This week, we shine the spotlight on a school district in Texas that is setting aggressive goals for improving student outcomes. This is a client that continues to inspire and motivate us, and we want to share their story.
The Dallas Independent School District (known as Dallas ISD) is the second largest public school district in the state of Texas, and the 14th largest nationwide. It covers a diverse metropolitan region of twelve counties, with 160,000 students in pre-Kindergarten through the 12th grade, 227 schools and 20,000 faculty and staff.
The self-proclaimed goal of the Dallas ISD is to be a “premier urban school district.” By 2020, they aim to have 80% of students “graduate on time ready to enter college, the military, or a ‘career-ready’ job.” Those are some impressive targets.
Our history with the Dallas ISD began in the fall of 2014 when Laura Garza, who was then principal of Ascher Silberstein Elementary School in Dallas, was looking for ways to improve professional development for teachers at her school. Seeing the value in a video observation platform, Ms. Garza chose Torsh TALENT. We had a great year working with the team at Silberstein Elementary.
Then in March of 2015, the Dallas ISD launched a program called Accelerating Campus Excellence (ACE). They offered financial incentives to some of the district’s top teachers and principals if they transferred to the lowest-performing schools. Struggling schools would surely benefit from the infusion of top talent, and these proven educational all-stars could be at the forefront of a fantastic turnaround.
As her school was one of the best in the district, Ms. Garza was recruited to join the ACE program. She was named principal at Annie Webb Blanton Elementary School for the 2015/2016 school year. Having experienced TALENT at her former post, Ms. Garza introduced the platform to her fellow ACE principals.
We won’t bore you with the details but suffice it to say, the Dallas ISD agreed to use Torsh TALENT in all seven of the ACE schools.
This is the first year of the ACE program. Once the data is in, we will share details on what we know will be an incredible success story. We are so proud to be part of it.
We can say all we want about how valuable a tool TALENT is, and how profound an impact it can have on teacher professional development. However, we’d rather let our clients do the talking. This video features two ACE teachers sharing their thoughts on how TALENT has improved their classroom instruction this year.