This post is fourth in a series on the education planks of the 2010 Texas Democratic Party Platform.
This is an unofficial version published in advance of the final version from the Texas Democrats, but I expect very few changes.
EXCELLENT SCHOOLS FOR EVERY STUDENT
To make public education our highest priority, we believe the state should:
- provide universal access to pre-kindergarten and kindergarten;
- provide universally accessible after school programs for grades 1-12;
- provide free, accurate and updated instructional materials aligned to educationally appropriate, non-ideological state curriculum standards and tests;
- provide free computer and internet access, as well as digital instructional materials;
- provide early intervention programs to ensure every child performs at grade level in English Language Arts, Social Studies, Math, and Science;
- ensure that students with disabilities receive an appropriate education in the least restrictive environment, including access to the full range of services and supports called for in their individual education plans;
- provide appropriate career and technical education programs;
- reject efforts to destroy bilingual education;
- promote multi-language instruction, beginning in elementary school, to make all students fluent in English and at least one other language;
- replace high-stakes tests, used to punish students and schools, with multiple measures that restore the original intent of the state assessment system–improving instruction to help students think critically, be creative and succeed;
- end inappropriate testing of students with disabilities whose individual education plans call for alternative assessments of their educational progress;
- enforce and extend class size limits to allow every student to receive necessary individualized attention;
- support Title IX protections for gender equity in public education institutions;
- ensure that every school has a fully funded library that meets state requirements;
- provide environmental education programs for children and adults; and
- oppose private school vouchers.