Educational compact with Mexico signed by The University of Texas at Austin

May 23, 2006

AUSTIN, Texas—An educational compact has been signed between Mexico and The University of Texas at Austin to help Hispanic English language learners in grades 9 through 12 transition to Texas schools as they become proficient in English, improve academic achievement and reduce the state’s K-12 dropout rate.

William Powers Jr., president of The University of Texas at Austin, is joined by Antonio O. Garza Jr., the United States ambassador to Mexico, in the signing ceremony Friday, May 19. To the left of President Powers is Jorge Gonzalez Teyssier, director general of the Colegio de Bachilleres.

William Powers Jr., president of The University of Texas at Austin, is joined by Antonio O. Garza Jr., the United States ambassador to Mexico, in the signing ceremony Friday, May 19. To the left of President Powers is Jorge Gonzalez Teyssier, director general of the Colegio de Bachilleres.

Photo: Marsha Miller

A Hispanic English language learner under this program, which begins services in fall 2006, would most often be an immigrant child but others could be American citizens raised in homes where the primary spoken and written language is Spanish.

Antonio O. Garza Jr., the United States ambassador to Mexico, joined William Powers Jr., president of The University of Texas at Austin, in the signing ceremony Friday, May 19, in the Life Sciences Library of the university’s Main Building. The compact for the Language Learners at the university’s Center for Hispanic Achievement Program (LUCHA) is between The University of Texas at Austin and the Mexican federal education agencies, Colegio de Bachilleres and the National Institute for Adult Education.

“The ceremonial signing marks the first time that education officials from The University of Texas at Austin and Mexico will collaborate to align the high school standards from their respective curricula,” said Dr. Felipe Alanis, associate dean of the Division of Continuing Education at The University of Texas at Austin.

Powers signed the document on behalf of The University of Texas at Austin. Mexican officials signing the document were Jorge Gonzalez Teyssier, director general of the Colegio de Bachilleres, and C.P. Ciro Adolfo Suarez Martinez, director general of the National Institute for Adult Education (INEA). Garza was among the honorary witnesses.

As a result of these agreements, Hispanic English language learners in Texas high schools will be working with online resources from Mexico that will be aligned to the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills and the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills.

The resources and services from The University of Texas at Austin and Mexico will help Hispanic English language learners complete their secondary education with content that meets college-level rigor. The University of Texas at Austin and federal education agencies from Mexico will work together to improve academic achievement, reduce the dropout rate, increase community and parental involvement, and increase graduation rates.

These services, which include online courses and transcript analysis, will be available to all Texas schools through the K-16 Education Center under the Division of Continuing Education at The University of Texas at Austin beginning in fall 2006.

For more information, contact Dr. Felipe Alanis at 512-471-8203 or visit the K-16 Education Center Web site for a PowerPoint presentation on LUCHA.

For more information contact: Robert D. Meckel, Office of Public Affairs, 512-475-7847.