Texas Continuous Improvement Process
The Texas Continuous Improvement Process (TCIP) is a permanent, annual process for improving special education in Texas. The state created this process based on a similar process used by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP). The TCIP has four major components, explained in each section below.
The Self Assessment is an exercise where the state examines itself to determine how it’s doing in the provision of Special Education. The state does this through the Texas Continuous Improvement Steering Committee--a group of 25-30 special education stakeholders (parents, teachers, administrators, etc.). To perform the Self Assessment, the committee reviews data and current activities related to the performance and compliance indicators in the State Performance Plan (SPP) and Annual Performance Report (APR). The committee advises the State on performance targets for certain performance indicators in the SPP and APR.
Public Input and Information
Each year, the Texas Education Agency and Education Service Centers gather feedback through a variety of methods statewide including surveys, public forums, and stakeholder meetings. These methods provide the state with a different perspective on the special education system. While the self-assessment provides a quantitative, data oriented view of the provision of special education in Texas, public input and information feedback provide a qualitative view, based on input across the state. The information gathered through these methods is used for continuous improvement at the regional and state level.
Improvement planning involves reviewing data and statewide activities to understand what needs to be improved, then implementing actions to improve that part of the special education system. Additionally, the state’s access to broad stakeholder input allows use of feedback truly representative of the state’s geographic and ethnic diversity in identifying statewide needs for improvement. The Texas Education Agency, based on data and understanding of needs, allocates resources and initiates actions that align with the established priorities and goals intended to improve results for students with disabilities across the state.
Data Sharing Model
The TCIP uses a multi-level, data-sharing model to inform improvement. Data is reported from the campus level and aggregated at the district level for submission to the TEA. The TEA generates reports for districts and regional ESCs for improvement planning. The TEA reports aggregate data to the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP). This data sharing model reflects the accountability aspects in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which focuses on campus and district-level accountability, as well as the IDEA 2004, which has always focused on student level accountability.