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Outtakes from the TCSA Member Council Meeting on April 27, 2017

May 10, 2017

The Texas Charter Schools Association (TCSA) was pleased to host 35 charter systems at the most recent Member Council Meeting on April 27, following the successful Texas Public Charter School Rally at the state capitol the day before. Additionally, some member schools participated in the meeting virtually.

Dr. Penny Schwinn, the Deputy Commissioner of Academics at the Texas Education Agency (TEA), kicked off the meeting with a presentation and shared the latest information about upcoming changes in the assessment and accountability divisions at TEA. Most importantly, there are several bills filed within the legislature to modify the domains used to calculate the A-F Accountability Rating, set to launch in the summer of 2018. It is probable that we will see the five domains reduced to only three domains for inclusion in the accountability system. The legislature will also determine if the implementation of the A-F Accountability System will occur as planned in the summer of 2018 or be delayed for another year, potentially providing districts with preliminary reports with unofficial grades. To follow changes occurring with the new accountability system, follow the progress of HB 22 and SB 2051.   

Dr. Schwinn also shared information about a new Confidential Student Report (CSR), which will be available for the EOCs on June 13th and June 30th for grades 3-8. The revised reports will be family friendly and report on student progress, focus on growth and improvement, and academic proficiency. TEA will also include resources in the report to improve student performance in reading and mathematics. We encourage you to visit TEA’s website for more information.

The new CSR features:
• Growth and progress information
• A summer reading list
• Lexile levels and trend data
• New performance level descriptors
• Resources and suggestions for parents to use at home
• Suggested questions for parents to ask teachers and counselors

Dr. Schwinn also shared changes to federal accountability related to the reporting of special education students, especially when significant disproportionality occurs from one year to the next. The 10 PBMAS indicators related to placement, discipline, and representation will be replaced by 98 indicators with these proposed federal changes. A financial penalty will be assessed when a threshold is missed; charters will also be asked to review and revise policies, procedures and practice and make any associated changes publicly available. While PBMAS previously offered a range of performance levels, the new regulations will include pass/fail thresholds. We encourage charter leaders to follow the progress of these new regulations by following information posted on TEA’s website.

TCSA included a best practice session from a charter leader during the member council meeting. The April meeting included a presentation by Latisha Andrews, superintendent of Beta Academy, sharing five tips to sharing academic data with your board. She encouraged charter leaders to avoid using acronyms and educational jargon board members might not understand when sharing academic information and results. The use of clear data can produce a clear vision for the goals that need to be established to ensure all students within your system are growing academically. She also encouraged charter leaders to have a clear vision for student progress through the use of tangible, measurable goals set by the charter board of directors.

Here are the five tips Mrs. Andrews shared with leaders:
• Be Transparent
• Make Data Meaningful
• Set Goals
• Have Clarity
• Share the Floor

Please send requests for best practice sessions to include at the next Member Council Meeting on August 3rd at TCEA in Austin to my attention at

Register here to attend the next meeting in-person. 

Register here to attend the next meeting virtually.

512-584-8272 | 3005 S Lamar Blvd, Suite D-447, Austin, TX, 78704