Our Work

This project builds on prior TXCC work assisting the Texas Education Agency (TEA) to implement a broad teacher preparation accountability system that reports on how well educator preparation programs (EPPs) are preparing future teachers to enter the classroom and remain in the profession. TXCC is continuing to assist TEA with a number of tasks that will facilitate the implementation and sustainability of ASEP. This work includes identifying data and other stress points in the reporting process and working to address issues through troubleshooting, protocol development, and documenting processes for replication. TXCC will continue to assist TEA in establishing a regular annual report as part of the Accountability System for Educator Preparation (ASEP) under three reporting mechanisms: (1) Minimum Accountability Standards – TEC 21.045(a); (2) Minimum Annual Performance Report Indicators – TEC 21.045(b); and (3) Consumer Information – TEC 21.0452(b). TXCC will also continue to provide TEA support for using ASEP data to understand and inform decision-making processes and to provide transparent, reliable reporting data to consumers, EPPs, and policymakers. Part of this effort will also include assisting TEA to create a home web page to house ASEP reports that will be regularly updated, consumer friendly, and interactive. TXCC will contribute its content-expertise and facilitation skills to help TEA with strategic thinking around ASEP implementation by reviewing current or proposed metrics. The intent of these efforts is to encourage use of best practices for data analyses and reporting, implementation, and long-term sustainability of ASEP, as well as to create a reporting system that is useful to a broad audience.

TXCC is working with the Texas Communities in Schools (CIS) State Coordinator at the Texas Education Agency (TEA) to support the 26 CIS Executive Directors, building a community of practice to address identified needs and to share best practices and experiences.
TXCC will support the Texas Education Agency (TEA) in assessing lessons learned from the two years of implementation of this advanced professional development series for DCSIs who either: (a) were clustered in the state’s priority improvement areas (as determined by the Texas Strategic Alignment Team) or (b) had demonstrated proficiency on core DCSI skillsets and shown the potential for serving in a more dynamic and influential leadership capacity at the regional or state level. In Year 4, 33 DCSIs from around the state participated in the second iteration of the DCSI Academy. The training was grounded in emergent practices in policy analysis, organizational change management, interpersonal communications, and specific needs identified in the field. Information gleaned from this review will allow TEA to plan for future implementation of the model once TEA staffing and priorities are confirmed.
TXCC will provide technical assistance to support the Texas Education Agency's (TEA) development and implementation of the District Turnaround Leadership Initiative (DTLI) in collaboration with TEA’s contractor, the University of Virginia School Turnaround Program (UVA-STP). DTLI will result in a comprehensive turnaround program for Texas that builds district capacity to support school improvement by strengthening four essential systemic levers: leadership, instructional infrastructure, support and accountability, and talent management. At the close of Year 3, San Antonio Independent School District (SAISD) and Uvalde Independent School District (UISD) completed the pre-launch planning and preparation necessary for full implementation in the 2015-16 school year. Although UISD opted not to continue in 2016-17, SAISD opted to expand implementation, thereby allowing TEA additional time to learn from district experience with this model. TXCC staff will facilitate a meeting with the TEA Core Team and UVA-STP project staff in late September to identify lessons learned from the UVA model that could be applied more broadly in the state. This project is anticipated to continue through Spring 2017.
As part of its conditionally approved Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Flexibility Request and, in the case of principal evaluation, bolstered by state legislation, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) is piloting new teacher and principal evaluation and support systems. During Year 2, the TXCC assisted TEA in the facilitation of steering committees of educators and stakeholders in revising teacher standards and in developing new evaluation/observation rubrics in collaboration with TEA’s vendors, NIET and McREL. Year 3 and 4 work focused on pilot implementation and rule revision in preparation for full implementation of the new systems. Year 5 work will include supporting TEA during the 2016-17 full implementation of the Texas Teacher Evaluation and Support System (T-TESS) and theTexas Principal Evaluation and Support System (T-PESS) by building the Agency's capacity for information gathering to inform needed changes to the systems.
The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), signed by President Obama on December 10, 2015, reauthorizes the 50-year-old Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), the nation’s national education law and longstanding commitment to equal opportunity for all students. ESSA requires the State Education Agency (SEA) to be the key decision maker in the development and implementation of the ESSA Consolidated Plan. ESSA requires extensive SEA outreach and engagement efforts to everyone from policymakers to educators to tribal organizations to parents to inform the development of state plans. TXCC will assist the Texas Education Agency (TEA) staff with planning and coordinating stakeholder engagement meetings and provide additional supports for state plan development as needed by TEA.

Legislation passed during the 2013 regular Texas legislative session required the commissioner of education to establish a statewide council to study and make recommendations concerning expanded learning opportunities (ELO) for public school students. The ELO Council is statutorily required to meet three times per year and to submit a biennial statewide action plan to the governor and legislature with recommendations for improving expanded learning opportunities for public school students in Texas. TXCC will assist the Texas Education Agency (TEA) staff with coordination of the council’s work to inform policymakers and stakeholders about high-quality development and implementation of expanded learning opportunities for public school children, applying knowledge of research and best practices in this area.

 

In 2015, the Texas legislature passed HB 4, which established additional state support for high-quality prekindergarten (PreK) programs including authorization for a grant program and the expansion of early childhood education reporting requirements for Texas public schools. As part of this initiative, TXCC is supporting the Texas Education Agency (TEA) with specific projects to meet HB 4 requirements and provide documentation of implementation progress to the Texas legislature and monitoring agencies as well as to increase overall effectiveness of delivery of prekindergarten services to children in public and charter school PreK programs.
In accordance with three sections of Title I, Part A, of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), each state education agency (SEA) is required to submit a plan to the U.S. Department of Education (ED) to ensure that all students have equal access to a quality education, regardless of race, ethnicity, or family income. Texas has had an equity plan in place since 2005 and has made notable progress in closing equity gaps over the past decade. The 2015 Texas Equity Plan revised and updated the 2012 plan with input from stakeholders in light of new federal guidance as part of ED’s “Excellent Educators for All” initiative. Year 5 work will focus on assisting the Texas Education Agency (TEA) with plan implementation and building out supports for local education agencies (LEAs) to develop local equity plans for the 2017-18 school year.

In September of 2013, Texas secured a conditional waiver from the U.S. Department of Education for specific provisions of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). In the conditional waiver, the requirement for Distinguished School identification was replaced by the High Performing and High Progress Reward Schools designation for Title I schools. In accordance with the waiver, the state is celebrating and recognizing schools designated as "Reward Schools." In Year 3, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) and TXCC collaborated to implement an initiative designed to recognize 11 Reward Schools through best-practice case studies wherein Reward Schools and districts shared their success stories with the state and other Local Educational Agencies (LEAs). Based on the success of the first round of case studies, TEA and TXCC recognize that the Reward Schools case studies can and should play a more central role in guiding and supporting schools in the school improvement process. In Year 4, the Reward Schools project team is revising the case study format to provide more specific descriptions of best practices as well as a more expansive and strategic dissemination strategy. Additionally, TEA and TXCC will coordinate with the Texas Center for District and School Support (TCDSS) and other educational service center partners to recruit a new cohort of Reward Schools to participate in the case studies and serve as lab sites for schools in need of improvement.

Texas Reward Schools Case Studies

The Commissioner of Education created and charged the Rural Schools Task Force to identify the current and future priorities of Texas rural schools. The task force will identify current challenges, best practices, and opportunities for innovations in areas of importance to Texas rural schools. The output of the task force will be a series of recommendations for how the Texas Education Agency (TEA), districts and schools, Education Service Centers (ESCs), and other partners can best support rural schools in addressing the barriers and challenges they face.

The Texas Comprehensive Center (TXCC) is working with the Educator Support Division of the Texas Education Agency as a thought partner, co-project manager, meeting designer and facilitator, research and resource support, and product manager.

TXCC will provide technical assistance to support the evolution of the Texas Strategic Alignment Team (TSAT), which is committed to understanding and addressing the tangled web of systemic factors that impact the state’s schools. The initiative will result in a co-constructed portfolio of tools, processes, and human capital that are aligned to support systemic data visualization, analytics, and collective action. TXCC will leverage the knowledge and skills across multiple AIR portfolios in addition to a diverse array of external partners in order to ensure that TSAT priorities are executed with quality and that lessons learned are disseminated broadly.

Sub projects of this project include: