Commissioner of Education Mike Morath issued the following statement in response to the approval of the state’s Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) consolidated plan submitted to the U. S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos: “In Texas, we are committed to ensuring every child is prepared for success in college, a career, or the military. Our state plan reflects a commitment to reinforcing public education outcomes for more than five million school children while continuing to strengthen the economic future of Texas.”
Specific highlights of the final Texas consolidated state plan include:
- Maintaining rigorous yet achievable goals for all student groups;
- Creating stronger alignment between all state and federal program areas;
- Shifting the proficiency level for students from the “approaches” label on State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness (STAAR) to the “meets” label; and
- Better aligning of federal funding with priorities within TEA’s strategic plan.
The Texas Education Agency developed a strategic plan that outlined the Agency’s transformative effort to improve alignment, focus, and performance. This effort included extensive research and stakeholder engagement, resulting in the development of a new mission supported by four strategic priorities and three enablers that will drive and focus TEA’s work going forward.
The strategic priorities include the following:
- Recruit, support, and retain teachers and principals;
- Build a foundation of reading and mathematics;
- Connect high school to career and college; and
- Improve low performing schools.
The enablers will increase transparency, fairness, and rigor in district and campus academic and financial performance; ensure compliance, effectively implement legislation, and inform policymakers; and strengthen organizational foundations, including resource efficiency, culture, capabilities, and partnerships.
Through resource and policy alignment, TEA will be able to provide more effective support, technical assistance, and grant programs to better assist and support school districts and charter schools.
Additional information regarding ESSA implementation in Texas is available on the TEA website at http://tea.gov.About_TEA/Laws_and_/Rules/ESSA/Every_Student_Succeeds_Act/.