On the road to 60x30TX

Yesterday the Senate Higher Education Committee held an interim hearing on the state’s 60x30TX plan. Created by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, the overarching goal of 60x30TX is for 60 percent of Texans ages 25-34 to hold a postsecondary credential by the year 2030.

As policymakers and educators march toward that goal, there are several considerations we must keep in mind. One of those is how we can target specific populations of underserved students to best address their individual needs. As growing populations, paying special attention to these groups will be absolutely critical to the state’s future.

Over the next few weeks, we will take a look at some of the trends we must reverse to provide students the opportunities they need to excel in careers and contribute to a stronger Texas. Specifically, we will explore how the state’s pre-kindergarten through twelfth-grade system can prepare more students to make it to and through college or to successfully earn an industry certification.

First, we will take a look at the gender achievement gap and how Texas can get creative about getting male students up to the bar their female peers are setting. Then we will tackle the disparity between black and Hispanic students and their white and Asian counterparts. In the final post, we will explore potential strategies to support and empower low-income students throughout their time in schools.

Reaching 60x30TX will be an uphill battle, and it will require improvement for all students. We will have to level the playing field for male and female students. We need to create conditions where students of color, which represent 65 percent of Texas students and growing, have a shot at success. We must help alleviate the burdens of our economically disadvantaged students, who now make up over half of our student population. It’s a herculean task that will take all of us pitching in. Let’s get started now.

We believe every Texas child, regardless of race, ethnicity or zip code, deserves a quality education. You can help make that happen.