This fall, the education improvement plan will be implemented, which officials hope will result in better services, better performance by the youth, and more career opportunities for those who are released.On TYC's website I found this set of bullet points describing highlights of this new education plan, but didn't locate anything more detailed. Though not in all the particulars, in many ways the agency is pursuing of its own accord a similar path to that outlined for it in failed legislation this year, SB 1362 which died for time in the House of Representatives' end-of-session meltdown. (See this testimony [pdf] from the Office of Independent Ombudsman supporting the bill.)
The full plan launches officially Sept. 1 at all campuses statewide. It provides accelerated curriculum, allowing youth to take advantage of self-paced study and to advance as rapidly as they can so that when they are released, they may re-enter public school or attend college. The plan also calls for TYC to offer some college courses and to increase reading skills for the students. ...
The improvement plan will essentially standardize the education at all TYC facilities and align the curriculum with Texas Education Agency requirements. Chief components call for proper assessment and placement of all youth in TYC’s educational programming, an accelerated learning system, improved special education services, and integration of students into public schools or colleges.
“This is going to lower recidivism,” [Dr. Clint] Carpenter said. “We want these kids to have a high school diploma — if we don’t have the input to change their future, we are not going to help these kids.”
Since Carpenter signed on as the agency’s education superintendent in February, TYC has 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.
Additionally, TYC will partner with Navarro College to offer courses to eligible youth in all TYC facilities. And, starting in September, TYC youth will be able to take dual credit and college courses at every campus. ...
TYC is in negotiations to offer classes from several other colleges and universities including the University of North Texas, University of Texas at Dallas, Tarleton State University, Stephen F. Austin University, and Texas A & M University in Commerce.
Between expanding services to special-ed students, improving opportunities for more capable students to take college courses, and the new, announced focus on reentry and continuing education during parole, the agency is saying all the right things on this topic. At issue will be whether TYC has the resources and personnel to perform these additional functions.
N.b., to current and former TYC employees: Grits will resume occasional TYC coverage and reopen comments, with some trepidation, but I will shut these strings down if they're abused. This is not the forum to anonymously gripe about your bosses or coworkers. Please stick to the topic at hand and try to remain constructive.