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So far Kathryn Mikeska has created 3 blog entries.

Irving ISD Receives Commit! Bright Spot Award: 5-Year Improvement

Irving Independent School District was recognized at our Annual Community Achievement Scorecard event in March with the first annual Commit! Bright Spot Award: 5-Year Improvement. Recognized for the best performance over the five years that Commit! has been measuring academic success across the county, Irving ISD has seen a 12% gain across Commit!’s ‘Cradle-to-Career indicators’ , and a 3% decline in income-based achievement gaps. In total, 2,161 more students are meeting key benchmarks from kindergarten readiness through high school graduation rate in Irving ISD. Irving ISD’s growth in the last year-and-a-half, in absolute and in relative terms, has been quite significant. Using the Level 2 Final Recommended (postsecondary readiness) passing rate, Irving ISD outgrew state performance on 17 of 21 STAAR exams from 2014 to 2015 — closing its gap with the state by more than 8% on the English I and II and 4th Grade Math exams, respectively. Moreover, Irving ISD continues to shine nationally in Advanced Placement (“AP”) exam participation and success rates. Irving ISD 2017 Bright Spot Award from Commit2Dallas on Vimeo. Irving ISD Superintendent Jose Parra attributes the district’s success to a clear set of guiding principles across the organization, a concentration on collaborative leadership, a prioritization of attendance growth and dropout prevention, a student-centered focus, and a data-driven, continuous improvement of the curriculum. “Irving ISD had the highest growth rate of student achievement across our indicators ranging from Kindergarten readiness to high school graduation.” explained Sagar Desai, Chief Operating Officer of The Commit! Partnership. “The other key factor was Irving’s success in helping low-income students achieve at levels commensurate with their peers.” Only one other school district in Dallas County matched Irving ISD’s performance since the inception of The Partnership, and that was Lancaster ISD. The cradle-to-career indicators included in this measurement are: kindergarten readiness, 3rd grade reading, 4th grade math, 8th grade science, algebra 1, college readiness, and high school graduation. These indicators were determined based on best practices and input from community leaders across the country as the key measures for student success across their K-12 academic career.     A key goal of The Commit! Partnership is to use data to help identify outlier success in Dallas County schools. To learn more about best practices across Dallas County as they are published, follow The Commit Partnership on both Twitter and on Facebook.

Grand Prairie ISD Receives Commit! Bright Spot Award: Year Over Year Growth

Grand Prairie Independent School District (GPISD) has become a leader among Dallas County’s 14 traditional school districts in overall student enrollment growth while closing achievement gaps with the state. And GPISD has done so with one of the region’s higher economically disadvantaged student populations (72% vs. 59% for the state) and one of its lower operating revenues (~$5,600 per student). In March, GPISD was awarded the first annual Commit! Bright Spot Award: Year Over Year Growth at the Commit! Partnership Annual Dallas County Scorecard Achievement event. Recognized for the best performance over the prior year, Grand Prairie ISD has seen a 7 percent gain across Commit!’s ‘Cradle-to-Career indicators’ of academic proficiency, and a 2 percent decline in income-based achievement gaps. In total, 1,800 more students are meeting key benchmarks from kindergarten readiness through high school graduation rate in Grand Prairie ISD. Grand Prairie ISD 2017 Bright Spot Award from Commit2Dallas on Vimeo. Grand Prairie ISD Superintendent Susan Hull attributes the district’s success to a relentless focus on student achievement, an innovative and substantial expansion of school choice, growing relational capacity throughout by including parents, and data-driven decision making. “Grand Prairie ISD had the highest growth rate of student achievement across our indicators ranging from Kindergarten Readiness to High School Graduation in the last year,” explained Sagar Desai, Chief Operating Officer at Commit!. “The other key factor was Grand Prairie’s success in helping low-income students achieve at levels commensurate with their peers.” The cradle-to-career indicators included in this measurement are: kindergarten readiness, 3rd grade reading, 4th grade math, 8th grade science, algebra 1, college readiness, and high school graduation. These indicators were determined based on best practices and input from community leaders across the country as the key measures for student success across their K-12 academic career.     A key goal of The Commit! Partnership is to use data to help identify outlier success in Dallas County schools. To learn more about best practices across Dallas County as they are published, follow The Commit Partnership on both Twitter and on Facebook.

Lancaster ISD Receives Commit! Bright Spot Award: 5-Year Improvement

In March, Lancaster Independent School District was recognized with the first annual Commit! Bright Spot Award: 5-Year Improvement at our Annual Community Achievement Scorecard event. In Dallas County, Lancaster ISD has made impressive student achievement gains by using research to understand the inputs that impact important student outcomes, creating new curriculum that develops students’ critical thinking skills for today’s workplace, and enthusiastic support from district leaders, partner organizations and teachers. Recognized for the best performance over the five years that Commit! has been measuring academic success across the county, Lancaster ISD has seen a 12 percentage point gain across Commit!’s ‘Cradle-to-Career indicators’ and a 3 percentage point decline in income-based achievement gaps. In total, 614 more students are meeting key benchmarks from Kindergarten readiness through high school graduation rate in Lancaster ISD. Lancaster ISD 2017 Bright Spot Award from Commit2Dallas on Vimeo. Lancaster ISD Superintendent Michael McFarland attributes the district’s success to a culture of student achievement originating from the board of trustees, an intentional focus on getting the right campus leaders, targeted STEM efforts, and a continual focus on data to drive to student growth. “Lancaster ISD had the highest growth rate of student achievement across our indicators ranging from Kindergarten Readiness to High School Graduation,” explained Sagar Desai, Chief Operating Officer of The Commit! Partnership. “The other key factor was Lancaster’s success in helping low-income students achieve at levels commensurate with their peers.” Lancaster ISD recently implemented a first-of-its-kind, district-wide STEM initiative; designing, planning and iterating on curriculum and culture. The journey to close the college and career-readiness gap between Lancaster ISD and wealthier districts accelerated in 2012 when the district received a $4.8 million-dollar grant from Educate Texas and the Texas Instruments Foundation to implement the initiative—with the potential to identify effective practices other districts could integrate into the learning environment. Only one other school district in Dallas County matched Lancaster ISD’s performance since the inception of The Partnership, and that was Irving ISD.     The cradle-to-career indicators included in this measurement are kindergarten readiness, 3rd grade reading, 4th grade math, 8th grade science, algebra 1, college readiness, and high school graduation. These indicators were determined based on effective practices and input from community leaders across the country as the key measures for student success across their K-12 academic career. A key goal of The Commit! Partnership is to use data to help identify outlier success in Dallas County schools. To learn more about best practices across Dallas County as they are published, follow The Commit Partnership on both Twitter and on Facebook.