February 2018

Founded in 2016 by Margaret Kilgo, Standards First, Inc. seeks to place importance on the national and Texas state standards in Reading, Writing, Mathematics, and Science. Click to learn more about offered workshops and resources to help improve student education and change the make-up of current standardized testing!

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With more than a million hits annually on our website and more than 22,000 e-news subscribers, we are pleased to offer advertising and sponsorship opportunities available to organizations wishing to reach school leaders across Texas who support Friends of Texas Public Schools. 

For information on getting your organization's message out to Friends of Texas Public Schools followers and readers, please email Jennifer Storm.  


Dear Friends,
The school year is moving fast and spring break is only a few weeks away. Once we return from the week of rest and relaxation it seems that the sprint was on as testing and all of the spring activities that happen around schools go into full speed. We hope everyone will stay focused and make sure that we continue to share all of the good things happening in our schools.

The March 6 primary election is upon us and we hope everyone is taking the time to be informed about the candidates before they cast their critical vote. Seeing the teachers posting on social media that they are supporting the 5.4 million students and 1.2 million active and retired educators is exciting.

With the election being the center of all of our attention, I believe this story would be appropriate;

At the commencement exercises for Purdue University's engineering schools, graduates of each school stood en masse to be recognized by the dean of engineering. When the aeronautical-engineering students rose, they launched a swarm of paper airplanes toward the stage, where the university's president and other dignitaries were sitting. After students from all the schools had risen in turn, the president stepped up to the rostrum. Looking at the paper planes covering the stage floor, he remarked, "I'm very glad the agricultural-engineering graduates decided not to throw anything." Reader's Digest, May, 1990, p. 28.

Thank you again for being a supporter of Friends of Texas Public Schools!
Blake W. Cooper
Executive Director

By John Tanner, Test Sense

Many years ago, my father, who is also an educator, and I began a conversation about the purpose of an education. We went the rounds such conversations tend to do: produce citizens, create happy, healthy adults, etc. Those answers were philosophical and aphoristic. They included undercurrents such as academic knowledge, the skills students would need to survive, and creativity (to name but a few) but those undercurrents were in support of a larger goal.

What I've come to realize over the years is that whatever purpose one settles on it needs to fit three criteria in order to be useful; it must be:
  1. Sufficiently broad to include everyone
  2. Sufficiently deep to make it worthwhile, and
  3. Sufficiently flexible to accommodate and encourage the wide variety of ways in which students are smart

A number of potential purposes my dad and I discussed over the years actually satisfy the first two criteria, but not the third. Finding a purpose that can accommodate and encourage all the ways in which students are smart is critical. Any purpose that fails to do that risks creating a one-sized-fits all approach, which in turn risks a negative judgment when a student is smart in a way the system doesn't recognize, and not so smart in a way that it does. It is also the most important of the three criteria to consider, because it is the one that insists the purpose be practical, and not just aphoristic.


After years of searching, the purpose of student benefit is the clear winner. The idea of student benefit is the idea that schools exist to benefit students, each of whom comes to school each day with a dizzying array of needs, talents, skills, knowledge, and understanding. It is then the job of an educator to understand how those things fit together, and then how best to guide the student to maximize that benefit.




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Friends of Texas Public Schools (FOTPS) is a nonprofit organization committed to educating Texans about the strengths and achievements of Texas public schools. It was founded by Leslie and Scott Milder in 2004 with the mission of facilitating respectful conversations about Texas public schools through honest communication, productive dialogue, and relentless encouragement. Generous donations from our Partners help us promote Texas Public Schools and will be used specifically to assist with the costs of marketing, advertising, and the production of high-profile regional and statewide events.

To become a FOTPS Affiliate Partner, please return the Sponsorship Agreement to us. If you have any questions or would like to discuss additional partnership opportunities, please contact FOTPS Director of Business Operations and Fund Development, Jennifer Storm at 361-549-4339 or jstorm@fotps.org.

Affiliate Partnership benefits:
  • Company Name Listed at www.fotps.org
  • Company Name Listed in Friends Newsletter (distributed monthly to over 30,000 subscribers)
  • One-time recognition on Friends Social Media Outlets
  • Recognition in Friends Gala program
  • Discounted admission for one to the Gala ($25 off)

Great things are happening in our Texas public schools! We want to share that story with Texans across the state, and we need your help to continue our work.
All public school districts in Texas are invited to enroll in our Friends of Texas Public Schools Network for the 2017-18 school year. If you were a member of the network last year we want to welcome you back. If you haven't been a member of our network before, we hope you will consider joining us this year.


By educating Texans about Texas Public Schools and their many strengths and achievements, we aim to:

* Underscore the significance of them;
* Unite Texans around them;
* Restore pride in them;
* Strengthen confidence in them;
* Lift spirits among them; and
* Inject resources into them...

...all of which will lead to even greater performance.
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