Program Evaluation: Middle School, High School, and College Preparation Initiatives

The Texas Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (Texas GEAR UP)

The Texas Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (Texas GEAR UP) is a seven-year federal initiative designed to increase early college awareness and readiness in traditionally underrepresented groups. Texas GEAR UP addresses multiple aspects of the college awareness process, including advanced academics, educator professional development, early information and awareness, and family and community support. Additional information can be found at TEA's Texas GEAR UP page.  A longitudinal, comprehensive evaluation of the program focusing on the implementation, impact, cost and sustainability of the program is being conducted by an external evaluator over the course of the seven-year grant period.

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House Bill 2237 Report

Section 18 of House Bill 2237, passed by the 80th Texas Legislature, directs the Texas Education Agency (TEA) to deliver to the Legislature a preliminary report in December 2008, and a final report in December 2010, regarding the impact assessment of programs for which grants have been awarded under Subchapter L, Chapter 39, Texas Education Code (TEC).

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High School Allotment (HSA)

HSA provides formula funding per high school student to districts to prepare students to go on to higher education, encourage students to take advanced academic course work, increase the rigor of academic course work, align secondary and postsecondary curriculum and support promising high school completion and success initiatives in grades 6 through 12. Every school district with high school students receives allotment funds. Please see TEA's High School Allotment Program page for current information on HSA.

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Texas High School Project (THSP)

The Texas High School Project (THSP) is a unique public-private alliance created in 2003 to ensure that all Texas high school students will have the opportunity to achieve their highest educational potential and enhance state competitiveness for the future. The Texas High School Project vision is that all Texas high school students will graduate college and career ready. THSP partners include the Office of the Governor, Texas Legislature, the Texas Education Agency (TEA), the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board,  the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, the Wallace Foundation, the Communities Foundation of Texas, Greater Texas Foundation, Meadows Foundation, National Instruments and others. Please see TEA's Texas High School Project page for additional information about THSP.

A longitudinal, comprehensive evaluation encompassing more than 100 schools was conducted by an external evaluator.  Included in the evaluation were both THSP programs, as well as associated programs. THSP programs received the full benefit of the partners’ coordinated technical assistance and policy support. Associated programs had a focus related to the THSP mission, but did not receive technical assistance and policy  support, and were funded separately by one of the partners. Both types of programs were incorporated in the THSP evaluation and included:

  • High School Redesign and Restructuring
  • High School Redesign
  • Early College High Schools
  • High Schools that Work Enhanced Redesign Network
  • Texas Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (T-STEM) Academies
  • New Schools and Charter Schools
  • Principal Pilot Certification Program
  • UTeach
  • District Engagement
  • Education Leadership
  • Austin Independent School District district redesign

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High School Redesign and Restructuring (HSRR) Grant Program

HSRR was designed to provide high school campuses rated "Academically Unacceptable" under the Texas accountability rating system with the resources to build capacity for implementing innovative, school-wide initiatives designed to improve student performance on the campus. Additionally, this grant seeks to create demonstration projects that will provide case studies and models for successful practices in turning around low-performing high schools. Please see TEA's HSRR page for additional information. Some HSRR grantees are being evaluated under the Texas High School Project Evaluation.

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Middle College/Early College (MCEC) High School Expansion Grants

MCEC was designed to ensure the continued success, sustainability, and, where appropriate, expansion of Middle College High Schools and Early College High Schools, which give students who typically would not pursue postsecondary studies an opportunity to complete high school and a set amount of college-level coursework in an academically supportive environment. Additionally, this grant seeks to provide other institutions interested in establishing Middle or Early College High Schools with information that will allow them to implement effective and successful programs. Please see TEA's Early College High School Initiative page for more information. 

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Texas High School Completion and Success (THSCS) Grants

The THSP program was established to provide school districts with underperforming high schools with funds to implement high school completion and success intervention strategies, including credit recovery programs, tutoring, acceleration programs, and other supplemental services for students at risk of not graduating from high school. The THSCS grant program targets underperforming high schools through student-focused competitive intervention grants that provide direct and indirect support services to students in Grades 9 - 12.

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Ninth Grade Success Initiative (NGSI)

NGSI was established to increase graduation rates in Texas public schools by reducing the number of students who either dropped out or were retained in Grade 9. Grantees emphasized basic skills in core curricular areas and provided students with opportunities to build credits toward graduation. Besides reducing Grade 9 retention and dropout rates, grantees were also expected to improve student attendance rates and performance on state assessment tests. TEA partnered with the Texas Center for Educational Research (TCER) to conduct an evaluation of this grant program over the 2002-2004 period.

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