Texas High Performance Schools Consortium Request for Application

Word Version

To the Administrator Addressed:

SUBJECT: Texas High Performance Schools Consortium Request for Application

The purpose of this letter is to inform school districts and open-enrollment charter schools of the upcoming opportunity to apply to participate in the Texas High Performance Schools Consortium (Consortium). Information regarding the program and timelines for application are provided below.

Program Overview

Senate Bill 1557, passed by the 82nd Texas Legislature, created the Consortium to inform the governor, legislature, and commissioner of education concerning methods for transforming Texas public schools through the development of innovative, next-generation learning standards, assessment, and accountability systems.  The commissioner is authorized to select up to 20 districts and open-enrollment charter schools, representing a range of district types, sizes, and student demographics, to comprise the Consortium.

Commissioner Rules governing the creation of the Consortium are to be posted in the May 4, 2012 edition of the Texas Register and are currently available at http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index4.aspx?id=2390 .

The Consortium will address four principles:

 

  • Digital learning—Engagement  of students in digital learning, including, but not limited to, engagement through the use of electronic textbooks and instructional materials adopted under the Texas Education Code (TEC), Chapter 31, Subchapters B and B-1, and courses offered through the state virtual school network under the TEC, Subchapter 30A;
  • Learning standards—Standards that a student must master to be successful in a competitive postsecondary environment including standards approved in the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS), high-priority learning standards, and other critical standards identified by the Consortium; 
  • Multiple assessments—Various methods of determining student progress capable of being used to inform students, parents, school districts, and open-enrollment charter schools, on an ongoing basis, concerning the extent to which learning is occurring and the actions Consortium participants are taking to improve learning; and
  • Local control—Ways in which reliance on local input and decision-making enable communities and parents to be involved in the important decisions regarding the education of their children.

 

Eligibility

To be eligible to apply for participation in the Consortium, the following criteria must be met, as applicable, in addition to those criteria specified in the Consortium Request for Application (RFA):

  • A school district and its participating campus(es) must not have been awarded the lowest performance rating under the most recent state accountability system. (For the purposes of the 2012 selection competition, a participating school district and its participating campuses must have received a rating of Academically Acceptable, Recognized, or Exemplary in the 2010-11 state accountability system.) 
  • Either the school district or its participating campus(es) must have received national, statewide, or regional public acknowledgement, from an organization relying on expertise in the education field, for district-wide or campus-wide excellence in academic performance or innovative practices in one of the areas described by the Consortium principles.
  • An open-enrollment charter school must have been awarded an Exemplary rating as its most recent state academic accountability system.
  • A school district and an open-enrollment charter school must be in compliance with the TEA audit requirements determined under TEC §109.41.

In order to ensure diverse representation, the commissioner will consider district type, size, and student demographics, in addition to quality of proposal, during participant selection. 

Applicants are also required to submit an application fee of $500 and, if selected, will be required to pay an annual participation fee.  More information regarding these fees is available in the RFA Application Program Guidelines.

Application to Participate

To Apply for Consortium Participation (applicant request)

  • An application form and guidelines may be requested by emailing consortium@tea.texas.gov or will be available at www.tea.state.tx.us/consortium.   
  • Applications are due to TEA on or before June 29, 2012 at 5:00 p.m. TEA will notify each applicant of its selection or non-selection as a Consortium participant in August, 2012.

 

Critical Dates

4/27/12            RFA posted

6/4/12              Webinar

6/7/12              Last date questions will be accepted regarding the application

6/12/12            Final FAQ posted

6/29/12            Applications due to TEA

August           Selection of Consortium members to be announced

Consortium Webpage

A webpage describing the Consortium and its activities is being created at www.tea.state.tx.us/consortium. This announcement letter and the complete Request for Application (RFA) will be available at this site. Future developments and updates regarding the Consortium will be posted on this site. If you are interested in applying to participate as a Consortium member, please consult this site periodically. 

Sincerely,

Anita Givens

Associate Commissioner

Standards and Programs