MOU Signing Ceremony Marks the Beginning of Teacher Support Grant

Understanding that the effectiveness of teachers and school administrators is a major contributing factor to overall student achievement, the Region One Education Service will work with grant-identified Priority school districts and charter schools to help recruit, support, and retain highly-effective teachers, leaders and educators.

It was recently announced that Region One received funding for a 5-year $48.5 million grant, Project RISE, to create a K-12 grade pipeline of highly-effective teachers to increase all students’ academic achievement, graduation rates and college enrollment. A MOU signing ceremony was held at Region One ESC on June 6 bringing together representatives of the participating school districts to sign agreements for the upcoming work.

Sixteen high-need school districts in thirty-one school districts were selected to participate in Project RISE that will establish an effective human capital management system and a performance-based compensation system at each school. In creating such systems, Kelly VanHee, Region One ESC Administrator for Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment says educators who are eager to advance will be provided with professional development opportunities so that they may positively impact students’ academic success. To recognize the commitment of teachers in these identified Priority districts a methodology to compensate teachers whose students show improvement will be developed.

“Geographic location and educator compensation are two key factors that inhibit the acquisition of highly effective educators for some districts and campuses. The project Rise grant will provide opportunities for campuses to recruit highly effective educators and retain, compensate or promote educators based on value-added measures that include student growth, classroom observation and teacher self-assessment.,” explains Van Hee. Support will be provided in the way of high quality professional development for project Rise schools and the enhancement of existing professional learning communities, adds Van Hee. Project Rise will also support and complement the new educator evaluation systems that were implemented in the 2016-2017 for Texas public school educators.

Region One ESC will help plan and implement Project RISE through an advisory council consisting of the partner schools. This first year, 2016-2016 is a planning year, with full implementation of Project RISE in the 2017-2018 school year. Schools districts selected to participate include Brownsville ISD, Donna ISD, Gateway Academy Charter District, Jim Hogg County ISD, La Feria ISD, La Joya ISD, Lasara ISD, McAllen ISD, Mercedes ISD, Mid Valley Charter District, Progreso ISD, San Benito CISD, San Isidro ISD, San Perlita ISD, Santa Maria ISD, and South Texas Educational Technologies.