This is a happy day for the Texas Center for Education Policy (TCEP). Thanks to Gary Scharrer for writing this story about the inauguration of our fully constituted board. Check out our TCEP website for more information and news about the Center.
July 10, 2007, 9:34PM
Texas education policy board will debut
Panel to oversee center dedicated to connecting research with decision makers
By GARY SCHARRER
Copyright 2007 Houston Chronicle Austin Bureau
AUSTIN — The widow of Texas Supreme Court Justice Oscar Mauzy remembers the frustration her husband encountered 18 years ago while writing the court's unanimous decision that the state's school funding system was unconstitutional.
He wanted research-based data to help amplify the ruling and couldn't find any answers, Anne Mauzy said.
The couple decided to help establish an education research and policy center, and Anne Mauzy will be one of the members of the Texas Center for Educational Policy advisory board of directors that will formally meet for the first time Thursday.
"There's so much research going on, but there doesn't seem to be any clearinghouse for it," she said.
"That's why we set up the policy center and waited around for years for anything to happen."
Oscar Mauzy, a longtime state senator before moving to the court, died nearly seven years ago.
Angela Valenzuela, an education professor at the University of Texas at Austin, is the director for the Texas Center for Educational Policy based at the university. The center will connect education researchers to each other and provide data for decision makers, including Congress, the Texas Legislature, the State Board of Education and local school boards.
"This center will be a bridge between decision makers and people who are doing the research, filling a necessary gap," Valenzuela said.
"You won't have researchers (at the Texas Center for Educational Policy) who are hired to generate a particular result. But rather, you have scholars that dedicate their lives to certain research questions and under a peer review method that makes them accountable," Valenzuela said.
The 15-member advisory board, which includes liberal Waco philanthropist Bernard Rappoport, former Democratic state Sen. Carlos Truan and former Democratic Lt. Gov. Ben Barnes, appears to skew left politically. Valenzuela explained she found it difficult to get any Republicans to serve, but the board won't be involved in peer-reviewing research.
Board member John Guerra, president of the Texas Association for Mexican American Chambers of Commerce, said a week never passes without corporate leaders expressing anxieties to him about having a quality future work force.
"The Center for Education will have great influence in terms of assuring that we have a curriculum that meets the needs of business today and in the future," he said.