Veteran journalist Dan Rather, with his grandson, Martin Rather, and in partnership with Rice University’s Center for Civic Leadership, announced the creation of the Rather Prize, a new award intended to recognize the best ideas for improving education in the state of Texas.
The Rather Prize consists of a $10,000 unrestricted educational grant to a Texas-based student or educator. Eligible applicants for the Rather Prize include teachers, students, and those who recently attended a Texas educational institution within the last three years, as well as retired educators.
The award was conceived by Martin Rather, who will enroll this fall as a freshman at Rice University and is the author of The High School Truth. Martin wished to create an education program that championed the legacy of his grandfather, Dan Rather. One of the most respected journalists in the world, the elder Rather is a product of Texas public education and shares a passion for learning with his grandson, Martin.
Texas currently ranks 39th nationally in education and earned a grade of C- as compared to the national standard, according to Education Week’s annual Quality Counts—Preparing to Launch: Early Childhood’s Academic Countdown ranking. The state ranks 40th nationally on spending per student.
“For a rightfully prideful state such as Texas, one with the wealth and resources that our great state is lucky enough to have, to be rated near the bottom in national education rankings is a disgrace, and as a fiercely loyal Texan this has long grated on me,” said Rather. “Texas is better than this, and I hope to do at least a small part in giving back to a state and an educational system to which I owe so much.”
The application for the inaugural award opens today, and will close January 31, 2016. Submissions will be evaluated for implementation by the Center for Civic Leadership. The winner will be announced February 15, 2016, and will have an opportunity to attend and present his or her idea at the SXSWedu conference in March 2016 in Austin.
More information about submitting for the Rather Prize can be found at www.ratherprize.org, and at @RatherPrize on Twitter.