AUSTIN -- A small booth inside the Austin Convention Center may hold the key to the future of education in Texas. The booth features ideas from two Austin area teachers who are finalists in a contest to find the best idea to improve Texas education.
The contest is for the Rather Prize, created by Martin Rather, a student at Rice University and grandson of former CBS News anchor Dan Rather. The veteran journalist was so intrigued by his grandson's idea, he wanted to lend some help.
"Thanks to Martin's leadership and as his grandfather I'm very proud of him, that we've reached this point and these ten finalists will get down to one winner who we'll announce at SXSW in March," he said.
The contest was open to Texas teachers, students, and administrators and has since been narrowed down to a final ten.
Dr. Sanford Jeames, a health sciences coordinator at Eastside Memorial High School in Austin, is one of the finalists. His idea is called the "Step Up Challenge."
"We want our students at Eastside to step up and take advantage of new opportunities, but more importantly; we want our community partners to step up," Jeames said. "There's many things that students can do and we believe students can actually achieve this by being exposed to new opportunities."
More than 100 submissions were submitted for the Rather Prize. Jeames and a teacher from Round Rock's IB World School made the final ten. The Round Rock teacher submitted an idea that would promote the concept of "looping," where teachers teach a substantially similar group of students for multiple years.
Now it's up to the public to decide which idea is the best. The public can read a summary of each idea and then make a final selection by clicking here.