This project relates to the following ED Priorities:

  • Turning around the lowest-performing schools
  • Identifying and scaling up innovative approaches to teaching and learning that significantly improve student outcomes
  • Identifying, recruiting, developing, and retaining highly effective teachers and leaders




District Turnaround Leadership Initiative

TXCC will provide technical assistance to support the Texas Education Agency (TEA) to develop and implement the District Turnaround Leadership Initiative (DTLI) in collaboration with TEA's contractor, the University of Virginia School Turnaround Program (UVA-STP). DTLI will result in a comprehensive turnaround program for Texas that builds district capacity to support school improvement by strengthening four essential systemic levers: leadership, instructional infrastructure, support and accountability, and talent management. At the close of Year 3, San Antonio Independent School District (SAISD) and Uvalde Independent School District (UISD) completed the pre-launch planning and preparation necessary for full implementation in the 2015-2016 school year. TXCC staff will facilitate a meeting with the TEA Core Team and UVA-STP project staff in late September to develop a plan for scaling the tenets of the UVA model statewide. This project is anticipated to continue through Fall 2017.

Previous Work Updates



TXCC will assist and collaborate with the Texas Education Agency (TEA) and University of Virginia School Turnaround Program (UVA-STP) staff to develop a guide of tools and best practices for school turnaround to share with other similar struggling districts throughout the state and to scale up the turnaround work that focuses on using a system process to work with the district and not just with individual schools. Moving forward, San Antonio Independent School District will be the only district participating in this initiative.


TXCC staff collaborated with Texas Education Agency (TEA) staff and the University of Virginia School Turnaround Program (UVA-STP) to coordinate participation of Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District (UCISD) and San Antonio Independent School District (SAISD) in the UVA Cohort 12 Year 2 Summer Session in Charlottesville, Virginia. Sessions will be interactive and designed to engage all participants. To prepare for the sessions, all participants were provided readings and pre-work questions. In addition, planning time will be provided to the districts to develop their 90-day plans. Although UCISD will no longer participate in this project, which is a joint decision by TEA and UVA, some UCISD staff will attend the summer training.


TXCC staff met with Texas Education Agency (TEA) staff and external partners from the University of Virginia School Turnaround Program (UVA-STP) to review and discuss the reports of site visits to Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District (UCISD) and San Antonio Independent School District (SAISD) and the recommendations made by the UVA-STP team. The reports centered on four key priority areas/levers to move the turnaround work forward: leadership, support and accountability, instructional infrastructure, and talent management. Each district’s recommended implementation plan outlined the expected deliverables for each priority area, timeline for completion, and the support that the external provider (UVA-STP) will provide. TXCC staff collaborated with and supported TEA staff as they discussed and problem solved with UVA-STP on the challenges faced by each district at this point in the turnaround process. TEA and UVA-STP agreed on UVA-STP’s role in overseeing each district’s recommended implementation plan.


Upon returning from the mid-year UVA retreat in Albuquerque, TEA conducted site visits at San Antonio ISD and Uvalde CISD to gain an understanding of progress made by each district with their 90-day plans and the implementation of strategies/knowledge/skills gained at the retreat. In addition, San Antonio ISD was awarded a grant to support a second cohort of seven schools to participate in the DTLI initiative. TEA will support this work with the seven schools and oversee the district and school leaders participation in the work with UVA to build the capacity of leaders to lead change for improved student outcomes. TXCC will work collaboratively with TEA in this new effort.


The TXCC supported and collaborated with the Texas Education Agency (TEA) to ensure that district shepherds and district and school leaders from San Antonio ISD (SAISD) and Uvalde CISD (UCISD) attended and actively participated in the January 7-10 retreat for Cohort 12 of the University of Virginia School Transformation Program Partnership for Leaders in Education (UVA-STP: PLE). This midyear retreat focused on data-driven analysis and instruction through professional learning sessions and related learning tasks facilitated by Paul Bambrick-Santoyo from the North Star Academy Charter School of Newark. District and school teams focused on assessments, analysis of data, and actions to address areas of need in a data-driven culture. Workshops for school and district teams were provided for school groups to flesh out root cause of problems, and develop the best action steps (highest leverage, clear and measurable, and bite-sized) for the teachers and leaders to take to address concerns. In addition, TXCC staff attended the National Title I Conference with TEA staff to learn more about the changes related to the reauthorized Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), also known as the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).



No update this month.


The District Turnaround Leadership Initiative (DTLI) project team met to discuss the findings of the fall site visits conducted in DTLI districts. In addition, the team identified follow-up actions for each district and topics to discuss with the executive director of the Darden/Curry Partnership for Leaders in Education at the University of Virginia (UVA), William Robinson, at the January retreat. UVA and Texas Education Agency (TEA) representatives, including Mr. Robinson, will participate in the spring district site visits, and the full he DTLI project team will hold debriefing sessions following each visit. Also, TEA will follow up with each district via phone call to demonstrate awareness/support for the 90-day plans.


TXCC staff met with staff of the Texas Education Agency (TEA) and Darden/Curry Partnership for Leaders in Education (PLE) to review and discuss a site visit report to a District Turnaround Leadership Initiative district and the recommendation made for proposed follow-up based on the current needs of the district. In addition, to assist TEA’s s efforts in training district shepherds to effectively lead change, TXCC, TEA, and PLE staff collaborated to finalize the logistics for district shepherds to attend the Darden School of Business Shepherd Summit: Building the Capacity of Principal Supervisors on November 15-16, 2015 in Mesa, Arizona.


The University of Virginia coaches completed their first first site visits of the year in late September. The District Turnaround Leadership Initiative project team met to analyze site visit reports and to verify timelines and deliverables in preparation for the district shepherd institute in mid-November.