Gov. Rick Perry
Date: February 6, 2004
Topic: Educational Excellence
My fellow Texans
What we have done to improve education in Texas over the past decade is nothing short of remarkable.
We have put 7.1 Billion dollars of new money into our public schools since 1999.
From 1994 to 2002, passing rates on the TAAS test increased from 53 percent to 85 percent.
Scores have gone up across the board .and our students have consistently ranked in the top 10 nationally on reading, writing and math tests.
I believe now is the time to usher in a new era of educational excellence in Texas that is not based on meeting minimum standards, but focused on maximum achievement.
I have set forth a series of new results-based performance incentives that will give schools every reason to strive for maximum student achievement.
I am proposing incentives that reward commended performance on the TAKS test completion of Texas' toughest high school curriculum, the distinguished achievement program and success on the Algebra One exam.
I have also proposed incentives to help more students with Limited English Proficiency and to help compensate teachers who achieve a high level of excellence.
At the heart of my plan is a new enhancement to high school funding that will help keep more students in school and on track to graduation the High School Advancement Incentive.
The concept behind my proposals is simple: When we tie money to results, we will get more results for our money.
How do I know results-based performance incentives work? Because they are already working.
Because of incentives already in place, the number of students taking the Advanced Placement exam has doubled between 1997 and 2002
And the number of African-American and Hispanic students that have taken the test has nearly tripled.
Performance-based Incentives work.
When we fund failure equally with success we make failure its own incentive.
When we predicate additional funding on additional progress we make excellence the focus of every school in every district everywhere in Texas.
Our children deserve nothing less.