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Texas 2010 Development Grant Abstract


IDEA Public Schools

PR Award Number:


Project Title:

Rio Grande Valley Center for Teaching and Leading Excellence

Project Director:

Audrey Hooks

Amount of Award:


Length of Award:

4 years

Absolute Priority:

AP1: Effective Teachers and Principals

List of Partners (with states for each):

School District
Pharr-San Juan-Alamo Independent (PSJA)
School District (TX)

Dr. Noel Tichy (MI)
SRI International (CA)
Teach For America (NY)
The New Teacher Project (NY)

Project Website:

Description of Project:

IDEA Public Schools, a local education agency operated by a high-performing charter management organization, and Pharr-San Juan-Alamo (PSJA), a large, innovative public independent school district, will work in concert with Teach For America, The New Teacher Project, Dr. Noel Tichy (who designed and helped launch the New York City Leadership Academy), and other best-in-class human capital providers to create an end-to-end human capital pipeline based on proven yet innovative methods. The core strategy for the program is to work with innovative human capital experts to import proven human capital practices into IDEA Public Schools and the PSJA Independent School District. The Rio Grande Valley Center for Teaching and Leading Excellence will develop a permanent and sustainable capacity to recruit, select, hire, evaluate, reward, support, train and retain teachers and school leaders for both local education agencies. This work will create multiple pathways to teacher and school leadership through the New Teacher Induction Institute and the Instructional Leader Institute, respectively, thereby increasing the number of highly effective teachers and school leaders for high-needs students, which will increase student growth and achievement.

Center objectives include (1) increasing the number of new and experienced teachers and other instructional leaders receiving high-quality training and support, (2) increasing the percentage of highly effective teachers and school leaders, (3) increasing the number of students assigned to these teachers and leaders, (4) increasing student growth and achievement, and (5) retaining high-quality teachers and leaders to support district growth.

Expected outcomes include (1) training and support for 600 new teachers, 300 teacher leaders, 200 instructional leaders, 80 principals and 18 promising school leaders; (2) a ranking of effective or highly effective for 90 percent of participating teachers and leaders on a student-growth-based evaluation system; (3) service to 50,365 students across IDEA and PSJA by center-trained staff; (4) statistically significant improvement in overall student achievement in at least three subgroups (i.e., Hispanic, economically disadvantaged, at risk, special education or limited-English proficient) and commended performance on state criterion-referenced exams for students assigned to center participants; and (5) statistically significant improvement in new teacher retention and in annual unwanted teacher/leader attrition (10 percent or less).

Description of Evaluation:

SRI will examine (1) whether new teachers participating in the New Teacher Induction Institute (NTII) component have higher student outcomes than existing teachers; (2) whether these new teachers have lower levels of turnover and higher job satisfaction and efficacy than existing teachers; (3) the effect of the Instructional Leader Institute (ILI) on student outcomes; (4) the implementation of the joint teacher development pipeline, its facilitating factors and challenges; and (5) the relationship between NTII implementation and teacher and student outcomes.

Program evaluators will use a randomized control treatment design to examine the effects of NTII and ILI. For NTI, 600 treatment teachers and approximately 12,240 students will be included in the sample over 3 years. For ILI, 300 trained teacher leaders and 5,100 students will be included in the sample over 3 years.

Project Evaluator:

Viki Young


SRI International

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Last Modified: 05/01/2012