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Government/Politics

Van De Putte Announces Education Plan With Full-Day Pre-K

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Eileen Pace
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  Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor Leticia Van De Putte Tuesday unveiled her plan for a statewide education policy for pre-K through high school.

It's a comprehensive plan that promises to expand access to broadband for students, increase parent access to school board members, and restore school funding reduced by the last Legislature.

Van de Putte’s education plan is formed on the pillars of early childhood education programs, adequate funding for local schools, and getting rid of or cutting back on standardized testing.

“As a pharmacist, we order medicines that help little children with their tummy aches, with all the digestive problems that they have," Ven De Putte said. "Every pharmacy in this state knows when testing takes place because the children get sick. I’m talking about babies, little ones, who are so frightened that they get sick to their stomach four days before this big test."

At a press conference in San Antonio where she announced the plan, Van De Putte stopped short of saying she would get rid of standardized testing but did say she would minimize the length of time per test and advocate for policies that eliminate teaching to the test.

“What we’re finding is that there’s more than a month of school days that are lost, of instructional learning that is lost, because they’re preparing for the test. It’s not just that three-hour test," she said. 

Van De Putte said getting rid of standardized testing is a long-term assignment.

“I think the mechanism is that we go into the Legislature and we say, ‘We know this is not working. It is not working,’ ” Van De Putte said.

She said accountability can be achieved through sample testing and diagnostics at the beginning of the school year that establishes a baseline for each student.

Van De Putte said her pre-K plan is aligned with the plan proposed by Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis, but adds the restoration of pre-K to full-day programs across the state.