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Texas Governor Greg Abbott Gives State Board of Education Chair Donna Bahorich Nod of Approval

Bahorich hears kind remarks from Governor Abbott for her dedication to Texas Public Schools at reception during TASA’s Midwinter Conference January 25 in Austin

Donna Bahorich with Gov. Greg AbbottFebruary 1, 2016, Austin, TX – Texas Governor Greg Abbott praised the leadership of State Board of Education Chairwoman Donna Bahorich and encouraged the state’s education community, teachers, parents and business community to continue partnering with her to improve Texas public schools.

“Donna is a strong leader whose vision for the State Board of Education is leading to greater collaboration and smarter solutions to the educational challenges Texas faces. I have no doubt that with Donna at the helm, we will build a foundation of excellence for all our children,” said Abbott, speaking at a reception held in conjunction with the Texas Association of School Administrators Midwinter Conference.

One important effort Bahorich is spearheading is a series of statewide “Community Conversations” to garner input from parents, educators and the business community for an upcoming report by the Texas Commission on Next Generation Assessment and Accountability. This kind of “boots on the ground” effort has not been done in nearly two decades.

Created by the Texas legislature with House Bill 2804, the Commission will make recommendations for student assessment and public school accountability in Texas. A report recommending statutory changes will be delivered to the governor and legislature by September 1, 2016.

Thus far, Education Board Chair Donna Bahorich has eight dates on the calendar and set out a protocol that includes facilitated small group discussions. Three different groups of stakeholders — educators, parents and business leaders — are invited to each discussion. Bahorich said each group’s perspective will  be important to consider in the deliberations by the Commission.

“I’m proud of the investments of time and effort the SBOE has made in widening communication opportunities throughout Texas as we continue looking at ways to effectively and fairly measure progress,” said Bahorich. “But, we have to change the current emphasis from ‘winners and losers’ to focusing on what we can learn that offers a way forward for each and every child. How do we use what we measure to make a difference?”

Governor Abbott noted that Bahorich has led in many important areas, like spearheading a coalition of math and economic professionals in the development of a critical life skills class  on personal finance Financial Math; seeing to it that computer coding is taught in every Texas school district so students can take advantage of tech industry growth in the state; and hosting learning roundtables on big education issues like educating our children in an increasingly digital age.

Upcoming Community Conversations

Thus far, Community Conversations have taken place in Houston, San Antonio and Austin. The schedule for remaining meetings are as follows:

El Paso, February 4

Brownsville, February 11

Dallas/Fort Worth, February 16-17

Kilgore, March 1

Amarillo, March 24

For additional information or to receive the most current schedule of Community Conversations, contact Emily Eldridge at eeldridge@crosswindpr.com or (248) 396-6240.