21st CENTURY LEADERS

21st CENTURY BEST PRACTICES

21st CENTURY POLICY

NEW LOOK, RENEWED COMMITMENT

2015-annual-report

2015 Annual Report

Here it is. The first ever Raise Your Hand Texas® annual report. The programs, research, and advocacy efforts we invest in are designed to support and empower those working daily to reinvent public education for the 21st century. We do what we do for the more than 90 percent of all Texas students who are educated in public schools because we believe all kids deserve a level playing field made possible by a high-quality education. Please take a few minutes to check out our 2015 year in review. We won’t ask you for money, but our hope is you’ll add your name as a supporter.

LETTER FROM THE CEO

david-ceo-header
One of the most frequent questions I am asked during casual conversations, while serving on conference panels, and in media interviews is “What one thing would you do to improve public education?” It sounds like such a simple question. But if what you seek is real reform, real transformation, real reinvention of public education, there is no silver bullet.
But there is a seemingly simple answer about what makes the real difference between high-performing schools (and districts) and all others:
  • A great teacher in front of every classroom
  • A strong principal at the helm of every school
  • Sufficient resources for programs — like high-quality pre-kindergarten and curriculum for English Language Learners — proven to advance student achievement
  • Freedom to innovate to meet the needs of all students.
How you pursue and achieve these realities is the tough part. That is why we invest in leadership development, school turnaround programs, and objective research that helps inform our legislative advocacy positions, based on proven best practices, not ideology.
Raise Your Hand Texas® has sponsored more than 10 percent of all principals in Texas for programs run by the Harvard Graduate School of Education and the Jones Graduate School of Business at Rice University. This year, we launched a new blended learning initiative to teach school leaders how to best educate 21st century learners while maximizing existing technology and streamlining resources. And we were thrilled to support legislators’ efforts during the past two sessions that serve to both strengthen and set high expectations for all public schools.
The year 2015 was a productive one. I hope you’ll take a few minutes to view our first-ever annual report, then visit our new website to share your thoughts and consider joining Raise Your Hand® to help support and improve public schools for all students.
There remains much to do.
Onward,
David Anthony
CEO
Raise Your Hand Texas
2015 Annual Report cover art
key-accomplishments

Key Accomplishments

2015: Growth and Expansion

Reinventing Public Education…

By developing 21st century leaders

Leaders Matter. Research reveals the two most effective influencers of student achievement, within schools, are great teachers and strong principals.

That’s why in 2015, Raise Your Hand continued its tradition of investing millions of dollars in developing high-performing school leaders. School leadership is the ideal level at which to scale substantive change. Inspired, empowered, and enlightened principals can have a tremendous impact on our state’s 335,000 public school teachers, thereby improving outcomes for our vastly diverse 5+ million students. We partnered with some of the most prestigious educational organizations in the state and the nation with a primary goal of inspiring visionary leadership to transform the Texas public school system.

EXISTING PROGRAMS

Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE)

Continuing our seven-year partnership with the Harvard Graduate School of Education, we sponsored 73 Texas principals to attend weeklong professional development summer courses taught by world-class faculty at one of the most respected graduate schools of education in the country.

BY THE NUMBERS

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$500,000

TOTAL 2015 INVESTMENT

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73

PRINCIPALS SPONSORED

Rice University Education Entrepreneurship Program (REEP)

The year 2015 marked the fifth year of our relationship with the REEP program, a year-long business fellowship designed for K-12 educators wanting to learn how to apply business theories to the public school setting. We expanded the program, providing scholarships for 41 principals (up from 26 principals in 2014).

BY THE NUMBERS

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$350,000

Total 2015 Investment

(up from $200,000 in 2014)
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41

PRINCIPALS SPONSORED

“My REEP experience helped me develop some tools, resources, practices, and approaches that allow me to look at my work from the perspective of a CEO, and not just a traditional campus principal.”

Dr. Bryan Williams

Principal, Spring Branch Elementary School
Spring Branch ISD
Raise Your Hand Alumnus (’14)

NEW PROGRAM

Raising Blended Learners

As part of our commitment to supporting innovative teaching and learning strategies in public schools, we launched Raising Blended Learners — a $5 million demonstration initiative to scale blended learning throughout Texas schools.

BY THE NUMBERS

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$5,000,000

TOTAL 2015-18 INVESTMENT

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GRANT FUNDING FOR FIVE DEMONSTRATION SITES ACROSS THE STATE

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TECHNICAL SUPPORT FOR ALL 75 SEMIFINALISTS

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INTENSIVE PROJECT MANAGEMENT SUPPORT FOR 20 SEMIFINALISTS

Blended learning refers to the blend of online learning and brick-and-mortar schooling. Blended learning takes place when students learn at least in part online, with some element of student control over the time, place, path, and/or pace of their learning, while also enjoying the benefits that come with education at a physical school.

— Christensen Institute
TIME

TIME

PLACE

PLACE

PATH

PATH

PACE

PACE

NEW GRANTS AND PARTNERSHIPS

New Leaders

New Leaders, led by CEO Jean Desravines and Board Chair Christopher M. Chadwick, president and CEO of The Boeing Company, is a national nonprofit that collaborates with districts, charter management organizations, and states to offer three-year leadership curriculum to teachers, aspiring principals, and freshmen principals. New Leaders has trained more than 1,600 education leaders nationwide.

BY THE NUMBERS

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$1,300,000

Total 2015-18 Investment

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DEVELOPS TEACHERS, ASPIRING PRINCIPALS, AND NEW PRINCIPALS TO LEAD CHALLENGED CAMPUSES IN ARLINGTON ISD

Teaching Trust

The Teaching Trust is an innovative model for school leadership focused on developing principals, teachers, and leadership teams by equipping them with the skills required to improve instructional practices and advance student achievement. Rosemary Perlmeter, co-founder and CEO, previously helped launch Uplift Education, one of the first and most successful charter school operators in Texas, and for 15 years prior served as an executive with Zale Corporation.

BY THE NUMBERS

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$5,100,000

TOTAL 2015-18 INVESTMENT

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SUPPORTING PRINCIPALS IN THE DALLAS AREA

Relay Graduate School of Education

Raise Your Hand partnered with the Relay Graduate School of Education in Houston to administer a competency-based program in Texas that provides graduate-level classes to certified teachers, and certification for teaching residents and novice teachers.

BY THE NUMBERS

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$1,500,000

Total 2015-18 Investment

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DEVELOPING NEW AND EXPERIENCED TEACHERS IN HOUSTON

E3 Alliance/ICLE

Raise Your Hand partnered with E3 Alliance, a regional collaborative to increase economic outcomes by aligning education systems, and the International Center for Leadership in Education (ICLE) to provide executive coaching to school leaders in the Central Texas region (Austin, Hutto, and Lockhart) to enhance and expand their organizational and instructional leadership skills. E3 President and CEO Susan Dawson is a Texas technology entrepreneur, business, and civic leader. Previously, Raise Your Hand engaged ICLE to support principals in the Arlington, Lamesa, and Lubbock independent school districts.

BY THE NUMBERS

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$910,000

TOTAL 2015-18 INVESTMENT

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EXECUTIVE COACHING FOR PRINCIPALS ACROSS 26 CAMPUSES

Reinventing Public Education…

By researching 21st century best practices

Building on our distinction as a non-partisan, research-driven organization, Raise Your Hand in advance of the 84th Legislative Session conducted or commissioned several research pieces — all of which were made available for download on our website, and distributed to members of the legislature, policy influencers, and stakeholder groups.

RESEARCH REPORTS

Reinventing Public Education…

By advocating for sound 21st century policy

Building on the legislative successes of the previous session, including House Bill 5 (graduation paths & assessments) and Senate Bill 2 (charter school oversight), Raise Your Hand continued to promote education reform during the 84th Legislative Session. We supported the efforts of legislators to advance student learning and school innovation, increase student choice within the public school system, and strengthen access, transparency, local autonomy, and democratic accountability.

84TH LEGISLATIVE SESSION PRIORITIES

  • High-quality, full-day pre-k — Raise Your Hand supported legislation and funding to improve pre-k quality and expand opportunities for eligible 4-year-old students. House Bill 4 passed as a positive first step toward this long-term goal.
  • Free schools to innovate — Raise Your Hand supported public school autonomy and innovation, and freeing schools from the burdens of a highly centralized, compliance driven state education system. House Bill 1842 passed, allowing traditional school districts to operate with the same freedoms granted to charter schools. State law now allows for the creation of “districts of innovation” that can exempt themselves from many state requirements with a two-thirds vote of the board of trustees and approval by the district-level decision making committee. While providing crucial freedoms for districts, the bill preserves local control as school boards remain subject to voter control and accountability.
  • Chronically low-performing schools — Raise Your Hand supported providing swift and targeted interventions for struggling campuses. House Bill 1842 strengthens the school turn-around process, setting a firm deadline for improvement. Campuses failing to improve must be closed or the school board replaced. This system preserves local control of the turnaround process and holds elected trustees responsible for results.
  • Vouchers — Raise Your Hand opposed all voucher and neo-voucher proposals that would have diverted taxpayer funds from public schools to private entities not accountable to the public. No voucher bills were passed by the Texas Legislature in 2015.
  • Educator data system — Raise Your Hand supported creating systems to provide legislators, educators, and parents access to necessary information about educator performance, training, and preparation programs. Senate Bill 892 would have taken first steps to address issues regarding teacher credentials and preparation programs. It passed the Senate and House Public Education Committee, but was not considered by the full House.
  • A-F Accountability ratings — Raise Your Hand opposed A-F ratings without a corresponding accountability system that fairly measures campus performance. House Bill 2804, as passed, included significant enhancements to accountability inputs from the original bill.

New Look, renewed commitment

The marked evolution and recent expansion of our organization demanded a comprehensive identity redesign.

We introduced a more dynamic look and feel to match our aspirational vision for the future of public education and the impact of our advocacy and leadership programs.

We overhauled our website to reflect a bold, immersive, and mobile responsive multimedia design, with a more engaging user experience.

GREATER IMPACT THROUGH GROWTH

After relocating our headquarters to Austin in 2014, Raise Your Hand more than doubled our personnel in 2015, particularly in the areas of marketing, research, and government relations.

become a supporter

Raise Your Hand Texas is 100 percent privately funded and we will never ask you for donations. But we do need your support! Join us today to lend your name to the cause and to learn about ways you can help strengthen and support public schools for all students.

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