Welcome to the Raise Your Hand Texas blog, featuring news about our leadership programs and advocacy efforts, important and timely updates, and opportunities for you to join us in strengthening and improving public education in Texas. Feel free to sort the posts below by checking the category boxes in the left menu, then clicking “Filter.” For more immersive storytelling about public education leaders and issues, check out our Stories section.

    Texas School Leaders Experience Spirited, Comprehensive Instruction at Harvard

    Teams of Texas public school leaders are at this very moment experiencing comprehensive professional development at Harvard University. And it's intense!

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    Harvard-Bound Principal Uses Playing Cards to Prepare Students for Life

    Since 2008, our organization has sent carefully selected school principals to the Harvard Graduate School of Education in Cambridge, MA, to attend one of a number of week-long institutes covering topics ranging from school turnaround to family engagement.

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    Major Changes in a Blended Classroom

    As we move into the second year of the Raising Blended Learners Initiative, 9th grade Birdville ISD teacher Kate Chambers explains how the work has helped her cater to students’ individual needs. (Spoiler alert: She changed everything!)

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    Dr. Chris Lubienski on How vouchers hurt Texas’ most vulnerable kids

    Dr. Chris Lubienski is a professor of education policy at Indiana University. His research focuses on the impacts of charter schools and vouchers in the United States and in other nations around the world.

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    2017 Research Update: ESA Policy Brief

    The reality is ESAs systematically reduce the availability of financial resources to support education, provide a taxpayer-funded subsidy for unaccountable private schools and commercial vendors, and primarily benefit more affluent students and families, some of who would have attended private school without the subsidy.

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    Session Shenanigans: Beware Late Efforts to Revive Voucher Legislation

    Despite an overwhelming vote­—a more than 2-to-1 margin—by the full House of Representatives against school vouchers during floor consideration of the House budget, voucher proponents persist with efforts to slip vouchers into other legislation.

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    The Truth About Vouchers and School District Costs

    A common argument advanced by supporters of education savings accounts (ESAs), private school tax credits and other school voucher programs is that school vouchers programs will not take money from public schools.

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    2017 Research Update: Special Education Voucher Brief

    There exists a national political effort to promote traditional vouchers, Education Savings Account (ESA) vouchers, and tax credit scholarship vouchers in the name of assisting students with disabilities. While promoted as a solution for families dissatisfied with services in the public school system, in reality, special education vouchers are employed as a political gateway to universal vouchers.

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    Mr. Voucher III: The FrankenVoucher

    Mr. Voucher is back, along with some other shady characters. And they’ve created a new monster voucher: FrankenVoucher. He’s a mashup of an ESA voucher and a tax credit “scholarship” voucher, which means he’s twice as devastating. 

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    Research Update: Full-Time Virtual Schools Failing Texas Students

    Due to the performance record of virtual schools, the state must prioritize transparency and continued accountability for these programs. We outline our policy concerns and break down the latest full-time virtual school performance data in our 2017 Position Paper.

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