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Media Advisory: Austin Chamber Joins Coalition to Set High Standards for Academic Progress, Student Success

Chamber, community leaders commend AISD and area leaders for selecting distinguished graduation plan

AUSTIN, Texas—The Austin Chamber of Commerce will join a diverse coalition of civil right groups, business groups, teacher organizations and education researchers to support Austin ISD and Central Texas school districts who have chosen to go above and beyond the minimum to preserve all career and college options for Central Texas students.

Who: David Reiter, chamber education chair and senior vice president and general counsel of Luminex Corp.; Meria Carstarphen, AISD superintendent; Vincent Torres, president of AISD’s Board of Trustees; Rod Paige, former U.S. Secretary of Education; superintendents from area school districts; and community leaders.

What: The Austin Chamber of Commerce will hold a press conference with civil rights organizations to recognize the commitment of AISD Superintendent Carstarphen and the district’s trustees for choosing the Distinguished Level of Achievement as the prescribed graduation plan for Austin students. The chamber also will recognize area superintendents who are making similar decisions in their respective school districts.

When: 10:30 a.m. Monday, Jan.  27 

Where: Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce, 535 E. 5th St.

Background: In December, AISD's Board of Trustees established the Distinguished Level of Achievement as the district's prescribed graduation plan beginning with the Class of 2018.

House Bill 5 replaces the Minimum, Recommended and Distinguished Achievement Programs with three graduation options: the Foundation High School Program, the foundation plan plus endorsements, and the foundation plan plus endorsements and the Distinguished Level of Achievement.

"This is local control at its finest, when school districts choose to go the extra mile to set high academic expectations for our young people to help ensure their future success," David Reiter, Chamber 2014 Education Chair and Luminex SVP & General Counsel, said. "This preserves all options for our students as they enter high school, whether for a certification in a high demand field to the likelihood of being admitted to a Texas university."


About Austin Chamber of Commerce

The Austin Chamber of Commerce is a private, non-profit, membership-driven organization comprised of 2,900 business enterprises, civic organizations, education institutions and individuals. Its mission is to provide leadership that will help create regional economic prosperity and success for its members in Central Texas. Visit