Community-Based Accountability

 

To prepare future-ready students, schools must inspire them and stimulate their learning. But the current system by which Texas public schools are held accountable for student learning — with its focus on high-stakes standardized testing — has created an environment in which the curriculum has been narrowed and only academic abilities are valued, with creativity, problem-solving and teamwork stifled.

Community-based accountability empowers students, parents, and educators to build a learning community that honors and supports their work. It empowers school districts to design their own internal systems of assessment and accountability that, while meeting general state standards, allow them to innovate and customize curriculum and instruction to meet the needs and interests of their communities.

What is community-based accountability?

Community-based accountability is not a way to escape standardized testing or a tool to pass judgment on individual students. It is a:

  • locally developed system of evidence of student learning
  • strategic and customized form of measuring student achievement
  • rigorous descriptive reporting to parents and community members

What's included in a community-based accountability system?

The foundation of CBAS is a four-part system consisting of:

  • student and classroom-centered evidence of learning
  • strategic use of standardized testing
  • performance reviews and validation of learning by highly trained visiting teams
  • rigorous descriptive reporting to parents and communities
The Vision: Community-Based Accountability
Community-based accountability is among the principles espoused in the visioning document, Creating a New Vision for Texas Public Education.
Article IV: Accountability for Learning
Comprehensive accountability systems are essential to achieving minimal personal and organizational performance only. They are necessary for weeding out the incompetent and reconstituting unproductive schools, but such systems serve to create compliance and mediocrity at best. Excellence and sustained exceptional performance come from a commitment to shared values and a clear vision that encourages collaboration and teamwork. Creating organizations that foster commitment requires superior moral leadership and a responsible use of authority.
Supporting Premises
  • Accountability systems should be carefully designed on a theoretical base that honors what teachers and students actually do, that empowers and builds integrity, trust, and commitment to the values that define the school.
  • Assessment results and other examples of work products and performances of students should be used as the primary information source for understanding where students are and what they need. These can also be used for reporting to parents and the public.
  • Accountability systems that draw on assessment information external to the class, school, or district are important for internal confidence in large systems and external confidence in all districts. Descriptions of the contexts in which assessments are given should be a part of reports. All parties should have some say in what measures are used and the weights assigned to different measures.
  • Districts should be allowed to design their own internal systems of assessment for learning and accountability, as long as they meet certain specified state standards.
  • Those for whom the accountability mechanisms are to apply must have confidence and trust that they are fair and unbiased.
  • Sampling techniques (the full range of examinations, evaluation of student work products, and performances as well as teacher tests and standardized tests) should be used in lieu of testing every child every year.
  • Processes should be clearly defined so they can be controlled, measured, and improved.
  • End results are not the only results that matter, for some results are set as goals that, if achieved first, would enhance the end result.
  • An effective accountability system has multiple measures in place that provide for continuing employment, promotion, development, probation or termination; and respects the perspective that most people want to do a good job and want others to do a good job, as well.
  • Standardized tests (including criterion-referenced tests) cannot measure with precision profound learning.
  • Much for which schools need to be accountable will require subjective measures, and the decision about what and how to measure is admittedly one of the most subjective.
  • Accountability systems are guided by the fact that to attach any matter highly valued by students, teachers, school leaders, or schools/districts to any single measure such as a standardized test, corrupts the test and the integrity of what it measures as well as the accountability it was intended to provide.
  • Labels for schools and particularly those that use the lowest performing unit as the basis for a punitive label should be avoided. There is a distinction between identifying performance gaps and labeling. Identification of performance gaps enables schools to move forward in designing different instructional strategies or approaches to help students achieve the learning desired.
  • Complete transparency is a requisite for how all data is collected, analyzed, and reported, including the subjective, sometimes political, manner in which state proficiency standards are set on state tests, if such tests are to be used.
  • A multi-year cycle for periodic district and campus performance reviews should be established, using highly trained visiting teams to analyze a predetermined set of student performance information.
  • As single measurements, standardized norm-referenced tests, criterion-referenced state tests, aptitude tests, end-of-course exams, other oral and written examinations, student performances/projects/portfolios, regular teacher assessments, and grades each give a piece of the picture; and used in combination, can provide a more holistic view. However, if a high-stakes standardized test is given a preponderance of weight, it will become the assessment that really counts, others notwithstanding.
  • Standardized tests to which high stakes are attached can become substitutes for the learning standards themselves and result in “teaching to the test” rather than teaching for attainment of the standard.
  • Consequences (sanctions) should be associated with a performance assessment only if the assessment uses a combination of measures including sample examinations and other student performances to ascertain the degree to which the learning level is outside the variance allowed.
  • Alternative assessments in combinations as indicated in other premises in this section should be considered.

Examples of How Texas School Districts Are Using Community-Based Accountability

Alamo Heights ISD

In August 2019, Alamo Heights ISD, a member of the Texas Public Accountability Consortium (TPAC), published its first report resulting from the district’s community-based accountability system. During the preceding two years, with input of school staff, leaders, students, and community members, the district designed a comprehensive local CBAS that relies on multiple data sources, authentic assessment opportunities, observations, and feedback from stakeholders to provide evidence of progress toward the educational outcomes that the community determined are in the best interest of their children.

Clear Creek ISD

Clear Creek ISD has been leading the way in advocating for and on behalf of communities across Texas to create their own local reporting systems. Since polling its community and finding collective agreement, CCISD now issues its annual Community-Based Accountability Report to provide the community with a true reflection of how the school district is doing in the areas that are most important to the community: what happens every day, in every school; the amount of human and financial resources invested in providing students varied opportunities; and the level of public trust and community involvement.

College Station ISD

How is student success measured in College Station ISD? Not solely with STAAR scores. The district’s community-based accountability system is based on its ability to: recruit, develop, and retain qualified and dedicated staff; provide a challenging, relevant, engaging, and aligned curriculum; provide an array of services, programs, and opportunities to meet the needs of students; create classroom and campus cultures that involve families; and commit to responsible use of taxpayer dollars.

Frisco ISD

Starting in 2020, Frisco ISD will publish a community-based accountability report in the fall of each school year in conjunction with the release of the state accountability ratings. The district, a member of the Texas Public Accountability Consortium (TPAC), has been working with community members to identify a diverse set of meaningful data points regarding what success means within the community.

Northwest ISD

During the 2012-13 school year, a committee of Northwest ISD students, parents, community members, staff, and administrators identified community values and proposed measures of success in the school district. They included student achievement in areas including SAT/ACT scores, internships, college scholarships, dual-credit courses, volunteer and community outreach, community partnerships, and more. In 2017, a committee of NISD stakeholders that included students, parents, community members, teachers, and administrators assembled multiple times to review the district’s Profile of Graduate and the ways it measures progress towards that goal.

Royse City ISD

In fall 2017, members of the Royse City Community Advisory Committee made it their mission to discover what matters most to their community related to education. Nineteen areas of interest rose to the top. Now, each year, the district publishes its Community Scorecard to report on 19 indicators of performance and progress that go well beyond standardized test scores to include: teaching and learning, opportunities for students, culture and climate, and facilities and support operations.

Sunnyvale ISD

Since 2015, Sunnyvale ISD has presented parents and other members of its community with an annual report that provides information related to student performance that extends beyond standardized test scores. The district has designed its own rating system that “honors the whole Sunnyvale child” by evaluating the district’s performance at a higher standard than those required by the state and by including items of importance to the community. The Sunnyvale ISD rating system was created with the intent of accurately reporting to the community what students are achieving regularly – from academic progress and future-readiness, to their extracurricular endeavors, and even parental and community involvement.

Developing a New System

The Texas Public Accountability Consortium (TPAC) is a group of Texas school districts working to build on the success of community-based accountability systems already in use in districts across the state by developing next-generation measures and assessments that would enable wider use of such systems.

Related News

Fort Bend ISD Testing New Community-Based Accountability System

Starting with the 2019-20 school year, Fort Bend ISD will test a new community-based accountability system on several of its campuses. The district, a member of the Texas Public Accountability Consortium (TPAC) since 2018, has been working on the new accountability system, which will show which campus improvement processes are effective and which are not.  Read more.

Frisco ISD Develops a Community-Based Accountability System

Starting in 2020, Frisco ISD will publish a community-based accountability report in the fall of each school year in conjunction with the release of the state accountability ratings. The district, a member of the Texas Public Accountability Consortium (TPAC), has been working with community members to identify a diverse set of meaningful data points regarding what success means within the community. The district produced this video to explain the district's transition to a community-based accountability system:   “Frisco ISD recognizes that an accountability system that includes community perspective is vital,” said Frisco ISD Superintendent Dr. Mike Waldrip. “With the help of the community, CBAS presents a new lens to view success while providing information for our stakeholders that goes well beyond a state-generated letter grade or a test score.” Read more.

Alamo Heights ISD Video Explains Community-Based Accountability

Alamo Heights ISD, a member of the Texas Public Accountability Consortium (TPAC), a group of Texas school districts developing next-generation measures and assessments to enable wider use of community-based accountability systems (CBAS), has produced this video to help introduce the district's new CBAS:   In August 2019 the district published its first report resulting from the district’s CBAS, which was developed during the preceding two years, with input of school staff, leaders, students, and community members. Alamo Heights ISD's comprehensive local CBAS relies on multiple data sources, authentic assessment opportunities, observations, and feedback from stakeholders to provide evidence of progress toward the educational outcomes that the community determined are in the best interest of their children.

TASA Executive Director Interviewed on A-F, Community-Based Accountability on “Capital Tonight”

On August 15, 2019, TASA Executive Director Kevin Brown was interviewed live on Spectrum News’ “Capital Tonight” program about the A-F district and campus accountability system and TASA’s support of community-based accountability in Texas. Watch the video.

Alamo Heights ISD Publishes First Community-Based Accountability Report

On August 16, 2019, Alamo Heights ISD published its first report resulting from the district's community-based accountability system (CBAS). Over the past two years, with input of school staff, leaders, students, and community members, the district designed a comprehensive local CBAS that relies on multiple data sources, authentic assessment opportunities, observations, and feedback from stakeholders to provide evidence of progress toward the educational outcomes that the community determined are in the best interest of their children. "Our community deserves this comprehensive and responsive accountability that measures the aspirational outcomes we expect for our Alamo Heights ISD students," said Superintendent Dana Bashara. See the report.  

Sunnyvale ISD Releases Community Report

During the week of August 15, 2019, when the state's A-F campus and district ratings were released, Sunnyvale ISD sent a copy of its annual Community Report to all Sunnyvale mailboxes. “We believe that the Community-Based Accountability Report is a reflection of the beliefs and aspirations of our community,” Superintendent Doug Williams said. “It helps us meet our goal that all our students are future-ready. While we appreciate the work by our teachers and students to receive the “A” on the state system, this only tells a small part of the success story at SISD.” The Community Report is the evaluation tool for Sunnyvale ISD. It was created with the intention of accurately reporting to the community what Sunnyvale students are achieving regularly - from academic progress and future-readiness, to their extracurricular endeavors and even parental and community involvement. While STAAR scores are included in the report, the tool also reports ACT/SAT scores, Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) and much more. “As evident in our community report, our students are showing measured growth and success in a variety of areas,” Director of Accountability Amy Tutle said. “Sunnyvale students are involved in so many activities beyond their academics that it’s important that we consider...

Royse City ISD Publishes Community Scorecard Ahead of State Ratings

On August 14, 2019, the day before the state A-F ratings were publicly released, Royse City ISD released its second annual Community Scorecard. This report, a result of the district's community-based accountability system, contains information on performance and progress in the specific areas that the district's Community Advisory Committee identified as being important. The report goes well beyond standardized test scores to include information about: teaching and learning, opportunities for students, culture and climate, and facilities and support operations. See the Royse City ISD 2019 Community Scorecard.  

Clear Creek ISD Posts 2017-18 Community-Based Accountability Report Results

In March 2019, Clear Creek ISD released the 2017-18 results of its community-based accountability report. The report is a compilation of data compiled from students, staff, survey results, test scores, and more to give officials an idea of how the district is doing compared to previous years. Administrative officials have said the report is a more reliable measurement of the district’s performance and students’ success than the Texas Education Agency’s A-F accountability system, which is based largely on STAAR scores. Read the remainder of the Community Impact Newspaper article.

’Journey to True Accountability’ Underway at Burkburnett ISD

Burkburnett ISD in Region 9 was recently in the news again because of its involvement in the Texas Public Accountability Consortium (TPAC), a group of school districts working to further community-based accountability in Texas. The district is working toward implementation of its own community-based accountability system, and part of that process is bringing together community stakeholders to define a profile of a graduate. "We brought together community members, teachers, staff and asked them simple questions. What do we want our graduates to have the abilities to do," said Dr. Tylor Chaplin, superintendent. He said that responsibility, collaboration, corporation, and ownership of their actions were some of the answers. “We need to prepare [students] for the world that they are going into, and that world is not the world that I went into or that you went into when you were in high school,” said Chaplin. “It’s changing quickly for many reasons and so we needed to talk to parents and say how do we prepare students for that world.” See the TV news clip.

Texas Public Accountability Consortium (TPAC) Begins Year 3

The Texas Public Accountability Consortium (TPAC), a group of Texas school districts working to further community-based accountability in the state, met in March 2019 in Georgetown to kick off year three of their work. Testing and accountability expert John Tanner led participants in a morning workshop that examined the principles of true accountability and how it affects the everyday work of schools. Theresa Morris, alternative assessment coordinator with Envision Schools, shared the second draft of TPAC's developing Performance Assessment Manual and explored what implementation looks like for districts. Eric Simpson, TASA's director of Learning and Leadership Services, worked with the group to form implementation networks for their respective community-based accountability systems. Each network of three to five districts will meet throughout the year to collaborate on implementation of their community-based accountability systems, discussing common goals and progress. Learn more about TPAC and see photos from the Georgetown event.

THPSC Report to 86th Legislature Provides Update on Community-Based Accountability Work

The Texas High Performance Schools Consortium (THPSC), a group of 22 school districts charged with informing the governor, Texas Legislature, State Board of Education, and commissioner of education on methods for improving student learning in Texas public schools, has delivered its biennial report to policymakers. In “Update on the Progress of the Texas High Performance Schools Consortium,” the THPSC’s fourth report since it was established by the 82nd Legislature in 2011, the group includes a list of recommendations for the 86th Texas Legislature. Among them is the repeal of the A-F letter-grade school/district rating system, which the consortium recommends be replaced with “an assessment and accountability framework that is not over-reliant on high-stakes testing, that is well balanced and instructionally sensitive, with a defensible state testing program that emphasizes high-priority learning standards, has value for students, parents, and teachers, measures what each community holds important in promoting college and career readiness, and supports improved instruction and a process for local input.” The consortium — working through the Texas Public Accountability Consortium (TPAC) — continues to research, explore, and develop an assessment and accountability framework...

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TASA Executive Director Interviewed on A-F, Community-Based Accountability on “Capital Tonight”

On August 15, 2018, TASA Executive Director Kevin Brown was interviewed live on Spectrum News’ “Capital Tonight” program about the A-F district and campus accountability system and TASA’s support of work by the Texas Public Accountability Consortium (TPAC) that will further community-based accountability in Texas. Watch the video.

Visioning Institute Founding Member Reacts to A-F in Dallas Observer

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Burkburnett ISD Moving to Community-Based Accountability

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Georgetown ISD Looking for New Way to Measure Student Success

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Community-Based Accountability the Subject of Interview Series by Global Education Correspondent

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Texas Superintendents Look to Find New Accountability Plan

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Answering the Challenge of Next-Generation Assessment and Accountability

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THPSC Report to 85th Texas Legislature Suggests Community-Based Accountability

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Why We Need a More Meaningful School Accountability System

The following is the Executive Director's Message from the winter 2016 issue of INSIGHT, the professional journal of the Texas Association of School Administrators: This fall, knowing TASA members’ concerns about the test-based state accountability system, state testing requirements, and the pending implementation of A-F ratings for schools and districts, the TASA Executive Committee authorized the development of the “Texas Accountability Series,” a collection of essays to inform school leaders, policymakers, and the public about the potential impact and consequences of the A-F ratings on Texas public schools. We asked John Tanner, executive director of Test Sense and author of The Pitfalls of Reform, to research other states’ A-F rating systems and provide us with the pros and cons of the system Texas will implement in fall 2017. Across all of his research on the A-F systems in 16 states, Tanner could not find a single piece of evidence to support A-F systems as effective. He did, however, find evidence to support more meaningful kinds of accountability systems, such as community-based accountability. A community-based model empowers school districts to engage their local communities in designing their own internal systems of assessment and accountability that, while...

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Aledo ISD School Board Member Highlights Pros of Community-Based Accountability

In an editorial on the impending implementation of HB 2804, which requires A-F ratings for Texas public school districts, Bobby J. Rigues, Aledo ISD trustee, Leadership TASB 09 Master Trustee, and creator of the Make Education a Priority Initiative, wrote in a June 12, 2016, editorial that "labeling a campus with a letter grade creates a false impression about an entire neighborhood of children." He pointed to community-based accountability as a more positive and productive solution: "School districts are taking a proactive approach to learn what parents and community leaders find important in their local schools. Districts like Denton ISD, Alief ISD and San Antonio’s Northside ISD are aggressively pursuing these partnerships for student success. Campus goals become more realistic and high stakes testing less emphasized. Parents become better partners in the education of their children. Local school performance is better understood and valued." Read the full editorial.

Amarillo ISD Announces Profile of a Graduate

Amarillo ISD, a Consortium Associate district, is launching its Profile of a Graduate initiative, a collaboration between district leadership and the community aimed at developing graduates who are ready for the rapidly changing 21st century and the local workforce. The first in a series of community advisory group meetings will take place on Tuesday, May 3, from 12:30 – 4 p.m. at the Region 16 Education Service Center, 5800 Bell. “We’re asking the community to help us define not just who the successful high school graduate is, but how the successful graduate is shaped, and where those graduates fit into the local workforce,” said AISD Superintendent Dr. Dana West. “I believe schools are the epicenter for economic development. As school people, we need to hear the things community members expect from our graduates.  We’re developing Amarillo’s future, and our students need to be able to provide the dynamic, skilled workforce our community demands.” The Profile of a Graduate initiative will bring together more than 60 community leaders representing at least 18 local industries and career fields, who’ve signed up to meet with district representatives including Dr. West, executive directors, high school principals, school board members and students. The program will include...

The “North Star” of Innovation

The following is the Executive Director's Message from the spring 2016 issue of INSIGHT, the professional journal of the Texas Association of School Administrators:  The convergence of state and national initiatives to transform the learning environment for America’s schools is evident now more than ever. The continuing work of the Texas High Performance Schools Consortium and the national initiative, Education Reimagined, are both contributing to the conversation about transforming education. During the past year, I have had the opportunity to serve on the advisory committee for Education Reimagined, a project of the Washington, D.C.-based Convergence Center for Policy Resolution, and national spokespersons for this initiative have participated in our Midwinter Conference. Their recommendations focus on five interrelated elements that serve as a “North Star” for innovation. They are: Competency-Based Learning; Personalized, Relevant, and Contextualized Learning; Learner Agency; Socially Embedded Learning; and Open-Walled Learning. Education Reimagined was conceived by a group of scholars, business leaders, parents, and advocates with diverse backgrounds and perspectives, and their work is affecting conversations across the nation. Meanwhile, the High Performance...

Consortium Steering Co-Chair Asks Big Picture Questions in Light of STAAR Problems

In her letter to the commissioner of education about the STAAR administration problems students and districts experienced during the last week of March 2016, TASA President Karen Rue, superintendent of Northwest ISD and co-chair of the Texas High Performance Schools Consortium Steering Committee, raised larger questions about accountability testing in Texas. She asked if it is sustainable and even physically possible to continue with the one-size-fits-all testing “regime” currently in place. Read the letter.

TASA Conference Focuses on Vision-Driven Instruction & Leadership

The 2016 TASA Spring Leadership Conference, MISSION: School Transformation – Vision-Driven Instruction and Leadership, was held March 23-24 in Round Rock. Designed for TASA School Transformation Network subscribers but open to all Texas school leaders — at both the district and campus levels — committed to school transformation, the conference was an opportunity for attendees to engage in meaningful discussion and collaboration to help propel their school districts from vision to action. General session speakers included Doug Christensen, professor of Leadership in Education at Doane College. Christensen was the Nebraska commissioner of education for 14 years after serving as a teacher, principal, superintendent, and university instructor. In recent years, he has consulted with TASA and members of the Texas High Performance Schools Consortium and School Transformation Network on the design of a next-generation assessment and accountability system, strengthened by his extensive research and work at the state and national levels. Watch his presentation. AASA Associate Executive Director of Policy & Advocacy Noelle Ellerson updated attendees on the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which reduces federal intrusion in state and local education policy, eliminates...

Vision in Practice Blog Offers Insight, Examples of Transformation in the Classroom

In January 2016, the Vision in Practice blog was created — by Texas educators for Texas educators — to provide insight into classrooms, campuses, and districts that are transforming teaching and learning to meet the needs of students in the 21st century. Spearheading the project and serving as its main authors are Mary Kemper, Director of Mathematics, Coppell ISD, and Catherine McGuinness, Educational Technology Trainer, Mansfield ISD. Guest contributors will include teachers and instructional technology coordinators from school districts across Texas. “We hope to break down the barriers of physical distance between teachers and classrooms across our great state by using this blog in its digital platform to showcase and share stories of transformation,” Kemper says. “Districts, campuses, and teachers are committed to this work, and we hope share with our readers and inspire them with this evidence of the vision in practice.” Posts provide examples from real Texas classrooms and schools where teaching and learning is being transformed to better prepare students for the future. Topics so far have ranged from student robotics programs to innovative assessment methods that allow teachers to frequently check the level of student understanding. One post focuses on TASA on iTunes U,...

Consortium Provides Recommendations on Assessment / Accountability to State Commission

The Commission on Next-Generation Assessments and Accountability, created in 2015 by HB 2804 to “develop and make recommendations for new systems of student as­sessment and public school accountability,” met for the second time February 23, 2016. During one of three panel discussions, Texas High Performance Schools Consortium Steering Committee Co-chair Karen Rue, superintendent, Northwest ISD, and Dawson Orr, former co-chair of the Consortium Steering Committee, provided the Commission with information on the Consortium, including its legislative charge, work, and recommendations related to assessment and accountability. (HB 2804 required that the Commission consider the Consortium’s recommendations when it prepares its report to the Legislature.) At its first meeting on January 20, the Commission reviewed its charges and the state’s assessment and accountability systems. No public testimony was taken. The Commission is scheduled to meet again March 23, April 20, May 25, and July 27.

Video: 2016 Texas Superintendent of the Year Tells SBOE We Must Give Up the “Testing Game”

2016 Texas Superintendent of the Year Mary Ann Whiteker of Hudson ISD was invited to address the State Board of Education at its meeting January 29, 2016. Whiteker spoke of the Creating a New Vision for Public Education in Texas document created by the Public Education Visioning Institute with the support of TASA and how it has inspired transformation in her district and across the state. She called for a reduction on the emphasis on standardized testing in favor of multiple, diagnostic assessments and spoke in support of digital learning and local accountability. Click on the play button to the left or watch Mary Ann Whiteker's speech on Vimeo. 2016 Texas Elementary Teacher (and Texas nominee for National Teacher of the Year) Revathi Balakrishnan of Round Rock ISD and 2016 Texas Secondary Teacher of the Year Martha Saucedo of Brady ISD were also invited to address the SBOE. Balakrishnan, a TAG specialist, also spoke of standardized testing, saying that it takes time away from teachers being able to truly teach their students. See Revathi Balakrishnan's speech. Saucedo, a family consumer science teacher, talked about the importance of elective courses and how they connect students to the real world. She called on the board to support those opportunities for students. See...

Let’s Count Our Gains and Gather Strength from Our Supporters

The following is the President's Message from the winter 2015 issue of INSIGHT, the professional journal of the Texas Association of School Administrators: At times, it seems like public education is being set up to look bad … that others are questioning our values, our accomplishments, and our purpose. We know we live in a fish bowl. Someone taps on our glass, and it sends us scattering. While we live in a world that criticizes what we do, we must realize that there are real measures of hope and support. As we gather support for the rest of the school year, there are true opportunities before us. While we may sometimes feel discouraged by the lack of state support, increased standards, decreased funding, and lack of understanding, we are making great strides in public education. The following shows evidence of support for public education: We are at the table to discuss accountability. The work of the Texas High Performance Schools Consortium has expanded. Charged to inform state leaders concerning methods for transforming public schools by improving learning through innovative, next-generation learning standards and assessment and accountability systems, the number of districts in the Consortium was increased from 20 to 30 (HB 18). Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick appointed Kim...

A Decade of Progress Toward TASA’s Vision

The following is the Executive Director's Message from the summer 2015 issue of INSIGHT, the professional journal of the Texas Association of School Administrators: By the time the Texas Legislature convenes in January 2017, 10 years will have passed since the 35 superintendents in TASA’s Public Education Visioning Institute came together as a community of learners to create a new vision for public education in Texas. They began with a conversation about the need for superintendents and other school leaders to be more engaged in the development of state policy affecting the future direction for Texas public education. They lamented the fact that legislators and other external decision makers knew what school superintendents were against, but had not articulated — collectively, at least — what they were for. Following 21 months of learning and intense dialogue, these superintendents published Creating a New Vision for Public Education in Texas, a document that still serves as the framework for our school transformation initiatives at TASA. This document, though still a work in progress, has inspired many. In 2012, more than 880 school boards adopted a resolution expressing opposition to the over-reliance on high-stakes, standardized testing. School board members, local...
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