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Project: Texas Reading Academies

This project provides training to more than 120,000 elementary teachers and principals across the state of Texas. The Region 14 Comprehensive Center (R14CC) selected a national panel of literacy experts to review potential trainer qualifications and support the Texas Education Agency (TEA) in selecting highly qualified trainers for both English and bilingual instruction.


The Need

Since 2007, Texas reading scores have declined compared to national averages as measured by the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). To remedy this, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) is working with education service centers and authorized providers to recruit and train cohort leaders who will facilitate reading academies where teachers and administrators can learn, practice, implement, and reflect. In the past 2 years, TEA has moved this work forward by:  

  • Gaining access to a panel of experts in the science of teaching and reading to serve as reviewers for part of the screening process to recruit cohort leaders  

  • Designing program infrastructure and procedures that are responsive to candidate needs during the recruitment and training process 

  • Developing an unbiased inter-rater scoring process that includes calibration trainings, content, and process de-briefs 

  • Ensuring continuous quality improvement in recruitment and training and working toward a higher quality process


Our Approach

The R14CC team led a routine review to inform continuous program improvement and streamlined processes for each scoring window. The team increased documentation of project tools, resources, communication structures, and protocols to ensure alignment and coordination. The team supported the development of a revised screener and panel graded artifacts and developed calibration training for cohort leaders and authorized providers across the state.


Advancing Forward

R14CC is helping to build better data management and sustainable tracking systems along with engaging in long-term planning for backwards mapping to consider significant changes for programming in the future.