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Texas High School Completion and Success Initiative Council


Purpose of the Council

In May 2007, the 80th Texas Legislature passed House Bill (HB) 2237, creating the High School Completion and Success Initiative Council (Council) to identify strategic priorities and make recommendations to improve effectiveness, coordination, and alignment of high school completion and college and workforce readiness efforts.

Council Charges

H.B. 2237 charges the Council with the following responsibilities:

  • Identifying best available research in instruction techniques and technology regarding college and workforce readiness for the Intensive Technology-Based Academic Intervention Pilot [Texas Education Code (TEC) §29.097]
  • Identifying strategic priorities for and making recommendations to improve the effectiveness, coordination, and alignment of high school completion and college and workforce readiness efforts ( TEC §39.352)
  • Adopting a strategic plan (TEC §39.357)
  • Making recommendations to the Commissioner of Education or the Commissioner of Higher Education, as applicable, for the use of federal and state funds appropriated or received for high school reform, college readiness, and dropout prevention (TEC §39.361)
  • Recommending statutory changes to promote high school completion and college and workforce readiness (TEC §39.365) 

Development of a Strategic Plan

As an initial step in the development of a Strategic Plan, the Council addressed the issue of defining college and career readiness. Responding to recent national research concluding that the knowledge and skills necessary for a high school graduate to succeed in college are the same as those required to enter workforce training for a skilled position, the Council determined that all students should be prepared for postsecondary success with the same level and degree of rigor. To underscore these findings, the Council has chosen to employ the term “postsecondary success” to reflect its conviction, based in research, that readiness for college and the workforce requires the same level of rigorous preparation. Consequently, the Council set forth the following operational definition of postsecondary success. Postsecondary success is the range of academic, workforce, and social proficiency that high school students should acquire to successfully transition into one of the following:

  • skilled employment
  • advanced training in the military
  • an associate’s degree
  • a bachelor’s degree
  • technical certification

The Council set about developing the Strategic Plan by interacting with numerous experts on a wide range of issues and programs related to postsecondary success. The Council then considered and developed responses to six strategic questions which addressed the Council’s statutory charges. Based on these deliberations, the Council identified its strategic priorities for funding, which were then converted into strategic objectives. An action plan to implement these strategic objectives was developed and existing programs supporting the action plan were identified. As a final step, the Council decided which objectives were not sufficiently addressed and directed that unallocated funds be used in those areas.  (top)

Critical Components

In developing its strategic plan, the Council concluded that the following critical components are essential to the effective implementation of high school completion and success initiatives funded through this plan:

  • Each school district shall adopt and demonstrate adherence to keeping students on track for high school graduation and postsecondary success.
  • All school districts shall implement through their curriculum the Texas College Readiness Standards.
  • All students should have the opportunity to select from multiple pathways, including alternative delivery systems, to achieve postsecondary success
  • All initiatives shall be evaluated rigorously by qualified evaluators at the end of the first year to assess implementation, at the end of the second year to determine interim outcome progress, and at the end of the fourth year to provide a summative assessment of program effectiveness

The strategic plan adopted by the Council was effective March 11, 2008, and applies to all contracts entered into and all grants awarded on, before, and after August 31, 2008. 

Council Members

Robert Scott (Chair)
Commissioner of Education
Texas Education Agency

Mr. Christopher Barbic
Head of Schools
YES College Preparatory School

Dr. Don McAdams
Center for Reform of School Systems

Dr. Rod Paige
Chartwell Education Group, LLC 

Dr. Raymund Paredes
Commissioner of Higher Education
Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board

Ms. Chris Patterson
Research and Policy Consultant

Ms. Cindy Ramos-Davidson
Chief Executive Officer El Paso Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

Dr. Rosa Maria Vida
Diocese of Laredo 

Mr. James Windham
Texas Institute for Education Reform  

Council Meeting Materials


Department of State Initiatives
Director, Dropout Prevention and College and Career Readiness Initiatives:
Jan Lindsey


Page last modified on 3/31/2011 03:58:31 PM.