Posts Tagged "Title 1"

Districts Get New Title I Flexibility: Learning List Can Help

[Source: TEA]

[Source: TEA]

Recently, Texas Commissioner of Education, Michael Williams advised districts:

Texas school districts are no longer required to set aside 20 percent of their Title I federal dollars to provide Supplemental Educational Services (SES) for students at low-performing campuses. A district is now free to use those funds on academic intervention programs it deems most effective for its students.

Learning List’s detailed alignment reports help districts easily identify supplemental products that will meet their students’ academic needs.

Our detailed alignment reports verify the publisher’s correlation, identifying multiple citations (e.g., pages, lessons, videos, etc…) that are aligned to each student expectation and the citations in the publisher’s correlation that Learning List found not to be aligned. Moreover, for each non-aligned citation, Learning List’s alignment reports include a comment explaining the part of the student expectation (i.e., the content, context, or cognitive demand) the citation did not address.

[Source: HI. EDU]

[Source: HI. EDU]

If a school/district’s test scores across a class/grade level/subject show a pattern of low performance, the district’s IM – or the teacher’s use of the IM — may be the cause. Here’s how:

STEP 1: Are the district’s materials aligned to that (those) standard(s)?

Learning List’s alignment reports show whether the district’s IM is aligned to each student expectation. If the materials are not aligned to the standards the students missed on the test and the teachers did not know the material was not aligned, students likely were not taught the knowledge and skills required by that (those) standard(s).

STEP 2: Even if the materials are aligned to that/those standard(s), are there some citations in the publisher’s correlation that are not aligned to the standard(s)?

In many cases, Learning List’s alignment report reveals that some of the citations listed in the publishers’ correlation are aligned to a student expectation and others are not. If teachers were assigning the citations that are not aligned to the standard(s) the students missed on the test, students likely were not taught the knowledge and skills required by that (those) standard(s).

Moreover, if the district’s IM are not aligned to 100% of the TEKS standards in a grade/subject, Learning List’s “Fill-in-the-Gap” tool identifies other materials, both comprehensive and supplemental (including open education resources) that address the remaining standards.

As State Board of Education member Pat Hardy commented, “Learning List helps districts use their instructional materials instructionally.” Though Texas school districts must no longer set aside 20% of their Title I funding for SES, districts still have a legal and moral obligation to help all students learn what the standards require. Learning List helps districts choose and then also use their instructional materials effectively to help teachers teach and students learn what the State requires them to know and be able to do. Please click here to request a webinar or more information.

[All materials related to the state’s waiver request – including the latest letter from USDE – are available for viewing on the TEA website .]

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5 Strategies to Stretch Your $

Stretch-Your-BudgetHave you ever wondered how your district is going to purchase all the new instructional materials your students need?  With the Association of American Publishers noting a four percent decline of instructional materials purchases in 1Q of 2014, school budgets continue to be under close scrutiny to maximize the ROI for education. Some states, like Texas, Florida and South Carolina, provide discrete funding for instructional materials. Most others expect districts to use general formula funding to purchase instructional materials.  All states expect school districts to use local funds to fill in the gaps.

But, if those funding streams aren’t sufficient to cover the costs of all the new instructional materials your students need, we need to think creatively. Here are five strategies to help you stretch your dollars so that you can afford the instructional materials your students need:

(1)    Get the most from the instructional materials you have purchased:  Make sure your teachers know how to fully implement the materials your district has purchased so that they do not purchase additional materials with redundant functionalities.

(2)    Align the materials you have to new state standards for the same grade and subject and then fill-in-the-gaps with supplemental products or high-quality open-education resources. Learning List can help!

(3)    Align your materials for one subject to the standards for another subject – then fill-in-the-gaps with supplemental or high quality open-education resources.  Learning List can help!

(4)    Buy/Sell surplus.  If districts have physical ownership over instructional materials under your state’s law, sell them if your district is not or will not be using them in the foreseeable future. Check whether your state’s laws prescribe when and how districts in your state may sell surplus instructional materials.

(5)    Use Federal funds.  Federal  funds may be used to purchase instructional materials for select students or for the general student population . Some of those funding sources include:

Title I, which allows funding to ensure “… that high-quality academic assessments, accountability systems, teacher preparation and training, curriculum, and instructional materials are aligned with challenging State academic standards so that students, teachers, parents, and administrators can measure progress against common expectations for student academic achievement….” and

Title II, which provides funds to: “(1) increase student academic achievement through strategies such as improving teacher and principal quality and increasing the number of highly qualified teachers in the classroom and highly qualified principals and assistant principals in schools; and (2) hold local educational agencies and schools accountable for improvements in student academic achievement.”

You can use one or all of the above strategies to stretch your fund$ to optimize the ROI for your instructional materials budget. We welcome you to share other strategies that have worked for your leadership team.

ISTE Update: JOIN Learning List for an ISTE RECEPTION on Sunday, June 29th at 5:30 PM. RSVP Here.

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