About

Sandy Kress made a personal decision 25 years ago to transfer the energy and spirit he had devoted earlier in his life in the partisan political arena to the task of reforming public education. Sandy Kress has said, “It came to me way back then that if we get education right, our people will do fine in their lives. But if we don’t, there’s not much politics can do to make up for that failure.” Sandy Kress was appointed in 1990 to chair a commission in Dallas to propose major reforms to improve the operations of the Dallas Public Schools. The school board adopted most of the reforms the Commission proposed, and Sandy Kress ran for and won a Board seat in 1992 to push for implementation of the reforms. He subsequently served as Vice President and President of the Board. By 1996, when Kress left the Board, the Dallas Public Schools had made unprecedented gains in student achievement as a result of these reforms. Lieutenant Governor Bob Bullock noted the progress in Dallas and appointed Sandy Kress to the State Education and Economic Policy Committee. There Kress chaired the subcommittee that designed the education accountability system that the Legislature subsequently implemented in 1993. This accountability system was one of the first of its kind in the nation and led to significant student gains in Texas over the years that followed. President George W. Bush named Kress as his senior education adviser in the White House with respect to helping develop and pass NCLB.  Subsequently, Governor Perry asked Sandy Kress to Chair the Commission for a College Ready Texas and serve on his Competitiveness Council. In both roles, Kress pushed policies designed to help prepare more young Texans for postsecondary success, thereby improving their prospects in life as well as strengthening the overall economy in the state. Sandy Kress has said: “We’ve spent almost 25 years in productive work that has helped raise student achievement and begun to close the pernicious achievement gap. We need to resist calls to return to the policies of yesteryear. We could very easily stall or actually lose ground. That would be a tragedy.” In recent years, Kress has begun to devote considerable time and energy to the study and teaching of religious matters, particularly Jewish sacred text.