Math Innovation Zones

Math Innovation Zones is a four-year process to design, launch, scale, and sustain a high-quality blended learning model in math throughout a K-8 feeder pattern. Blended learning is defined by the Clayton Christensen Institute as:

A formal education program in which a student learns:

  • at least in part through online learning, with some element of student control over time, place, path, and/or pace;
  • at least in part in a supervised brick-and-mortar location away from home;
  • and the modalities along each student’s learning path within a course or subject are connected to provide an integrated learning experience.

Blended Learning combines face to face instruction with online learning by leveraging technology to assist teachers in diagnosing student prior knowledge, differentiation of academic paths for each student, and adjusting lesson execution based on real-time information about student mastery. 

Blended Learning can be categorized into one (or a hybrid) of four models: a rotational model, flex model, a la carte model and an enriched virtual model. These models are clarified in the image below (source: Clayton Christenson Institute). Further information on blended learning taxonomy can be found at www.christenseninstitute.org.

Program Overview

Math Innovation Zones (MIZ) is a four-year process to design, launch, and scale a high-quality blended learning program in K-8 math. Beginning with a planning year in year 0, districts and charters will grow the blended learning program from a subset of grades in year 1 to a full feeder pattern implementation in 4 years.  MIZ is managed with a focus on fidelity of implementation (FOI) in both planning and execution, with the goal of designing and implementing a sustainable and high-quality program. MIZ is a part of the Blended Learning Grant Program (BLGP).

MIZ Overview

Fidelity of Implementation: The primary focus of the MIZ is to support districts and charters in a high-fidelity implementation of blended learning. TEA has built a framework called the MIZ FOI Framework which is divided into two sections: Fidelity of Planning (FOP) - a roadmap to design and implement the program - and Fidelity of Execution (FOE) - a performance management system focused on monitoring student data and making continuous improvement.

Fidelity of Planning: The core of the MIZ planning year is the development of the BLGP Strategic Plan. This in-depth planning process has been created so that all participating districts, and schools consider the many elements of designing and launching a new instructional model. Program participants begin by identifying a problem to be solved through blended learning, defining a program vision, setting SMART goals to guide implementation, and outlining other key academic and operational elements of their blended learning program.

The BLGP Strategic Plan Template can be found at this link.

Fidelity of Execution: To manage program performance in the execution phase of implementation, TEA has designed five FOE indicators to inform school, district, and state-level decisions.

    • Weekly Student Software Progress: Research-backed measures of weekly student progress on the chosen online curriculum program necessary to lead to significant academic gains
    • Weekly Teacher Software Usage: Baseline formative metric on frequency of usage of the software program by each participating teacher
    • Weekly Data Driven Instruction (DDI) Time: Weekly checkpoint on the extent to which teachers are engaging with and planning from student academic data as an individual or in teams
    • Monthly Meaningful Learning Experiences (MLE): Monthly (semi-monthly in first three months) evidence of the degree to which teachers are being developed within the blended learning instructional model
    • Three Times per Year Interim Assessment: Approved interim assessment administered at beginning, middle, and end of year providing evidence of student growth in academic achievement

MIZ Designation: Official MIZ Designation is a status built into the statute establishing MIZ. After meeting FOP requirements, MIZ sites will become “Provisional MIZ” sites, indicating that the sites have achieved part of the MIZ FOI requirements. If FOE requirements are met, MIZ sites will recognized as “Designated MIZ” sites. MIZ designation earns districts additional benefits such as ongoing participation in the MIZ Collective Impact Network, access to the MIZ Resource Center, and a campus pause in Commissioner interventions.

Current Math Innovation Zones Districts

 MIZ Districts

2020-2021 MIZ Cohort

Anahuac ISD, Aransas Pass ISD, Aristoi Classical Academy, Bandera ISD, Brownsville ISD, Chapel Hill ISD, Compass Rose Academy, Crowley ISD, East Central ISD, Ector County ISD, Fruitvale ISD, Garland ISD, Lytle ISD, Palacios ISD, Raul Yzaguirre Schools, Raymondville ISD, Riesel ISD, San Perlita ISD, Uvalde ISD

2019-2020 MIZ Cohort

Atlanta ISD, Brooks Academies of Texas, Clarendon CISD & ESC Region 16, Edcouch-Elsa ISD, El Paso ISD, Inspired Vision Academy, Iraan-Sheffield ISD, Laredo ISD, Magnolia ISD, Marshall ISD, Sinton ISD, Spring ISD, Temple ISD, UT Tyler University Academy, and Winters ISD

2018 - 2019 MIZ Cohort

Austin Achieve, Cisco ISD, Dallas ISD, Grand Prairie ISD, KIPP Texas, NYOS Charter, PTAA Charter, Point Isabel ISD, Laredo ISD, Mineola ISD, Southside ISD, Spring Branch ISD, Tulia ISD, Uplift Education

Impact: MIZ Software Vendors and Blended Learning Outcomes