LSG Frequently Asked Questions

  1.  What is Lone Star Governance?
  2.  What is the time commitment for Lone Star Governance training?
  3.  What is the purpose?
  4.  Who should attend Lone Star Governance training?
  5.  Do all school board members and superintendent need to participate in the two-day sessions?
  6.  What is the post-workshop feedback from those who have participated?
  7.  Where can I learn more about Lone Star Governance?
  8.  When and where are the next Lone Star Governance workshops scheduled?

Questions from Board Members

  1. Ample time to review Board Books is critical to a Board Member as it allows us to gain more understanding of the subject material. What would be the appropriate length of time for review and process to submitting questions?
  2. Would you recommend having the student outcome goals printed and placed in our district headquarters to serve as a reminder during board meetings of what truly should remain the focus for our District?
  3. How many times is the recommended amount for board meetings, work sessions, and special board meetings?
  4. Now that we've completed the Lone Star Governance 2-day workshop, what should we be doing regarding Board evaluation?
  5. Is there a good rule of thumb for what is policy and what should be admin procedures? Sometimes things become local board policy because of a person or circumstance and that's not good.
  6. In grading each category, are you limited to only using the number grades assigned to each performance level? For example, in the “Structure” category, “Approaches Focus” earns a “4” and “Meets Focus” earns a “12”. One Board Member asked if we have achieved all the criteria in Approaches Focus and have achieved most, but not quite all of Meets Focus, can we give ourselves a score of more than 4, but less than 12?
  7. A Board Member asked what exactly constitutes “broad community acceptance of the Board’s vision and student outcome goals”?
  8. Our team of 8 just earned a Lone Star Governance certificate. How long is it good for?
  9. Can other members of our Leadership Team attend the 2-day workshop? We have talked so positively about it that other members of our Leadership Team want to know if they can attend.
  10. Our board has adopted policies that include 6 district goals, 4 strategic outcomes, 9 district objectives, and 3 student outcome goals and there are 5 expectations in the superintendent’s contract. Does that meet the LSG recommendation?
  11. “Accountability 2, Meets Focus” requires that “The Superintendent’s annual evaluation is based only on the Board-adopted student outcome goals and constraints, using data reported as scheduled via the Board’s monitoring calendar.” If the Board’s practice is to conduct an annual evaluation of the Superintendent and we have not yet done so, does that mean a Board cannot satisfy this requirement until it has completed such an annual evaluation?
  12.  “Vision 1: Masters Focus” requires that “All Board Members have committed the vision and student outcomes to memory and know, at all times, the current status of each goal.” Does the part requiring all Trustees to know “the current status of each student outcome goal” mean that a Board cannot satisfy this requirement until at least one school year has been completed after adopting student outcome goals at which point the Board will know if it has met its annual targets for each student outcome goal?

 What is Lone Star Governance?
Lone Star Governance is an optional first-of-its kind training initiative aimed at providing a continuous improvement model for governing teams that choose to intensively focus on one primary objective: improving student outcomes.

 What is the time commitment for Lone Star Governance training?
Lone Star Governance workshops are two-day training sessions that are scheduled at the various Education Service Center regions across the state throughout the year.

 What is the purpose?
Lone Star Governance participants will finish the two-day sessions in better position to effectively monitor student outcomes; effectively hold the superintendent accountable for improving student outcomes; understand the concepts of student outcome goals; and draft a Lone Star Governance implementation timeline specific to their individual school district.

 Who should attend Lone Star Governance training?
All school boards statewide are welcomed to attend these training sessions. Lone Star Governance workshops are specifically designed for school board members and superintendents.

 Do all school board members and superintendent need to participate in the two-day sessions?
The training is most effective when all board members and their administrators choose to attend.

 What is the post-workshop feedback from those who have participated?
Testimonials from superintendents and school board members who have recently participated in Lone Star Governance workshops can be found here: http://tea.texas.gov/Texas_Schools/School_Boards/Lone_Star_Governance/LSG_Workshop_Testimonials/.

 Where can I learn more about Lone Star Governance?
All support materials being used in the Lone Star Governance training sessions are available for viewing on the Texas Education Agency website. For more information regarding Lone Star Governance and to view the support materials, visit http://tea.texas.gov/LSG.

 When and where are the next Lone Star Governance workshops scheduled?
Districts that have interest in attending one of the upcoming sessions or seeking specific dates can email Melissa Huffmaster in the TEA Governance Division at melissa.huffmaster@tea.texas.gov.

Questions from Board Members

 Ample time to review Board Books is critical to a Board Member as it allows us to gain more understanding of the subject material. What would be the appropriate length of time for review and process to submitting questions?
LSG recommends that the school board receive the final version of the materials to be voted on at least seven calendar days in advance of the meeting which the materials would be considered. Ideally, school board members will submit any questions at last three calendar days in advance of the meeting and the superintendent will update the materials to include written answers to the questions at least one calendar day in advance. Please see the "Structure" section of the LSG instrument (page 46) and find the third description under the "Masters Focus" column.

 Would you recommend having the student outcome goals printed and placed in our district headquarters to serve as a reminder during board meetings of what truly should remain the focus for our District?
LSG recommends that the school board displays and keeps updated the status and targets of all student outcome goals and GPMs permanently and publicly in the room in which the school board most frequently holds regularly scheduled school board meetings. Please see the "Advocacy" section of the LSG instrument (page 47) and find the second descriptor under the "Meets Focus" column.

 How many times is the recommended amount for board meetings, work sessions, and special board meetings?
LSG recommends that there be no more than three board-authorized public meetings per month and that none lasts more than two hours. Please see the "structure" section of the LSG instrument (page 46) and find the first descriptor under the "Masters Focus" column.

 Now that we've completed the Lone Star Governance 2-day workshop, what should we be doing regarding Board evaluation?
LSG recommends that the school board completes and votes to approve a self-evaluation every three months using the "Board's Quarterly Progress Tracker" found at the end of the LSG instrument. Please see the "Unity" section of the LSG instrument (page 48) and find the third descriptor under the "Masters Focus" column.

 Is there a good rule of thumb for what is policy and what should be admin procedures? Sometimes things become local board policy because of a person or circumstance and that's not good. 
LSG recommends that the Board limit its adoption of local policies regarding school system operations to matters that are either 1) required by law or 2) an appropriate exercise of the Board's oversight authority as defined by the Board's adopted constraints. So if the school board has adopted a constraint or the legislature has adopted a law, then LSG recommends that the Board adopt a policy; otherwise allow the issue to be managed through administrative procedure/regulation. Please see the "structure" section of the LSG instrument (page 46) and find the second descriptor under the "Approaches Focus" column.

 In grading each category, are you limited to only using the number grades assigned to each performance level?  For example, in the “Structure” category, “Approaches Focus” earns a “4” and “Meets Focus” earns a “12”. One Board Member asked if we have achieved all the criteria in Approaches Focus and have achieved most, but not quite all of Meets Focus, can we give ourselves a score of more than 4, but less than 12?
No. Each column in the LSG instrument is all or nothing. This is described on each page of the framework where it says, “if all of the following conditions are true.”

 A Board Member asked what exactly constitutes “broad community acceptance of the Board’s vision and student outcome goals”?
Unless the Board has adopted another means of determination, a resolution adopted or vote passed by a majority of the Board will meet the standard of evidence. Please see the "Evaluation Notes" section of the LSG instrument (page 51).

 Our team of 8 just earned a Lone Star Governance certificate. How long is it good for?
LSG Certificates expire after 24 months. For governing teams that have met the continuous improvement timeline each quarter during the 24 months, the LSG certificate may be automatically reissued. Otherwise the governing team will need to attend the LSG workshop to earn a new LSG certificate. Please see the "Continuous Improvement Timeline" and "Evaluation Notes" sections of the LSG instrument (page 51).

 Can other members of our Leadership Team attend the 2-day workshop? We have talked so positively about it that other members of our Leadership Team want to know if they can attend.
Yes. While a governing team has a valid LSG certificate, they are welcome to send individual trustees or staff through the workshop. The requirement to have the entire team go through together only applies when a governing team does not have a valid LSG certificate.

 Our board has adopted policies that include 6 district goals, 4 strategic outcomes, 9 district objectives, and 3 student outcome goals and there are 5 expectations in the superintendent’s contract. Does that meet the LSG recommendation? 
No. LSG recommends that the board adopts no fewer than 1 and no more than 5 goals. Three is the recommended number. Your board has effectively adopted 27 goals. Please see the "vision 1" section of the LSG instrument (page 40) and find the fifth descriptor under the "Preparing To Focus" column.

 

"Accountability 2, Meets Focus” requires that “The Superintendent’s annual evaluation is based only on the Board-adopted student outcome goals and constraints, using data reported as scheduled via the Board’s monitoring calendar.” If the Board’s practice is to conduct an annual evaluation of the Superintendent and we have not yet done so, does that mean a Board cannot satisfy this requirement until it has completed such an annual evaluation? 
No. In this instance, the LSG instrument offers the presumption of effective Board behaviors until evidence demonstrates otherwise. If the board does not conduct a superintendent evaluation within 12 months OR the board does conduct an evaluation but evaluates the superintendent on more than the Board-adopted student outcome goals and constraints, then they remain at Approaches Focus. If neither of those conditions are true, the board may proceed to Meets Focus. Please see the “Sample Superintendent Evaluation Template” (page 33) in the LSG manual.

 

“Vision 1: Masters Focus” requires that “All Board Members have committed the vision and student outcomes to memory and know, at all times, the current status of each goal.” Does the part requiring all Trustees to know “the current status of each student outcome goal” mean that a Board cannot satisfy this requirement until at least one school year has been completed after adopting student outcome goals at which point the Board will know if it has met its annual targets for each student outcome goal? 
No. As long as Board Members know what is knowable, that qualifies for Masters Focus. The intention is that Board Members are as informed of their current student outcomes progress as possible, not that they are clairvoyant (though we recommend that too).