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Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott speaks in Tyler about his education policy


POSTED: Thursday, May 8, 2014 - 4:34pm

UPDATED: Thursday, May 8, 2014 - 5:52pm

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott made a stop in Tyler Thursday as part of his "Educating Texans" policy the gubernatorial candidate said he wants to see our state's education system become number one in the country.

Abbott has four phases in mind for his "Educating Texans" policy at Bryan C. Jack elementary school. He spoke about his third phase, digital learning.

"We're number one in the nation for so many different things. I think Texas should strive to be number one in the nation for educating the children in this state," said Abbott.

He's rolled out his first three phases of his education policy all across the state. The first phase of his plan is to create a solid foundation for learning.

"Ensure every third grade student is reading and doing math at grade level. That process begins in pre K-4 and we look to enhance literacy teaching," said Abbott.

His second phase is focusing on local control.

"We have way to many top down mandates that don't fit the one size fit all approach we have in the state."

Abbott said as part of his local control plan they want to allow school districts the option to exempt themselves.

"That will give this local ISD greater flexibility, greater control to manage their resources in this district, so they can choice the best pathway forward."

And third, taking Texas to the fore front in digital learning.

"If Texas doesn't take the lead in expanding access to, "learning without limits," the jobs will follow the way technology advances in other states."

He said students need to start preparing now for tech jobs in the future and every student and teacher should be equipped with the latest technology .

"From fracking to farming from energy to exporting from high technology to high school teachers, there is a growing need for high tech skills."

Abbott said his digital plan will cost about $164 million.

He said by implementing these measures, every teacher will literally have a digital assistant helping them in the classroom. Abbott said learning is no longer banded by brick and mortar. Children have moved into the digital world. He said students have lived through a technology explosion and it's time to re-imagine education for the jobs of tomorrow. Abbott said in order for our students to graduate from the best schools, students and teachers need to get plugged into technology and more online classes need to be available.

"Technology is an essential job skill. Proficiency in technology is now required in virtually every field of work. To keep Texas growing, we must prepare students not only for the next generation of jobs at places like Apple and Dell and Facebook and Google, but we must prepare them for the high paying skilled jobs that our in abundance across the state," said Abbott.

His plan also wants to ensure the campuses that have received a, "D" or "F" rating are able to have access to high quality digital learning.

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