Educate Texas, formerly The Texas High School Project, announced a major STEM (science, tech, engineering, and math) partnership with a small mostly low income and minority district south Dallas district, Lancaster ISD. The Dallas Morning News announced
The Lancaster ISD is about to become the test lab for teaching methods that increase the number ofcollege-ready students with advanced math and science skills. If successful, the project will benefitnot only Lancaster students, but those on campuses all over the state. In an innovative partnership, the Texas InstrumentsFoundation will donate up to $4.8 million over the next four years to Educate Texas. This arm of the Communities Foundation of Texas, in turn, will work with the Lancaster school district to improve the way it teaches science, math, technology and engineering.
Educate Texas was launched in 2004 with the goal of creating a great network of great STEM schools, now called the T-STEM network and supported by regional T-STEM centers, as well as supporting school improvement.
Educate Texas director John Fitzpatrick said, “We see this investment as a great example of both building on the success of the T-STEM Blueprint and all the lessons learned from our 59 public-private supported T-STEM Academies about how to improve teaching and learning in science, technology, engineering and math AND a terrific new example of our new 2010-2014 strategy to scale beyond single campus models into broader networks of campuses and districts.”
Seven years ago, Gov Perry attended a tech company lunch and came back to the office and asked his then staffer (now Commissioner) Robert Scott how they could connect education initiative to emerging industry clusters. A couple foundation grants and a big state commitment launched the innovative partnership that has yielded more than 240 new and redesigned schools and launched 20 charter management organizations, 49 Early College High Schools (ECHS) and 59 Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Academies across Texas. It’s a great example of state leadership and an productive philanthropic partnership.