Texas Reward School Case Studies
In September of 2013, Texas secured a conditional waiver from the U.S. Department of Education for specific provisions of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). In the conditional waiver, the requirement for Distinguished School identification was replaced by the High Performing and High Progress Reward Schools designation for Title I schools. In accordance with the waiver, the state is celebrating and recognizing schools designated as "Reward Schools." In Year 3, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) and TXCC collaborated to implement an initiative designed to recognize 11 Reward Schools through best-practice case studies wherein Reward Schools and districts shared their success stories with the state and other Local Educational Agencies (LEAs). Based on the success of the first round of case studies, TEA and TXCC recognize that the Reward Schools case studies can and should play a more central role in guiding and supporting schools in the school improvement process. In Year 4, the Reward Schools project team is revising the case study format to provide more specific descriptions of best practices as well as a more expansive and strategic dissemination strategy. Additionally, TEA and TXCC will coordinate with the Texas Center for District and School Support (TCDSS) and other educational service center partners to recruit a new cohort of Reward Schools to participate in the case studies and serve as lab sites for schools in need of improvement.