Office of the Governor Rick Perry

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College- and Career-Ready Standards

Summary of Achievement

Governor Perry is committed to ensuring that every student graduates college- and career-ready with the knowledge and skills necessary to be successful in the military, workforce, or at an institution of higher education.  The most critical aspect of graduating students with a strong educational foundation is to ensure that, in every grade, the curriculum in core subject areas is focused on preparing students for a successful future.  Under Governor Perry’s leadership, Texas has been lauded as one of the first states in the nation to adopt college- and career-ready standards and incorporate them into learning materials, textbooks, and the state’s accountability system.

The Challenge

Over the last two decades, great strides have been made to increase student achievement in our public schools.  Still, far too many Texas high school graduates enter institutions of higher education in need of remedial courses or enter the job market without the skills employers require.  Ensuring that Texas high school graduates have the skills needed to compete in a rapidly evolving 21st century economy is essential for their success as well as the success of our state.  As businesses grow and new industries emerge, Texas must be prepared to offer a workforce unmatched in the U.S. and world.  To remain competitive and meet employers’ demands, the number of Texas students enrolling in institutions of higher education and completing workforce certification programs must increase.

Action / Initiative

In 2005, Governor Perry issued Executive Order RP-53 requiring the Texas Education Agency and Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to collaboratively develop college readiness standards.  In 2006, Governor Perry led the nation when he signed HB1, requiring the implementation of college- and career-ready standards in each core subject area and the State Board of Education (SBOE) to incorporate these standards into the state’s curriculum.  To assist the SBOE with this process, Governor Perry appointed the Commission for a College Ready Texas to meet with business and education leaders around the state to ensure that the new curriculum standards would align with employer needs.

The Outcome

As a result of these efforts, Texas is recognized nationally as leading the charge to implement college- and career-ready standards.  (The standards can be viewed here.  Over the next two years, Texas will spend nearly $1 billion purchasing textbooks and other instructional materials based on these new curriculum standards.

In September 2009, Education Week magazine highlighted Texas as one of the first states in the nation to adopt college- and career-ready standards and for doing more than any other state to align state resources to ensure that every student graduates college- and career-ready.