As part of TEA's strategic planning process, we have attempted to identify how we can modify our operations to more effectively support and empower districts and campuses across Texas. One goal of the TEA strategic plan is to reduce the number of low performing campuses by half. Accomplishing such an ambitious goal requires new initiatives and approaches.
In 2016, Mike Morath, Commissioner of Education, and Governor Greg Abbott established the Classroom Connectivity Initiative to assist school districts and charter schools in improving connectivity in Texas public schools. This includes increasing access to broadband networking and expanding the use of Wi-Fi in classrooms across the state.
Districts of Innovation
H.B. 1842 (84th Session of the Texas Legislature) in part amended Chapter 12 of the Texas Education Code (TEC) to create Districts of Innovations. Districts are eligible for designation if certain performance requirements are met and the district follows certain procedures for adoption as outlined in Statute. The designation provides the district will be exempt from certain sections of the TEC that inhibit the goals of the district as outlined in the locally adopted Innovation Plan.
Local Accountability System
House Bill (HB) 22 (85th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2017) established the Local Accountability System (LAS) to allow districts and open-enrollment charter schools to develop local accountability system plans for their campuses. A district’s local accountability plan provides stakeholders with detailed information about school performance and progress over time. Local accountability plans may vary by school type (elementary school, middle school, high school, and K–12) and by school group (magnet schools, early college high schools, etc.), but must apply equally to all campuses as applicable by school type and group. Once approved by the Texas Education Agency (TEA), it is expected that a plan is operational and relatively unchanged for three to five years.
School Action Fund
The School Action Fund (SAF) aims to increase the number of students in great schools by providing customized planning and implementation support to districts committed to bold action to transform low-performing schools and expand access to world-class learning environments for students. The School Action Fund has supported the following bold actions:
- Restart a struggling school
- Redesign a whole school
- Create a new school
Currently, (SAF) supports over 130 school actions in planning, continuation, and implementation.
System of Great Schools Technical Assistance Network
Districts that become members of the System of Great Schools (SGS) Technical assistance Network will be provided with intensive system-level supports to:
- Support educators to design and lead high-quality schools;
- Empower families with high-quality options and informed choices; and
- Focus central office on high-leverage oversight, innovation, and support.