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School Start Date Task Force Report
January 2005

School Start Date Task Force Report to Carole Keeton Strayhorn, Texas Comptroller
Findings and Recommendations Pertaining to the September 2004 Report "Saving Summer: Lessons Learned"

Transmittal Letter from Dr. Cunningham

School Start Date Task Force

January 6, 2005

The Honorable Carole Keeton Strayhorn
Texas Comptroller
111 East 17th Street
Austin, Texas 78774

Dear Comptroller Strayhorn:

As Chairman of the School Start Date Task Force, which you formed to further explore issues presented in your September 2004 special report, Saving Summer: Lessons Learned, it is my pleasure to present the following report containing the findings and recommendations of the sub-committees of the task force.

It has been both a pleasure and an educational experience for me to work with this diverse group of individuals representing parents, teachers, administrators, and community and business leaders from across this state. And, although not all of the task force could agree on every question you asked us to explore, I believe that you will find that this group has taken their mission very seriously and have dedicated considerable time and thought to the issues at hand.

In attempting to answer your basic questions, however, the task force was led to question some of the basic assumptions that guide how Texas children are taught and tested. Therefore, we are presenting a basic set of recommendations, as well as an alternative set of recommendations for your consideration, which I believe will impact school start dates, but could also impact student learning in very fundamental ways.

We understand that you will consider our findings and recommendations as you formulate your own recommendations to the Legislature, and realize that you are not bound by anything that we have presented here. I want you to know, however, that the task force and I stand ready to answer any questions or concerns you may have about the information provided in this report.

Thank you for bringing this diverse group together and for the opportunity you have given us to openly exchange ideas.



William H. Cunningham
School Start Date Task Force



Task Force Members

Work of the Task Force

Executive Summary

Subcommittee Reports

  1. Public Participation
  2. Waiver Process
  3. Professional Development
  4. Student Learning and Instruction
  5. Migrant and Workforce Development
  6. Alternative Calendars

Appendices are PDF files. If you do not already have Adobe Acrobat Reader, you will need to download the latest version to view and print them.

  1. Public Forum Comments
  2. Summary of Survey Results
  3. Parent Survey Results
  4. Student Survey Results
  5. Community Member/Taxpayer Survey Results
  6. Employer Survey Results
  7. Teacher Survey Results
  8. School Employee Survey Results
  9. School Administrator Survey Results
  10. School Board Member Survey Results
  11. Minority Reports
  12. Spacing Effect