“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."As a high school counselor, I have learned that excelling in accountability rests on the shoulders of the informed and determined.
You may know that A–F accountability has undergone changes since the passage of House Bill 3 in summer 2019. College, career, and military readiness (CCMR) has taken a front seat in determining the success of a district. CCMR takes a 40% chunk of the district’s Student Achievement score and 30% of the district’s Closing the Gaps score. One unique tool that counselors are sharing across the state is a CCMR tracking sheet. This is a simple Google Sheet that I use to track each of my high school students’ CCMR progress. I also use it to double-check our CCMR accountability worksheet, which TEA sends to districts in the spring. The tracking sheet is a user-friendly, easy-to-update tool that provides a great visual to share with my administration team. Email me if this is something you’d like to use.
Discover your accountability data in seconds with DataDive
During my time in a struggling rural district, I had the privilege of being a member of the school improvement team. The team met weekly with a professional service provider to disaggregate data and make solid goals for improvement – we wanted to meet and exceed state standards. It also meant meeting with TEA to defend our practices and work together to keep the doors open. Data became a friend of mine and played a dynamic part in achieving a Met Standard rating.
Now, I use a tool created by Texas OnCourse called DataDive. Instead of thumbing through stacks of data, this tool does it for me. This graph below took me just seconds to generate and lets me know that my campus has work to do in preparing at-risk students for college and career readiness. It saves time and provides me the data that I need to ensure that we’re on the right track to achieving an accountability grade that our community can be proud of.
Other accountability resources
Another great networking tool that Texas OnCourse provides is their Office Hours Twitter chat. Each month, educators from across the state come together to share knowledge and skills regarding a certain topic. Follow them on Twitter: @TexasOnCourse. Then join us on December 18, 2019, at noon to hear all about CCMR accountability. This has become a great tool for me to use as the lone counselor at my school. We are all aiming for the same grade, so if your district is doing something that works, SHARE IT!
In addition to Twitter chats, Texas OnCourse hosts a monthly webinar that aligns with a hot topic. Listeners get to hear best practices from knowledgeable staff who aim to provide accurate and helpful information. Don’t miss their December 3, 2019, webinar entitled A–F Accountability: Making an Impact Using Texas OnCourse.
Although accountability can be a confusing topic for many, TEA has provided a multitude of resources to ensure that all districts are informed and prepared. The HB 3 in 30 videos have been a go-to for me this fall. The videos tackle topics that directly relate to my duties as a counselor. The Overview of 2019 Accountability presentation has been open on my desktop daily and will remain the resource that I look to in understanding this new system. Using tools that keep you informed will help your students meet Texas education standards and make you a dynamic member of your district’s accountability team!