Houston County Courier - Local News
Stories Added - July 2009
Copyright 2009 - Polk County Publishing Company
TYC Fast-Tracks Education Changes for 2009-2010 School Year
Houston County Courier - July 2009
The Texas Youth Commission (TYC) has unveiled an education improvement plan that will be fully implemented by the start of the Fall 2009 school year.
According to TYC officials, this plan makes significant changes to current youth education programs and will result in better services, increased youth performances, and expanded practical learning opportunities.
The improvement plan focuses on standardization of education services throughout all TYC facilities and aligning them with Texas Education Agency requirements.
Chief components of the plan call for proper assessment and placement of all youth in TYC’s educational programming, an accelerated learning system to help youth catch up to their peers by the time they leave TYC, improved special education services, and seamless transitioning from TYC back into local school districts or continued higher education.
Officials said improving education outcomes has been a priority for TYC Executive Commissioner Cherie Townsend since she began at TYC in October 2008.
“TYC actually has a very short time with our youth to address educational deficiencies that have built up for years,” Townsend said.
“Incoming youth typically test five years behind their peers in math and reading. For that reason, we must have a progressive and innovative education program as part of our rehabilitation effort. Educational achievement quite often means the difference between success and failure when our youth go back into their communities.”
Under the direction of TYC’s new education superintendent, Dr. Clint Carpenter, the agency has already implemented a number of improvements.
In March 2009, every eligible TYC youth took the TAKS (Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills) test, a first for youth in TYC.
The agency also implemented a comprehensive reading skills program that will result in a projected first-year outcome of a two-to-three year increase in reading comprehension.
Additionally, the agency has reached an agreement with Navarro College to offer courses to youth in all TYC facilities, and partnerships with the Texas Virtual School Network and other colleges are being finalized.