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 that is not over-reliant on high-stakes testing and is malleable enough to meet the needs of urban, suburban, and rural communities. Formed in 2017, TPAC includes 11 THPSC districts and 51 other Texas public school districts that are working together to create an accountability system that establishes a partnership between communities and their schools that: enable each educator to account to the local community for his or her decisions in a manner that is accurate, believable, and actionable; support districts in returning the practice of assessment to educators; and create resources that all Texas districts will eventually be able to access to implement their own community-based accountability system. An update on TPAC’s efforts is included in the THPSC report.
The report also provides an update on the consortium’s ongoing efforts to transform Texas public schools through its work in several key areas: the integration of digital tools and resources into student learning, the development of high-priority learning standards, the use of multiple assessments to determine student progress, the development of an accountability system that relies upon community and parental involvement, and a focus on college and career readiness.
Featured are five pages of examples of innovative programs in place in school districts across the state that show the work these districts are doing to create student-centered classrooms that prepare future-ready students. Links to illustrative videos, articles, and websites are provided.
Districts participating in the THPSC include: Anderson-Shiro, Clear Creek, College Station, Coppell, Duncanville, Eanes, Glen Rose, Guthrie, Harlingen, Highland Park (10), Klein, Lake Travis, Lancaster, Lewisville, McAllen, McKinney, Northwest, Prosper, Richardson, Roscoe Collegiate, Round Rock and White Oak. Eighty-four additional districts across the state have joined in the work of the consortium as Consortium Associates.
The work of the consortium is facilitated by the Texas Association of School Administrators. TASA is the professional association for Texas school administrators, providing networking and professional learning opportunities, legislative advocacy, and targeted communications to support the work of superintendents and other school leaders. Mission: School Transformation is a TASA initiative aligned with the work of the Texas High Performance Schools Consortium.