The only thing more expensive than investing in education is not investing in education. Districts in the Texas 288 Corridor offer an impressive array of high quality educational opportunities to prepare a growing population for future careers.
The Texas 288 Corridor is served by five independent school districts: Alvin, Angleton, Brazosport, Friendswood and Pearland. In addition, limited areas are served by the Fort Bend, Houston, Pasadena and Clear Creek Independent School Districts. Each district is governed by its own board of elected trustees and offers a variety of study areas, extracurricular activities, and special education departments to meet the needs of students. All of the school districts in the Texas 288 Corridor “Met Standards” in the 2017 Accountability Ratings Report released by the Texas Education Agency.
Texas students take the State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness (STAAR) tests. STAAR tests measure a child’s performance, as well as academic growth and college and career readiness. The number of subjects tested and the number of tests taken each year varies by grade. Results from STAAR are used to calculate annual school and district performance ratings. For current information, ask your school district for updates or visit the Texas Education Association (TEA) website at tea.texas.gov.
In the State of Texas, charter schools operate under and receive academic accountability ratings from the Texas Education Agency. All charter students in Texas take the same STAAR test as traditional public school students. Open-enrollment Charter schools receive state funds based on the average daily attendance of students; however, they do not receive funds from local tax revenue.
As health care and biotechnology industries grow and mature within the Texas 288 Corridor, career opportunities for educated skilled workers are increasing. Students interested in health science careers can enroll in programs offered at local community colleges and advance their degrees at numerous colleges and universities.
Several programs utilize partnerships between local colleges and industry to train students for job specialties in high demand.
STEM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math education. Simply defined, STEM is an interdisciplinary and applied approach that is coupled with hands-on, problem-based learning. Advocates of integrated approaches to STEM education believe teaching STEM in a more connected manner, especially in the context of real-world issues, can make STEM subjects more relevant to students and teachers. The goal being to increase the number of students who consider a career in a STEM-related field, and to improve college readiness.
Some educators want to include Art in STEM programs making STEAM. Proponents of STEAM see art as a way of offering more diverse learning opportunities, and better access to STEM programs for all types of learners. Engaging students’ strengths using art activities increases motivation and the probability of STEM success.
The U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 13 percent growth in careers in the STEM sector between 2012 and 2020, compared with 11 percent growth in non-STEM sectors.
In 2013, the average STEM occupation paid about $80,000 annually. That’s roughly 1.7 times the average yearly U.S. wage.
There are several STEM Initiatives in Texas to inspire existing and new programs. The Texas Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (T-STEM) Initiative provides a foundational approach to empower teachers, inspire students, and advance the STEM education. The` public-private initiative of academies, professional development centers and networks is designed to improve instruction and academic performance in science and mathematics-related subjects at secondary schools.
The school districts in the Texas 288 Corridor are integrating STEM teaching principals in K-12 grade. Local businesses and industries are also taking an active part in STEM educational programs to strengthen the STEM skills of students while introducing a variety of career choices. Stephen F. Austin Elementary School in the Brazosport ISD is a dedicated STEM campus for grades K-6.
Dow Chemical Company, a world leader in STEM education, works closely with local schools, colleges, government and other industries in support of STEM education.
The Texas Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (T-STEM) Challenge Scholarship Program was established by House Bill 2910. Grants awarded under the T-STEM program allow community and technical colleges to provide merit-based scholarships to qualifying, high-achieving full-time students pursuing careers in STEM and related fields. Participating colleges partner with local business and industry to identify local employment needs in T-STEM occupations and to develop part-time employment opportunities for scholarship recipients.