Raise Your Hand Texas hosted the first of its Across the Lawn event series on Thursday, April 28, and welcomed more than 50 individuals in-person with another 140 attending virtually. The monthly Across the Lawn series builds off of our January 2022 Measure What Matters Conference and features guest speakers and presentations focusing on issues facing our public schools, hitting on key topics as the 88th Texas Legislature session approaches.
Raise Your Hand Texas Across the Lawn: April 28, 2022
Speakers and Moderators:
Bob Popinksi — Raise Your Hand Texas Senior Director of Policy
Dr. Jeff Burke, Ed. D. — Splendora ISD Superintendent
Dr. Jana Rueter, Ed. D. — San Angelo ISD Assist. Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction
Eric Simpson — Texas Association of School Administrators Chief Learning Officer
Michelle Carroll Smith — Lytle ISD Superintendent
April’s event focused on Assessment and Accountability with guest speakers Eric Simson from Texas Association of School Administrators, Splendora ISD Superintendent Jeff Burke, San Angelo ISD Assistant Superintendent Jana Rueter, and Lytle ISD Superintendent Michelle Carroll Smith. With the TEA currently using an A-F grading scale to rate school districts and their respective campuses solely based on STAAR test results, these speakers presented options for districts to do their own assessments that provide a more in-depth scope and a full picture of what is truly happening on a campus and within a school district to measure success. They are measuring what matters because our students are so much more than one test on one day.
Simpson introduced attendees to the concept of community based accountability systems (CBAS) and how they can be planned and implemented within a school district. Burke, Rueter, and Lytle each spoke of how CBASs have impacted their respective districts. Collectively, they have seen community support for their schools increase as a result of this new style of accountability.
Following the presentations, panelists answered questions from the in-person audience and virtual attendees, allowing those with specific concerns or interest in community based accountability systems to hear directly from ISD leaders currently utilizing such systems in their respective districts. Raise Your Hand Texas will send a full list of all questions submitted by the virtual attendees in the Zoom chat box to the panelists, so they can answer their questions directly and more purposefully to their specific needs.
The next Across the Lawn event on May 26 will focus on Teacher Workforce Solutions. Texas faces a teacher shortage in many districts, and there is a need to focus attention on retaining quality teachers and recruiting the next generation of educators and finding solutions to keeping them in the profession.
If you’d like to attend a future Across the Lawn event, then please Max Rombado, policy research associate for Raise Your Hand Texas, at [email protected]. He will add you to the invite list.