Gov. Perry Presents Milken Educator Award to Alvin Teacher
I'm here for two reasons today; first to encourage you to keep giving your best effort in school, because your future depends on it.
Second, I want to let the teachers and administrators here at Melba Passmore Elementary, and all across the state, know how much Texans appreciate their hard work.
Texas has a strong story of academic improvements to tell, thanks to a concerted effort we've made, in conjunction with legislators, the TEA, teachers groups, parents and local districts.
We've set an exceptionally high bar in our state, in terms of accountability and standards, and it's taken the hard work of all these groups, most definitely including the students, to meet expectations.
There are growing signs that our schools are doing just that.
Earlier this month, we got the welcome news that the Texas high school graduation rate is the third highest in the nation.
Students throughout our state are realizing the importance of staying in school and getting their diplomas.
They're also realizing the importance of continuing their education after graduation.
Participation in the SATs in Texas has soared over the last five years, particularly among our state's minority populations.
We have seen a 65 percent increase among Hispanic students, and a 42 percent increase among African-Americans.
Those are incredible numbers, because if there's any statistic that measures dreams, that's the one.
More and more young Texans of all backgrounds understand that college is a vital component of their personal success, and they're taking active steps to get themselves there.
None of that success is possible without the teachers of Texas, who inspire our students as much as they educate them.
We owe you an enormous debt of gratitude for the work you do, both in the classroom and beyond.
So, with that said, I'd like to get to the big announcement.
This year's recipient of a $25,000 Milken Educator Award is, Kristi Plummer!