Anderson-Shiro CISD is one of 23 school districts across Texas that have been chosen by the state to be a part of the Texas High Performance Schools Consortium intended to develop the next generation of digital learning combined with digital learning standards, assessments and accountability systems for Texas public schools. Superintendent Brandon Core said the 2008 Creating A New Vision For Public Education in Texas publication, created by a group of individuals from across the state, set the stage for the newly designated consortium.
“This is the vehicle that has transpired a lot of the reform efforts in the state,” said Superintendent Core. “It’s a draft proposal of what we could or should be looking at for a brighter future for public education. It didn’t gain much momentum until the last year-and-a-half or so.”
During the 2011 legislative session, the senate passed Bill 1557, forcing the state to take a giant step in shaping the future of learning for students.
Core said though the content is not expected to change, methods and reasoning behind helping students master learning capabilities will.
“And to help students have access to that content as well,” said Instruction & Accountability Director Kammi Green.
Core further explained that as a member of the consortium, the TEA recognized district “intends to rely on our plan to further develop our schools in becoming premier model institutions of learning to aid the commissioner, governor, and legislature in transforming the face of public education in our state. It is our belief and intention to create learning standards that respect and value students’ multiple intelligences and talents, reflect and encompass technologies as tools and opportunities to apply new learning to new situations, and develop the whole person so that students become creators of knowledge, equipped to learn anytime, on any path, and at any pace. We further believe that
assessments should be continuous, comprehensive, and use multiple tools, rubrics, and processes.”
As for assessments, Core said he believes the accountability system should evaluate student learning and campus/district performance based on “a variety of measures of challenging learning and that considers district progress over time in regard to student achievement,” rather than a single test taken on a single day.
Texas Commissioner of Education Michael L. Williams said, “The school districts selected to participate in the consortium are already known for their innovative work and are looked to by many as educational leaders. This exciting project will help the governor, legislative leaders and the Texas Education Agency craft a sound, well-thought-out plan to move all Texas schools to the next performance level.”
Core said another benefit of the consortium’s charge is to bring 21st century technology into the classroom even further, while also emphasizing reorganization and local control within districts.
“It’s leading the staff, parents, community, students to seeing that there’s a different way to learn. And that we can embrace and capitalize on how students learn naturally,” said Core.
The superintendent added that while the business world moved from “the desk to technology over 20 years ago,” schools are still attempting to infuse the latest technology into the classroom, while preparing students for tomorrow’s workforce demands.