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LISD selected to join consortium
Lewisville ISD was recently notified that it is among 23 districts across the state selected to participate in the High Performance Schools Consortium.
The invited districts will work together to develop new learning standards, assessments and accountability systems to prepare students for the next generation of education.
The idea of the consortium began with the Public Education Visioning Institute, which consisted of superintendents across the state discussing ideas on how to improve education. Dr. Stephen Waddell, LISD superintendent, was part of the institute.
As part of the institute’s work, Senate Bill 1557 was presented to the legislature and passed in 2010. Among the components of the bill was for the creation of the consortium.
Upon Waddell’s arrival in LISD, Waddell helped create the district’s strategic design team, which is also tasked with transforming education but at the district level.
LISD spokeswoman Karen Permetti said the consortium and LISD’s strategic design initiative go hand-in-hand.
“One of the main reasons LISD is participating in this is because it gives us flexibility to implement our strategic design,” Permetti said. “We can do that without SB 1557, but by participating in this, it gives us more flexibility.”
The consortium will make recommendations to the state in four areas: digital learning, learning standards, multiple assessments and local control.
As part of their applications, districts were asked to submit a list of recommendation examples that could be submitted to the state.
Some of LISD’s recommendations included designing content-specific and interdisciplinary performance tasks, such as issue analysis, creative problem solving and technology applications.
Another recommendation was to waive requirements for “brick and mortar” school attendance while allowing successful online course completion to fund average daily attendance (ADA). Currently, a student can’t take more than one blended online course without it costing the district full ADA funding.
LISD spokeswoman Sarah Marcus, who assisted in writing the application, said these types of ideas is what the consortium hopes to examine.
“This is very important in lifting a lot of the barriers that may have limited us in the past in terms of delivering education differently,” Marcus said. “Education has more or less been the same for years, but the children are not. The children of the 21st century need a different form of education, and this is one of the first steps for the district to do that.”
The selection of the consortium included consideration of district size and type, as well as demographics.
Nearby districts in the consortium include Coppell, Duncanville, Highland Park, Irving, Lancaster, McKinney, Northwest, Prosper and Richardson.
Other districts include Clear Creek, College Station, Klein and Glen Rose.
The first consortium meeting is scheduled for Oct. 23 in Austin.