Summit aimed at helping Central Texas students achieve

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — More than 200 local leaders from education, government, business and the community will gather Wednesday at Austin Community College Eastview campus for the annual Blueprint for Educational Change Leaders Summit.

The event is hosted by E3 Alliance, Education Equals Economics, a local group that uses data to impact education to help improve regional economic prosperity. The goal is to break down barriers and make sure every student has access to education by outlining plans for the next five years to continue improving students.

The group created its Blueprint for Educational Change in 2008 to build a better education system by defining several goals. Firstly they hope to prepare children for kindergarten, eliminate achievement gaps, and improve student performance. Additionally, they focus on getting kids to graduate, go to college and prep for a career. It’s also a way for the community in Central Texas to come together to help children succeed.

The blueprint sets out a goal of:

  • 70% of children enter kindergarten school ready by 2020
  • 95% of all 8th and 9th graders are absent 6 days or less for the entire school year by 2020
  • 95% Central Texas high school students graduate “on time” by 2020

“I know there are so many wonderful parents watching and saying, ‘well we are taking care of our children,’ and our point is that these are all of our children and they all need to be able to succeed in order for the region to succeed,” said Khotan Shahbazi-Harmon, Director of Communications & Community Accountability for E3 Alliance.

Some of the data also highlight the number of multilingual students, which E3 says offer a tremendous economic potential for our region. The blueprint claims if we can change the system and services to build on the strength of multiple languages we can have a workforce that creates a true competitive advantage for our region.

“Seventeen percent of the total student population are ELL– English language learners and 90% of them speak Spanish. We need to make sure they are viewed as an asset in the region and a key component to the future workforce,” Shahbazi-Harmon said.

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