Texas High Performance School Consortium Update
All hands were on deck for the third meeting of the consortium on November 27th. 100 team members from the 23 consortium schools looked at the issues involved with crating new learning standards, assessments and an accountability system. We are constantly aware that this process and the work being done is, at first, for the students of the 23 districts and ultimately, for all the students in the state of Texas. It is not a responsibility that any of the members take lightly.
We worked in teams for the better part of the day identifying the problems that will need to be solved in this process. Six categories were used to break the problem into workable units.
- High Priority Learning Standards and Digital Learning Environment
- Assessment and Accountability
Each working groups looked at the topic from the standpoint of how it will be created, implemented and explained to districts stakeholders. There were discussions about the resources needed to create a viable product that meets the needs of our students in an ever-changing work and higher education environment. The bulk of the conversation was dedicated to the identification of problems and obstacles that will need to be solved during the research and development of the new system. As a result, we have a much clearer understanding of just how big the elephant is that we are gong to have to eat one bite at a time!!
This was the most productive day, in my opinion, that the consortium has been involved in to this point. The conversations of the day, the “to do list” created, the framing of many of the issues and the growing consensus of the group with regard to the big picture, altogether made me feel like we put a dent in the body of work.
All of the information from this meeting and the work done by the original New Visioning Group was used to create the first document presented to Commissioner Williams last week. That document is our “table of contents” as we move forward with the development of our next generation system.
A critical issue at this point is getting the necessary waivers that will allow members districts the latitude to be creative in this process. SB 1557 tasks the consortium schools with creating something new. This cannot be done inside the existing accountability and assessment system. It is my hope that the next post you read will be the announcement of Commissioner Williams support for the consortium and the granting of waivers needed to move forward. Please continue to speak to your representatives about the need for a new system and put in a request for support of the Texas High Performance School Consortium – Leading the way to a 21st Century Education!