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Baylor's partnership with Waco Independent School District is an obvious win-win for educational enrichment, but how does that close working relationship also help drive economic development?

June 17, 2009

Hyde: The Waco Independent School District is absolutely essential to the overall economic development and thus the long-term health of the region for a variety of reasons. The most obvious of these is that the Waco ISD is one of the largest suppliers locally of the region's workforce. The second is that companies thinking of relocating to the area are vitally interested in the quality of education their children will receive. Current partnerships with Waco ISD through Baylor's College of Arts and Sciences and Schools of Engineering and Computer Science, Business, Law, and Education provide Waco ISD with educational enrichment, while at the same time providing Baylor students the opportunity to conduct research in real-world educational environments.

Hernandez: The future of Waco is dependent upon a workforce that is capable of meeting industries' need for scientifically and technologically literate employees. The responsibility for producing these kinds of employees within our community falls directly on Waco ISD. We look to Baylor University as a resource center in terms of teacher training, curriculum development and content specialization. Through our partnership with Baylor, Waco ISD students, parents, and teachers have participated in a multitude of Baylor initiatives. These partnerships help us provide excellent educational opportunities for all our children.

DuPuy: The Baylor School of Education works with area public school superintendents to place engaged student teachers throughout the Waco area. This process transforms these students into experienced teachers with well over a year in actual and applied classroom teaching experience. As a result, not only are seasoned, young teachers graduating fully prepared for the classroom, but the area school systems are benefiting from the young teachers' inspiration. While area independent school districts have challenging curriculum for advanced educational offerings, several quality private schools are also providing advanced curriculum subjects. This fall, the Greater Waco Education Initiative is engaging a broad cross section of community sectors to "send all children, of all ages, to school ready to learn" as every citizen shares the responsibility to educate every citizen. Baylor faculty members are providing key research for the development of this initiative.