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Regional 'Blueprint for Educational Change' to be unveiled

A recent article in the Austin American Statesman outlines some of the challenges we face to improve Education in our community. Education leaders try to address these challenges in the Blueprint for Educational Change, the culmination of a two-year effort to improve education in Central Texas. Drafters of the blueprint, meeting today to release copies of the report, said they want to see: 95 percent of Central Texas students graduate from high school. Only two-thirds of ninth-graders now go on to graduate in four years. A 20 percentage-point improvement in eighth-grade passing rates on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills among students from all ethnic groups. Black and Hispanic eighth-graders sometimes lag 30 to 40 percentage points behind whites, 80 percent of whom pass all sections of the state achievement test. 70 percent of children enter kindergarten “school ready” by 2015. One study shows that 40 percent of children in Central Texas now enter kindergarten with up to an 18-month delay in skills. The coalition of business and education leaders who worked on the blueprint said they also want 20,010 more students enrolled in college by 2010 and want the number of students who are “college and career” ready to double by 2015. Now, only about 43 percent of area high school graduates can take college-level courses without remedial work. Susan Dawson, executive director of the E3 Alliance, the group that led the blueprint effort, said the intent is “to look at where other countries and cities are outpacing […]

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CISCO Systems employees work MAGIC into volunteering!

As Director of Corporate and Volunteer Relations, I work with a lot of companies doing good in the community. CISCO by far exceeded my expectations with their “can do” attitude and big hearts! They magically make things disappear…truckloads of trash, broken down washing machines, old wooden desks and much more…these are just a few things that a team of CISCO employees made “go away” at the request of the Sammy’s House Director, Isabel Huerta, while volunteering on Friday, November 9th as part of a Success By 6 Child Care Facility Improvement Project. The true magic is how their magical powers worked throughout the day! The CISCO team built and installed wooden racks, set-up a teacher’s lounge, assembled shelves, installed a “gently used” washing machine and dryer, picked-up and delivered carpet, painted wooden cribs, moved around big bulking furniture and miscellaneous items, spread gravel in the playground, and even cleaned-up by sweeping and mopping floors before leaving at the end of the day!At the end of the day the teary-eyed director and staff couldn’t believe their eyes! The CISCO team had definitely started the holiday season early by spreading the cheer! CISCO Team: Tell us about your experience! Post a comment here! Diana Santos, Director of Corporate and Volunteer Relations Hands On Central Texas

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