Thursday, August 20, 2009


Fellow Texan, As young Texans return to classrooms, all Texans have an opportunity to "go to school" on how we can improve achievement of students and cut dropout rates in public schools. After all, for Americans to compete to win in a world economy based on our skills and knowledge, we better get prepared. As Houston's Mayor, I've pioneered two effective programs which I will work to "scale up" as Texas' next U.S. Senator.

Summer Opportunity Sessions (SOS) - Teachers know that "summer learning loss" in early grade levels can hurt the performance and long-term prospects of students. Our Summer Opportunity Sessions provide four weeks of hands-on science and math for elementary school students and have dramatically improved performance at a low cost per student. The Brookings Institution report (PDF) that inspired our program recommends that similar initiatives be funded across the nation.

Reducing the Dropout Rates - Texas' dropout rates are some of the highest in the nation. In Houston we launched Expectation Graduation with innovative programs to cut the dropout rate. For example, each fall, my wife Andrea and I lead thousands of volunteers to go to the homes of high school students who have not returned to school. Approximately 6,700 students have returned to school as a result, and this initiative has been replicated in communities across Texas.

Improving public education is critical to our nation's future, and it's a part of who I am. My parents were teachers for a combined total of over seventy years, and I would not have been able to attend the college of my choice without an American Legion scholarship. My father was able to attend college because of the GI Bill. My wife Andrea has led successful non-profits, Expectation Graduation and Houston A+ Challenge, in support of the work of public schools.
As your next Senator I will work hard to do what's right for all Texans. Join our campaign about Texas' future at www.billwhitefortexas.com.


Respectfully,
Bill White P.S. Become a supporter and let me know what you think about these ideas by posting your thoughts on my Facebook page at www.facebook.com/BillWhiteTexas.

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