, and college, career, and military readiness. These strategies will address many of the challenges stakeholders identified for this charge, including robust literacy experiences starting at an early age. The impact of all of this work is significantly bolstered by deeper engagement with parents, who are always a child’s first teacher. But this work critically depends on the ensuring the availability of properly supported professional educators working hand in hand with those parents.
There is a shortage of qualified career and technical education teachers and lack of high-impact professional development opportunities for those teachers, counselors, and administrators. These challenges are coupled with insufficient prioritization of counseling and advising activities, creating gaps in the education and career pathways that support the successful transition of young people into the workforce, ultimately building the state’s economy. In order to support student enrollment in education and career pathways that reflect the needs of the state’s economy, the Commissioners are committed to ensuring that students and families have the support, tools, and resources needed to achieve education and career success by expanding access to high-quality childcare programs, increasing kindergarten readiness, fostering career readiness in middle school, and promoting family and caregiver engagement.