In the (Coronavirus) News

Texas 2036’s new COVID-19 tracking dashboard is three days old, and it’s already making a difference.

Our tracking tool launched on Friday. As of Monday morning, it had already been used about 2,000 times by 1,600 people.

It also was cited in the media — by Bloomberg Wire, the Austin American-StatesmanFort Worth Star-Telegram and Rivard Report in San Antonio, among other publications — as an important source of information on the COVID-19 outbreak and the impact on Texans, their health and the economy.

Feedback from state legislators, legislative staff and the media also shows how the tool is helping Texans understand the impact of the coronavirus and how to best confront it. Here are a half-dozen comments we’ve received from state policy influencers and decision-makers regarding the dashboard:

“You guys have done a fantastic job. Some of the clearest data presentations I’ve seen anywhere. … This is going to be a superb resource going forward — especially pairing COVID numbers with the economic data.”

“This is pretty great. Thanks for sharing.”

“I’m glad to see that the Texas 2036 data team is doing this work, and with such great quality. I especially love the contextualization that y’all have put in the data sets.”

“Oh this is perfect, thank you! Your timing is truly on point.”

“This is far more data than we’ve been able to pull together so far. It’s really useful for us.”

“This is a resource that we will use frequently.”

Texas 2036’s work informing the state’s pandemic response doesn’t stop there. Our CEO, former U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings, authored an op-ed outlining five key lessons that Texas has learned so far from the coronavirus pandemic, including:

  • The stark gaps facing Texas children in different urban and rural settings.
  • The critical significance of broadband internet access.
  • The powerful impact of teachers.
  • The need to add school days to make up for lost learning.
  • The importance of assessments in understanding how much students actually learned this school year — and where they need to catch up.

The op-ed ran in at least a half-dozen papers and news sites over the weekend, including the San Antonio Express-NewsAustin American-Statesman and Waco Tribune-Herald. Thousands more people have seen the piece on Texas 2036’s social media channels. This vital perspective will help inform policymakers as they prepare for the 2021 Legislative Session.

The coronavirus represents a generational issue for Texas. Its effects and aftershocks will be felt in every part of the state for decades — through Texas’ bicentennial in 2036 and well beyond.

In short, it represents exactly the sort of challenge that Texas 2036 was created to help confront: we are applying data-driven tools and strategies to help leaders plan in ways that fortify and renew the state’s prosperity in the short-term — and extend it to future Texans.

We believe this is a vital mission for our state’s future; thank you for helping us achieve it.