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 Readiness—The 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 Readiness—The 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 Recovery—The 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 Learners—The 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.