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Texas High School Project/Communities Foundation of Texas Launch North Texas TxCAN Pilot Region

Nov 08, 2011 | posted by Staff

THSP Chief Operating Officer George Tang Presentation

DALLAS – The Texas High School Project (THSP), a public-private initiative of Communities Foundation of Texas, today joined with Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings and representatives from area school districts and institutions of higher education to announce the selection of North Texas as a pilot region for the Texas College Access Network (TxCAN). TxCAN is part of the National College Access Network (NCAN), created to establish a sustainable network of agencies and organizations working collaboratively to increase student access and success in postsecondary education.

“North Texas leaders understand the value of collective impact, an approach we believe is vital to the long-term success of improving education,” said THSP Chief Operating Officer George Tang. “Strong leadership from the Mayor’s Office and the regional P-16 Council, coupled with recent initiatives such as Commit!, are testament to the commitment the Dallas area has to strengthening the region’s education system.”

“Communities Foundation of Texas is proud to join with Mayor Rawlings, area school districts and institutions of higher education, community leaders, and local college access providers in this collaborative effort to ensure there are great postsecondary opportunities for students across the Dallas region,” said Brent Christopher, President and CEO for Communities Foundation of Texas. “CFT works to bring people and organizations together for the benefit of the entire community, which is exactly what the Texas College Access Network does.”

In selecting North Texas as a TxCAN region, THSP noted the existing momentum already built through the Commit! initiative. Championed by Mayor Rawlings and the Dallas Regional Chamber of Commerce, Commit! is a collaborative of Dallas area stakeholders, each highly committed to the transformative power of education, who are willing to work together and be mutually accountable to each other for their respective roles in strategically ensuring that all students graduate from Dallas-area high schools and succeed in either college or the work force. 

“We are excited the Texas High School Project and Communities Foundation of Texas have selected our region for a TxCAN pilot,” said Mayor Mike Rawlings.  “As a community, we must work together to increase access to all levels of education, and I applaud each of the organizations working towards that goal.  The goal of Commit! is to help coordinate and align individual strategic plans of the various entities focused on education today.”

“TxCAN is one of hopefully many partnerships that will be established in the near future as institutions focused on education in Dallas begin to work even more closely to use common data, share best practices and together drive student success across the region,” said Commit! Chair Todd Williams.

The existence of dynamic partnerships between area school districts, such as Dallas, Lancaster and Richardson ISDs, as well as Uplift Education, are considered key to achieving TxCAN’s goals of success for all students throughout the North Texas region.

“As a district that prides itself on innovation, Richardson ISD is honored to be part of this pilot effort with TxCAN and the Texas High School Project,” Richardson Independent School District Board President Kim Quirk said.  “With our ever-changing population, any tool we can put in the hands of our students to help them pursue and succeed in college is going to be an asset.”

“We are excited about being selected as a participant of the North Texas TxCAN pilot region,” Lancaster Independent School District Superintendent Michael McFarland said. “In Lancaster ISD, our focus is on ensuring that our students graduate with more than a high school diploma. We are committed to ensuring that our students leave us college-prepared and career ready with choices and opportunities. We look forward to partnering with agencies and organizations within the North Texas TxCAN pilot region who are equally committed to working collaboratively to increase student access and success in postsecondary education.”

“We are eager to exchange ideas and best practices with our peers in order to increase the number of students across the region accepted and prepared to be successful in college,” Yasmin Bhatia, chief executive officer of Uplift Education, said.  “I am confident that there are winning initiatives taking place inside individual school districts that when broadly known can be ‘scaled up’ to increase college acceptance and persistence rates for our city.”

Through TxCAN, organizations (such as institutions of higher education, school districts, school counselors, non-profit and for-profit college access service providers, and local government and state agencies) will have greater opportunities to work together in furthering a common mission of greater postsecondary access and success.

Key initiatives for TxCAN will focus on building awareness of existing college access activities and resources, aligning the strategic efforts of numerous stakeholders, and providing tools to measure the impact of access services.

“I believe in the transformative power of education,” said Dr. John Ellis Price, President of the University of North Texas Dallas. “I believe if we transform individuals, we can transform Dallas. A college education increases earning potential, it reduces crime and the chances of unemployment significantly, it creates more stable families and it improves quality of life. We want to see these benefits impacting the lives of all of our citizens. Our efforts here to increase access to higher education will have a significant impact on our future, individually and collectively.”

Because of established networks and existing relationships with Texas school districts, state education agencies, local governments, policymakers, higher education institutions, business and philanthropy groups, THSP is leading the statewide development of TxCAN. In addition to the Dallas area, San Antonio has also been selected as a TxCAN pilot region.

The Texas High School Project, an initiative of Communities Foundation of Texas, is a unique organization that brings together, partners with, and aligns the work of influential public and private groups committed to improving education in our state. By working directly with state agencies, superintendents and school districts, state and national philanthropy groups, business and civil rights groups, and our corporate partners, THSP shares and scales what's working in the areas of campus learning systems, teacher effectiveness and education leadership. 

THSP’s work promotes postsecondary access, success and completion for all students - with a focus on first-generation, low income students who represent the economic future of Texas.

THSP’s public-private alliance members include: the Texas Education Agency; Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board; Office of the Governor; Texas Legislature; Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Michael & Susan Dell Foundation; Communities Foundation of Texas; Greater Texas Foundation; The Meadows Foundation and National Instruments.

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To download the news release, click here.

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