In 2011, Texas created the Texas High Performance Schools Consortium (THPSC), a group of up to 30 public schools and school districts (K-12) that develop and test new learning standards, assessments, and accountability systems. The consortium is also tasked with reporting their findings to the Texas executive and legislative branches. Since the consortium’s formation, new Texas legislation has changed the standards for student assessments. In addition, public school performance in Texas is now judged based on a greater diversity of factors, including career, military, and higher education readiness.
- The THPSC addresses four main educational topic areas: 1) digital learning, 2) learning standards, 3) multiple assessments, and 4) local control.
- A progress report is produced by THPSC every two years and presented to the Texas executive and legislative branches. This report includes examples of successful programs implemented by school districts and legislative recommendations.
- Texas reduced the number of end-of-course exams high schoolers need to graduate from 15 to 5 by 2014 and expanded accountability standards to take into account metrics including college, career, and military readiness.
- Relative school academic standing or school progress are also taken into account, in addition to educational achievement gaps between various groups.
- While Texas has significantly changed its school standards and accountability measures, it is difficult to assess what influence the THPSC has had on these changes.
- The student demographics of the THPSC over-represent White students and under-represent socioeconomically disadvantaged students compared to statewide student demographics.
- No urban or charter schools applied to be part of THPSC and, therefore, are not included in the two-year progress reports.