In the News: State of Texas In-Depth – Back in class

AUSTIN (KXAN) – It’s the sound parents look forward to all summer: the school bell. As students across Texas head back to school, KXAN’s State of Texas: In-Depth took a closer look at how state policies affect students and teachers.

Research by the E3 Alliance found only 41% of students in Central Texas were ready for kindergarten. That’s a 12% drop in readiness. E3 defines readiness as having the right behavioral, social, language, and foundational skills to enter kindergarten. The group found a lack of readiness in early childhood has an impact later in their education.

President of the E3 Alliance, Susan Dawson joined KXAN’s Josh Hinkle on Saturday to discussion policy options to help students succeed. They were joined by Texas Tribune education reporter Kiah Collier.

Accountability

A week before classes began, the Texas Education Agency released accountability ratings for every school in the state. Schools either met standards or require improvement. State law requires schools that fail for several years in a row to undergo major transformations.

One school that was on the cusp for years was Martin Middle School in Austin Independent School District. Following years of “improvement required,” the E3 Alliance began its RAISEup Texas program. This year, Martin MS met standards.

What to expect this week

State lawmakers like Rep. Larry Gonzales (R – Round Rock) will spend the first week of school studying up on state agencies. The Sunset Advisory Commission, which Gonzales chairs, reviews various parts of the state government looking for inefficiencies.

To see interview, click here:

State of Texas: In-Depth – Back in class