Network: Educate Texas
Purpose: The Texas Education Agency (TEA) and Educate Texas support T-STEM Academies in order to concentrate state and local efforts for improving math and science achievement among Texas students. The T-STEM Academies Design Blueprint is intended to serve as a road map for the growth of STEM academies. The Academies use the T-STEM Design Blueprint, Rubric, and Glossary as a guidepost to build and sustain T-STEM schools that address the seven benchmarks:
- Mission driven leadership
- School culture and design
- Student outreach, recruitment, and retention
- Teacher selection, development and retention
- Curriculum, instruction, and assessment
- Strategic alliances
- Academy advancement and sustainability
Usage: The tool has been used to build a T-STEM District-Wide Blueprint, which is in draft at the current time. In addition, on July 19, 2011, Texas Administrative Code (TAC) identified a T-STEM Academy as: “A secondary school established under the Texas Education Code, §39.407, to focus on improving instruction and academic performance in STEM-related subjects and on increasing the number of students who study and enter STEM-related fields. T-STEM Academies are demonstration schools and learning labs that develop innovative methods to improve STEM-related instruction.” TAC also instituted the requirement for an annual application and designation process for any school wishing to become/retain T-STEM designation in the State of Texas. In early 2015, the T-STEM Blueprint underwent a third revision to include language specific to middle school T-STEM Academies and House Bill 5 graduation requirements.
Impacts: Each of the TEA-Designated T-STEM academies are asked to complete a Self-Assessment School Reflection document each year. As a result, EdTX has itemized indicators that can be used for planning specific professional development and other support needs. Ed TX also has key input about how to leverage strengths of high-performing role model academies in helping new academies begin a STEM campus. The information gathered is used to guide the Theory of Change for the T-STEM Initiative and measure outcomes for progress monitoring.
Prior research or grounding: The original T-STEM Academies Design Blueprint was written in 2005 and first revised in 2008. During 2009-10, a task force comprised of T-STEM Coaches, T-STEM Center leaders, Educate Texas, and Texas Education Agency representatives revised the T-STEM Academies Design Blueprint and added rubrics and a glossary.
Contact: Dr. Reo Pruiett, Educate Texas, 214.425.4106, firstname.lastname@example.org