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BPC News  Nov 2010, Volume 1, Issue 4

Hot Topics

ELL Solutions Forum Video

A video of the ELL Solutions Forum held in August at ESC Region 20 can now be accessed from the BPC website. See also the best practice summaries from presenters from Brownsville ISD (currently being updated) and Montwood High School in Socorro ISD. Additional best practice summaries are being collected from the other presenters (Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ISD, Plano ISD, and KIPP SHINE Prep) and will be posted in January.  Please visit the ELL Solutions Forum.

Texas Institute for the Aquisition of Language for Learning (TIALL) 

TIALL is a new technical assistance and support center at the Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk funded by TEA as part of the Limited English Proficient Student Success Initiative (LEP SSI). The support center will be assisting the LEP Cycle 5 grantees over the grant period of two years. The purpose of the project is to assist grantees with their programs of instruction for academic English language learners and to provide various professional development opportunities for teachers and administrators. The goal is to increase ELL academic achievement and prepare teachers to meet the needs of ELLs. A TIALL website is coming soon. 

New Research and Resources
English Language Learners in Texas Web Portal

Another initiative of the LEP SSI, TEA recently launched a new ELL web portal designed to provide resources, tools, and training materials for educators serving ELLs. Information is provided under the following topics:

  • assessment, compliance, accountability, and teacher certification;   
  • instructional environment; and
  • training and additional resources. 

Still a “work in progress," the site already offers a host of information related to policy, regulations, and program models; instruction, including webinars and videos highlighting classroom strategies; and educator resources such as information about upcoming interactive, online Texas English Language Learner Instructional Tool (TELLIT) training opportunities that will be offered in conjunction with Project Share  

For comments and suggestions…

For comments or suggestions on the BPC newsletter, please contact TEA Statewide Policy and Programs at 512-463-9451.

Upcoming Changes to the BPC

In January 2011, TEA is implementing a series of changes to the BPC to increase our ability to share information about research-based programs and strategies in the most critical areas in Texas education.

Revised Evidence Standards and Criteria

The revised BPC Evidence Standards will be based on new criteria and categories of evidence that will allow for broader inclusion of best practices from sites using research-based strategies and programming approaches. The revised standards will still provide a continuum of evidence and evidence types, from sustained outcomes meeting a state standard of comparison to new and theory-based initiatives.

New categories and required evidence will include:

  • Established Best Practice: This quantitative evidence category includes validated data for at least three years that indicate a positive trend in outcomes within the school/district implementing the program or among students who are in the targeted group. The effectiveness of these practices is validated by standard TEA measures, TEA and local program staff reports, and, since 2010, statistical significance testing (state and peer campus/district comparisons, where appropriate).
  • Emerging Practice: This largely qualitative evidence category is for practices that are in the early stages of implementation and that have not had enough time to demonstrate a positive trend over three time periods. TEA and local staff reports and up to two years of data will be used to validate these types of research-based best practices. 
  • Theory-Based Practice: Practices assigned this evidence type include those that staff identify as effective through observation, and the practice is supported by a theoretical base (but not necessarily an empirical research base). This evidence type is designed to capture innovations in practice that do not easily lend themselves to quantitative measurement or that are viewed by practitioners and researchers alike as good practice but have not yet been proven through empirical research. 

Best Practice Target Areas in 2011

In the coming year, the BPC will focus data collection efforts in several key areas in Texas education. This effort will build from a number of the state’s new and ongoing initiatives.

  • College and Career ReadinessThe BPC will continue its focus on College and Career Readiness strategies with emphasis on TEA’s Secondary School Programs. Within this target area, the following programs will be included:
    • Algebra ReadinessThe BPC is collecting emerging practices in preparing students for success in Algebra I to meet standards on the upcoming Algebra I end-of-course test. Strategies are focused on eight key research-based curricula and professional development approaches designed to meet the recommendations of the National Mathematics Advisory Panel.
    • Texas Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics Initiative (T-STEM)The BPC will be collecting practices from T-STEM Academies across the state that are demonstrating improvement in mathematics and science achievement and/or the number of students studying for careers in STEM fields.
  • Dropout Prevention and RecoveryThe BPC will also continue its focus on dropout prevention and recovery with summaries of best practices from a representative sample of schools and districts that have successfully implemented exemplary overall programming or key components/strategies identified in the research as meeting the needs of at-risk students or recovered dropouts. 
  • English Language LearnersThe BPC is launching a targeted effort to collect best and emerging practices from sites across the state serving diverse groups of English Language Learners (ELL). Emphasis will be on addressing the needs of ELLs at the secondary level, including recent immigrants/newcomers and refugees. The BPC will also provide information about a host of new teacher training projects and resources funded through the Limited English Proficient Student Success Initiative (LEP SSI), including the ELL web portal and Newcomer Resource Project.

New “Quick Look” Format

The best practice summary template is being revised to include a “quick look” Overview section that provides:

  • information on the key characteristics of the school or district submitting the practice;
  • a summary statement of the school’s or district’s success;
  • an overview of key strategies to highlight what the site is doing that’s new, innovative, and linked to student achievement gains; and
  • an overview of the alignment of the practice/strategies with the research base in the topic area.

Readers can use the Overview section to get a glimpse of what the site is doing to implement best practices in a particular topic area. Overviews are linked to a full description that includes contextual information, detailed procedures for implementation provided by the site, lessons learned, information about sources of funding, and evidence of success.

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Copyright 2011 Texas Education Agency Endorsements—TEA does not endorse any of the presented products referenced in this website. Any mention directly or indirectly of vendors, products, or services is for informational purposes only. Further, TEA assumes no responsibility for the use of the information provided. More