Blog

    Welcome to the Raise Your Hand Texas blog, featuring news about our leadership programs and advocacy efforts, important and timely updates, and opportunities for you to join us in strengthening and improving public education in Texas. Feel free to sort the posts below by checking the category boxes in the left menu, then clicking “Filter.” For more immersive storytelling about public education leaders and issues, check out our Stories section.

    Choice and Opportunity Thriving in Texas Public Schools

    From large urban districts to small rural communities, school choice and opportunity abound and are expanding at a rapid clip.

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    Public School Choice Profile: Harlingen CISD

    Harlingen Consolidated Independent School District takes school choice seriously. In 2014,  HCISD began development of a five-year strategic plan to ensure the district’s educational offerings aligned with the needs of its students and community.

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    The Faces of Public School Choice

    What does quality school choice and opportunity look like? Texas public schools can show you.Texas students and families today have access to school choice offerings as diverse and unique as the students themselves.

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    Designing a Personalized Ecosystem to Build capacity

    One of the most common questions we receive from other regions and states is around how we designed the Raising Blended Learners (RBL) year 1 ecosystem of support and which Technical Assistance (TA) Providers were involved. We can say without a doubt that the supports provided to sites during the pre-selection phase and year 1 implementation have been  invaluable — in most cases equally as important as the grant capital.

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    CA Group Year 1 Support to Raising Blended Learners Demonstration Sites

    The overarching goal of CA Group support for the Raising Blended Learners (RBL) demonstration sites is to assist each team to build capacity within the individuals and team to ultimately “do and lead” innovations to achieve student-centered blended learning at scale. Following the competitive grant award announcements, CA Group immediately began developing a trusted partnership to work alongside the winning sites to put into action their RBL business plans and initial pilot concepts.

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    Listening to Those at the Center of Blended Learning

    As schools make the transition to blended learning, one of the greatest resources to support the process is right in front of us – students! There is much excitement about the potential of blended learning to combine high quality in-person instruction with online technology to deliver student-centeredlearning experiences. But what does it look and feel like to put students’ perspectives about their learning experiences at the center of innovation efforts?

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    Putting Great Teaching at the Heart of Blended Learning

    Blended learning combines the best in-person instruction and online technology to deliver student-centered learning. In reality, blended learning can open up huge possibilities for students, giving them the chance to access a wide and rich pool of materials while still benefitting from being in a physical school—with real teachers, whose role (more than ever) is to help students build connections, understand the content they’re engaging with, and tailor instruction to meet individual students’ needs.

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    Raising Blended Learners Year 1 Teacher Survey

    As part of their Year 1 evaluation of the Raising Blended Learners grant program, FSG, a third-party evaluator, conducted a survey to better understand how teachers in Raising Blended Learners demonstration sites are experiencing blended learning implementation. Blended learning combines the best face-to-face teacher instruction and online technology to deliver student-centered learning.

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    Learning Industry-Standard Skills in High School Classes

    Raise Your Hand Texas enjoys telling stories about exceptional leaders around the state who have participated in our leadership programs. Little did we know a high school student in the Rio Grande Valley was doing what we do! In today’s classrooms, high school students are learning how to use industry-standard video, audio, and visual design software and they’re graduating with a level of proficiency that makes them competitive in the job market.

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    SMART Goals Improve Data‑Driven Decision Making

    In Raising Blended Learners (RBL), we define a data culture as when a district sees data as more than simply an accountability measure but rather a way to better inform instruction, and teachers are motivated to use that data better to inform teaching and learning.

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