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.


    Tax Credit “Scholarship” is Not Philanthropy

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    Which Schools Offer Choice and Accountability?

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    Raising Blended Learners Demonstration Site Reflects on Progress

    Surprises abound for a blended learning project manager at a top performing rural school in Texas.

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    Texas Students Outperform Voucher States

    Many supporters of education savings accounts, tax credit scholarships, and other school voucher programs promise these schemes will provide better educational options and even improve the performance of public schools. They bemoan Texas is “behind” other states on “private school choice.” Yet evidence on educational achievement shows Texas generally outperforms these voucher states on many metrics.

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    Voucher Research: Poor Outcomes, Potential for Fraud

    The leadership of the Texas Senate continues to seek support for statewide voucher programs in the form of “education savings accounts” (ESAs) and private school tax credits. Meanwhile, a series of recent articles on similar programs in other states shows “dismal” academic outcomes and a financial “shell-game” that calls the financial accountability of these programs into serious question.

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    A Symposium to Remember

    The 2017 Raise Your Hand Texas Campus to Capitol Leadership Symposium was unlike any before. Find out what was totally new this year, and listen to public school students tell us why their voices matter.

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    Through the Looking Glass: The Rebranding of School Vouchers

    Voucher advocates are growing increasingly irritable. Texans aren’t buying into their fforts to rebrand vouchers – a term that even voucher supporters acknowledge is political kryptonite – into warmer, fuzzier sounding “Education Savings Accounts” (ESAs) and “tax credit scholarships.”

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    2017 Research Update: New Voucher Policy Brief

    When it comes to school vouchers, additional choices do not necessarily equate to higher quality choices. As explained in this brief, school voucher programs that operate outside the public system with limited or no transparency and no accountability requirements do not have a track record of success.

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    Where is Quality School Choice Thriving? You Might Be Surprised

    No longer separated by hundreds of miles or zip codes, cutting-edge programs and quality choices are increasingly available to public school students across the state, to the benefit of Texas families and the state’s future economy. While urban and suburban public school districts educating the majority of Texas students have multiple school choice and innovative programs, similar offerings are popping up like windmills along a West Texas highway among rural communities and smaller districts.

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    The Power of School-Family Partnerships

    The key to her school’s success, says Principal Barnes, is working closely with the families and asking for their input on everything.

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