Raymund Paredes Presentation

One of the sessions that I attended at Mid-Winter featured the Texas Commissioner of Higher Education, Raymund Paredes. His presentation covered many different aspects of both higher education and secondary
education. Highlights of his presentation:

  • Discussion of Generation Texas – GenTex
    • Premise: Current K-12 generation will be the greatest generation in Texas.
    • Goal: To ensure that families understand the resources available to go to college.


  • The bulk of students requiring developmental education is not coming straight out of high school, but is enrolling after a few years out of high school.


  • Developmental courses may not necessarily be needed. What may be needed is more like a “refresher” course.


  • Reinventing Higher Education
    • Implement outcomes based funding.
    • Make student financial aid effective and efficient.
    • Reinvent developmental education.
    • Institutionalize a lean culture of continuous improvement
    • Identify low cost, high quality degrees.


  • 4th year of rigorous math in high school is the best indicator of college success.


  • Colleges and universities are currently working on aligning courses horizontally and vertically – i. e. English 101 would be the same everywhere.


  • In 1973 28% of all jobs required some type of post secondary credential.


  • Predicted that in 2018 that 62% of all jobs and 58% of manufacturing jobs will require some type of post secondary credential.


  • Schools should adopt college and career readiness standards as a goal.


  • The youngest cohort in the US is less well educated than previous – Texas has the same problem.


  • To remain globally competitive, Texas will need an additional 4.1 million associate and bachelor degrees by the year 2030 to reach internationally accepted goal of 60% of the workforce with higher education attainment.

A few thoughts: I appreciated that higher education was acknowledging the fact that students may not need complete developmental courses in a subject. Perhaps all they need is a brief refresher course. “Use it or lose it” is definitely an issue in mathematics. Students that were successful math students in high school, but do not go directly to college after graduation, often find that the skills and knowledge obtained in high school diminish when they are no longer used on a regular basis.

EISD has required that students in high school pursue a 4th year of math regardless of the number of math credits that they have. This policy has been in place about 8 years now. Hearing Dr. Paredes discuss the importance of this 4th year of math reinforced what we have been doing for several years in EISD.

I do think that it is extremely important that families understand what resources are available to assist students in attaining post secondary education and training. The Generation Texas program should prove invaluable to students, their families, and schools. You can visit the Generation Texas website at http://gentx.org/.




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