March 2018

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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.  
A recent survey, conducted by Baselice & Associates, Inc., and funded by Texas Education Grantmakers Advocacy Coalition found:
  • 81 percent of Texans favor a requirement that local education tax dollars sent to the state must be used for public education, and not used to fill other budget shortfalls or fund other programs. After hearing more about the issue, 86 percent favor this requirement.
View more survey findings here.


Dear Friends,
Spring Break is over and we are now in the home stretch of the school year. Primary elections (except in the case of runoffs) are over and we can get back to a "normal" way of life.  This is the time of year when there is more pressure on teachers and students to get everything taught and ready for state-mandated testing. This is the time when educators must partner with parents and guardians to help each student understand their potential and reach a new level of achievement.  We must stay positive in a society that loves to dwell on the negative. 

In Dr. Dennis Whatley's book, "The Winner's Edge," he writes:
One of the most glaring reasons we have such a difficult time seeing the abundance of potential in our own lives that enables us to be real winners is that the media is bombarding us with the "wrong doings" of society rather than the "right doings."  ABC newscaster, Paul Harvey, says that he is appalled by the way the news of the world is portrayed on a daily basis to individuals in our society, with all the  focus on deviant behavior rather than what's happening that is right.

Our communities can get caught in this trap as well, especially this time of year.  We must make a conscious decision to focus on all of the "right doings" of our students, along with you campus and district leadership.  What I love about Friends is that we want to focus on all of the great things happening in public education.  A review of our organizational Vision says:

The vision of Friends of Texas Public Schools is that Texas public school educators will be ambassadors for their profession. Texans will believe that being an educator is noble, will revere and respect their public schools, and will recognize their role and become engaged in quality public education.

We would love to help you in spreading the "right doings" of your district and all 1200 school districts throughout the state of Texas.  Thank you for partnering with friends of Texas Public Schools.  Until next time, "Always remember Who you are, Where you are from, and Who you represent!"

Thank you for being a supporter of Friends of Texas Public Schools!

Blake W. Cooper
Executive Director
What great things ARE happening?

By Steve Risser

So, there were some silver linings with the Primaries along with disappointments of course. We all recognize far too well that the accomplishments and achievements of public schools too often get overshadowed by political agendas, extreme public opinions and of course in the midst of horrific events in our schools and communities.

Part of the mission of the FOTPS is to underscore the significance of public schools. Under the shadows of the aforementioned, 97% of Hillsboro ISD High School students are enrolled in their dual credit program. The Robotic students in Kelton ISD (a district with less than 150 students), are the defending small school state champions in UIL FTC Robotics and are currently in Athens, GA competing in the FTC Super Regional Championship with their sights on making the World Competition later this year. Third graders in Gunter ISD Skype with the Niagara Falls Parks Commission to learn about landforms and changes to our earth.  Kids in Sunnyvale schools actually give their administration insight on how THEY can improve their education. 

There simply is not enough ink on this computer to account for the innovation, creativity, engagement and interaction our kids are already contributing to our state, country and world.  Thank you public educators, for what you are doing.

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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

Affiliate Partnership benefits:
  • Company Name Listed at
  • 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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