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TEA Commissioner tours TISD campuses

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TYLER (KYTX) - We've seen many changes in Texas education in the last few years, from sweeping budget cuts to new testing.

CBS 19's Jennifer Heathcock met with the Texas Education Agency commissioner today.

He toured Tyler schools and showed us what the future looks like for Texas education.

Students at Boulter Middle School had a big surprise in class this afternoon..

Not a pop quiz, but a visit from the one of the top leaders in education in the state.

"The most important aspect to get youngsters to learn in the classroom is the instructor in front of that youngster and technology helps," says Michael Williams, the TEA Commissioner.

Williams says technology is seen in districts across the state.

But he says the true testament to a school like Boulter, where students get hands on with science and technology, is the teachers.

"Important for me to carry that message across the state," says Williams.

Williams is touring campuses across the state to see what students are learning in the classroom.

He hopes to take that back to the state level to make better policy in the future.

He's looking for innovative strategies everybody can benefit from.

And the future starts here, and in the hands of administrators working on strategic planning for TISD.

"This is the kind of thing he's looking for every district to do in the state of Texas. I feel honored we in Mooring says he hopes Williams can help district sort out many of the upcoming changes, and help close the achievement gap in the state of Texas.

Something Williams says will come from expanding both college based class tracks, as well as career oriented courses.

"Last year we had 1.3 million high schoolers, 1.1 million took at least 1 career tech course," says Williams.

Leaving the future wide open for the students to make their decision.

The State Board of Education also has a vote in January on the final rules of House Bill 5, that will limit standardized testing.

Those rules will go into effect in the 2014-2015 school year.

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