Trabian Shorters, best-selling author, social entrepreneur, and leading authority on diversity and inclusion, has been working for years to help foundations and nonprofits change the stories they tell about the communities they support. Many philanthropic organizations start with the challenge or the problem first – “tales of deficit and despair,” as Shorters describes. But this sort of approach stigmatizes communities, contributes to further stereotyping, and can often make change seem impossible.
With the pandemic forcing school closures, education adjusted. Educators adapted. Students and their families adapted. Then George Floyd, who was raised in Houston, was murdered in another instance of police brutality against black people. Our nation and the world responded to this latest instance of systemic racism with historic protests.
As we approach the end of an unpredictable school year, we applaud you and all the other educators who stepped up to meet the needs of their students, staff, and families during the COVID-19 crisis. Your efforts and dedication have been truly amazing.
This year, educators around the state are seeing normal PD schedules disrupted or challenged by COVID-19 restrictions. And many schools and districts are turning to remote PD for the first time.
Northwest ISD, a quickly growing district in Dallas-Fort Worth, has been using the Texas OnCourse Academy to provide virtual lessons to their college and career staff for the past couple of years. Here are some tips that they’ve utilized for implementing professional development along the way. Find more tips and tools like this in our new remote PD toolkit.
COVID-19 has required school administrators to implement necessary school closures and remote learning. In fact, all educators – principals, counselors, and teachers alike – are redefining their roles. With so many new needs from the field, the Texas Education Agency has responded swiftly with extensive guidance and updates. In this edition of the Strategist, we highlight several such items that are important for school leaders.
Due to COVID-19, TEA has cancelled STAAR testing for the remainder of the school year and adjusted our state’s A–F Accountability System. For the 2019–20 school year, TEA proposes to label all districts and campuses Not Rated: Declared State of Disaster. College, career, and military readiness data will be reported only on TEA reports such as Texas Academic Performance Reports. It will not be used in ratings calculations for the 2019–2020 school year.
In just one month, we have shifted from an accountability mindset to focus on student equity and access to remote learning opportunities. Below we highlight some of the key changes that will undoubtedly impact the decisions you make as an administrator through the rest of the 2019–2020 school year.
You’ve likely seen the changes to the August 2020 accountability ratings, but in case you missed it, formal ratings for all Texas school districts will be labeled “not-rated” due to the disruption caused by the COVID-19 emergency. College, career, and military readiness data will be reported only on TEA reports such as Texas Academic Performance Reports. It will not be used in ratings calculations for the 2019-2020 school year.
In 2019, the state legislature passed House Bill 3, the school finance bill. Among other items, the bill allocates funding to improve college, career, and military readiness for all students. This funding is known as the CCMR Outcomes Bonus.
Across the state, we’ve seen significant growth in the number of students taking dual credit or dual enrollment courses while in high school. Dual credit coursework is used as a college, career, and military readiness (CCMR) indicator in 2019 accountability calculations across all three domains. Students who complete three college credit hours in English language arts or mathematics, or nine college credit hours in any subject area, earn CCMR credit.
Military enlistment has long been a viable postsecondary option for students. Now, enlistment in the armed forces counts as a college, career, and military readiness (CCMR) indicator in Texas’ new A–F accountability system.
“Snapshot.” This word means so much more than a carefully crafted Instagram photo with a wrinkle-reducing filter. On October 25, 2019, districts across Texas will hold their breath as data is extracted from PEIMS (Public Education Information Management Systems) that will ultimately determine their A–F accountability rating in the form of a snapshot showing “everything as it is today."