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Uplift Education Integrates Data to Drive Student Success

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By |November 30th, 2016|Bright Spots|0 Comments

Dallas County Family Empowerment Pilot: How Dallas is Building Brains and the Future

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By |November 16th, 2016|Bright Spots|0 Comments

Coppell ISD: Pre-Kindergarten Registration Campaign Increases Pre-K Applications

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By |November 1st, 2016|Bright Spots|0 Comments

Readers 2 Leaders and Jubilee Park Help Reverse Summer Reading Loss

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By |October 20th, 2016|Bright Spots|0 Comments

Dallas ISD’s ACE Program: Bringing Together Great Educators Leads to Turnaround Success for High-Needs Schools

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Cedar Hill ISD Helps More Students Access Financial Aid and College

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By |September 22nd, 2016|Bright Spots|0 Comments

Mesquite ISD: Eco. Dis. Students Outperform the State’s

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Trinity River Mission H20 Program: Using Data to Create Differentiated Interventions

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Paul Quinn College: Defying National Trends in Higher Ed

National headlines can paint a negative picture of the current and future state of higher education. The average cost of tuition, room and board for private institutions grew 10% from 2010-2015, much faster than inflation. In 2015, 1.7% fewer students completed their degrees within 6 years and fell more heavily in debt than their counterparts the year prior. It may not be surprising then that enrollment into postsecondary programs is down 2% since 2010 as more students and their parents see these sobering statistics in the news. Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) are experiencing even more significant challenges with their financial sustainability and student completion rates, which fall below the national average by about 25 percentage points. However, nestled in Southern Dallas, Paul Quinn College (“PQC”) is defying some of these trends despite what some would view as considerable challenges--implementing innovative practices to reduce tuition, grow enrollment, and help students persist and complete college. PQC is reducing tuition in a variety of ways, including a student work program and not requiring expensive text books. The college is assisting students to have academic and personal success, in addition to reduced financial burdens, via intensive support services such as their residential Summer Bridge Program which brings students to campus early and includes academic and social/emotional interventions. Paul Quinn College’s Successes v. National Averages: 80% of freshmen (and 84% of all students) at PQC receive Pell Grants, meaning most students come from low-income households. The cost to attend PQC was reported at $14,300 for 2015-16, which is a 19% decrease since 2012. Undergraduate enrollment at PQC grew 93% from 2010 to 2015. The College has posted six or seven figure end-of-year budget surpluses in seven of the last nine years and earned a perfect score on the Department of Education’s financial strength rating. Post-Secondary Enrollment and Tuition Nationally, enrollment has declined between 1 and 2% a year over the past several years due to macro factors such as a recovering economy and the continual rise of the cost to attend college. Yet during the past 5 years Paul Quinn College has seen enrollment not decline, but rather rise by 93%. While PQC cannot impact macro trends that would lead to higher enrollment, it has found innovative ways to reduce the price of a college degree its students bear, making a degree more attainable. Two of these cost-limiting practices include the following: Student work program: All on-campus students are required to work on campus or at an internship for a minimum of 10 hours per week during their semesters at Paul Quinn. In place of salaries PQC would pay full-time employees or independent contractors, PQC is able to pass the savings on to students in the form of tuition credit of $5,000 each year a student works on-campus. When students work off-campus, employers provide a $5,000 tuition credit to Paul Quinn and $1,500 for students’ personal expense defrayal each year a student works off-campus. This program not only helps reduce financial barriers to [...]

Mobility Outliers – How Do Schools Support Mobile Students?

If you ever moved schools or classrooms as a young child, you may remember the anxiety and nervousness that went with leaving old friends, building new relationships, and getting used to a new environment. Given how difficult change is, it’s no surprise that the potential impact of mobility on students' education is significant. Students who move often between schools may experience a range of problems such as: Lower achievement levels due to discontinuity of curriculum between schools, Behavioral problems, Difficulty developing peer relationships, and A greater risk for dropping out. Across all Dallas County schools, those with an average mobility rate of 0-13% had a higher percentage (+18% more) of students performing on grade level in reading and math in 3rd and 4th grade, respectively, compared to schools with an average mobility rate at or above 20%. The good news is that mobility is a challenge many schools are actively and creatively addressing. In fact, in Dallas County there are over 10 elementary schools with up to 30% mobility that are achieving outlier 3rd grade reading results. These 10 schools are Richland, Merriman Park, Jess Harben, and Yale in Richardson ISD; Stephen Austin in Grand Prairie ISD, Freeman in Carrolton Farmers Branch ISD; Julius Dorsey, T.G. Terry and Jerry Junkins in Dallas ISD. So, how are these schools supporting their mobile student population to achieve success in reading? At Jerry Junkins Elementary (with 1 in 5 mobile students) in Dallas ISD, there are a few impactful strategies according to Stephanie Ellis, Junkins Reading Coach: Monitor Reading Progress: At Junkins, teachers use multiple reading assessments to measure a child’s reading proficiency, including Istation and fluency probes. Teachers use this data to create and deliver targeted instruction to students in small groups. Understanding a child’s reading strengths and weaknesses helps teachers diagnose and address gaps. Stephanie Ellis points to reading data as a foundational piece to the reading support the school provides to all students: “We take students where they are and build them up from there no matter where they come to us from. We’re able to do this based on students’ needs from their reading assessments.” Quality Personalized Instruction: According to the reading teachers at Junkins, purposeful Daily 5 stations based on students’ needs is critical to supporting students who are new to the school. Daily 5 is a self-management reading system that provides students with the opportunity to read to others, practice their spelling, write independently, and build their listening skills. After School Partnership: Junkins partners with Catch Up and Read, a nonprofit literacy organization in Dallas that partners with the school’s leadership and teachers to provide high-quality after school tutoring to students who are behind in their reading proficiency. “This intervention is critical to supporting reading proficiency, especially for students who are new to the school. It helps them catch up in their reading over time,” says Stephanie Ellis. The staff at Jess Harben Elementary and Richland Elementary in Richardson ISD point to other impactful interventions for mobile [...]