Just Do It!

Author: Kim Alexander, CEO, Collegiate Edu-Nation

My Granddad had a great influence on my life. He and my Grandmother raised two boys during the depression, and it resulted in him becoming what some would say “a very hard man”. His motto was “Better well done than well said-let’s get to work!” I remember that comment on a daily basis, and was reminded of it again last Thursday during Commissioner Morath’s remarks to the Senate Education Committee during their opening committee meeting of the current Legislative Session. He told the Senate Ed Committee that the percentage of 3rdgraders reading below grade level currently improves only 4% by 5thgrade. This was after he had just told them that the projected $5 billion in federal stimulus money that TEA has available is now in excess of $17 billion. When long time education committee member, Senator Royce West, questioned him about what his plans are for use of those funds, he said,  “I hope you plan to do something meaningful, because we have pumped billions into public education and we get the same results over and over and over and over and over and over and over times 7 again!”  To quote my favorite country philosopher, Jeff Foxworthy, “The definition of stupid is to keep doing the same thing over and over again and expect a different result!”

Collegiate Edu-Nation is a Network of high performing rural schools intent on turning the 13% of Rural Texas High School Graduates who earn post-secondary credentials, leading to gainful employment opportunities, into 90% in 300 of the 700 small and rural districts by 2030 (60×30 TX) and 600 districts by 2036 (TX 2036).

In a recent document prepared by soon to be Drs. Kellie Seals, Roscoe’s Dean of College Readiness, and Roscoe Superintendent, Andy Wilson, for the upcoming 2021 Model Schools Conference in Nashville, the Session Description reads as follows!

“Just over a decade ago, a small west Texas school district took drastic action to change its trajectory from ruin to reward in the form of successful student outcomes. Committed to diffusion, the district’s innovators are now change agents on a mission to help other rural schools do the same: create a supportive, transformational educational space ripe with opportunities for underprivileged, underrepresented rural youth. Its holistic learning ecology includes equitable access to academic, experiential, and financial support from preschool all the way through graduate school. In this session, representatives from the district will share its history along with its key strategies including building an inclusive culture, providing systemic support, and facilitating real world experiences. Practices such as the Montessori method, AVID, and P-TECH make up its P-20 system model of support. Join us!”

Senator West, I pray that you and your senate colleagues will support SB 1527 (Perry), the Rural Tri-Agency CCMR Act, because we think we’ve stumbled onto something that will change rural Texas for the better!

For more on Collegiate Edu-Nation (CEN) go to: edu-nation.org

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