Frequently Asked Questions

Communication

What mechanism(s) are available for answering questions?

You may call our offices at 432-818-2620. Email questions to info@educatemidland.org. Our website, educatemidland.org,  provides the opportunity for the community to enroll in the distribution list of our E-newsletter.

How can we schedule someone from EM to speak to our civic, community or church group?

Perhaps the most meaningful way for us to address questions is face-to-face. Our staff is willing to come and speak to your church or civic organization. A request may be submitted at any time to the website and we will follow up as soon as possible.

Educate Texas, Educate Midland, and Midland ISD

What is Educate Texas?

Educate Texas is a program of the Communities Foundation of Texas.

Educate Texas, a public-private initiative of Communities Foundation of Texas, is an innovative alliance of public and private groups that share a common goal: improving the public education system so that every Texas student is prepared for success in school, in the workforce, and in life.

Educate Texas has been nationally recognized for tapping into a bold, new brand of teamwork with significantly greater potential to create meaningful change for Texas students. By strategically connecting the diverse stakeholders committed to this cause — from legislators and founders to business and civic groups to school administrators and teachers — Educate Texas is leveraging the power of collaboration, bringing together resources and expertise.

It’s a unique approach. And it’s already generating remarkable results for Texas. Launched in 2004 as the Texas High School Project (THSP), the program set out to make a positive impact on the futures of low-income students, underserved students, and low-performing schools throughout the Lone Star State. While countless groups had similar objectives, THSP took a fresh approach: establishing a robust network of partners, aligning and integrating the efforts of policymakers, practitioners and philanthropic organizations to reach shared goals more quickly and use funds more efficiently. These connections allowed us to generate scalable, sustainable improvements for Texas education by using private funds to pilot breakthrough programs and then using public funds to replicate the most successful ones. THSP made tremendous progress during its first seven years:

Opened or redesigned 240+ schools serving more than 140,000 Texas students

Piloted, supported and scaled 20 Charter Management Organizations (CMOs), 49 Early College High Schools and 59 Science,     Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Academies across Texas

Strategically invested initial capital of $35 million to achieve tenfold growth and maximize the Alliance’s statewide impact

What is the relationship between Educate Texas, Educate Midland and MISD?

Educate Midland, a Texas Nonprofit Corporation, has entered into a contractual relationship with Educate Texas. The focus of their initial work is to lead the community in the development of a Common Agenda and to coach us in the development of our backbone organization, Educate Midland. All of this work is completely underwritten by Abell-Hanger Foundation, the Henry Foundation and Scharbauer Foundation. It is important to note that MISD was unanimous in their support of Educate Texas as our lead consultant.

 Further, the same three foundations are considering underwriting all of the operating expenses for Educate Midland through 2019.

Who selected the Leadership Committee?

The Leadership Committee was selected by the original Educate Midland Board (Laura Roman, Susan Spratlen, Grant Billingsley, Ronnie Scott and Mark Palmer) and Rick Davis, MISD Board Chair with consultation from MISD Trustees. The criterion for selection from our Educate Texas consultants is that the person recruited must represent an organization with the potential (resources, human capital, etc.) to impact educational outcomes and also be in a decision-making capacity at the organization.

What methods has Educate Texas utilized in other communities that have proven successful?

Educate Texas has worked to bring together diverse partners across the educational, philanthropic, and community-based organization ecosystem to utilize data as a lever for promoting strategies and initiatives that promote college and career readiness. They are probably most known for their work with early college and STEM high schools. However, that is only 1/4 of their work. They have also been successful in informing policy, working with state agencies, and serving as a trusted partner in education reform.

Involvement

How will Educate Midland engage: Parents, Teachers, Kids, the Hispanic Community and the Chin Community?

It is our hope that as we continue in this work, all the people of this community will take the initiative to contribute to increase student performance. In a community of 135,000+ people, we cannot provide committee placement for everyone.

 At the rollout sessions during the first two weeks of April 2016, we distributed a very carefully selected tool entitled, “What Can I Do?” The document specifically addresses meaningful ways that parents, teachers, volunteers, employers, churches, policymakers, taxpayers, and philanthropists can contribute to this effort. The document is available on our website.

As our work continues, we will become more strategic with regard to engaging various community groups consistent with the priorities identified in our Common Agenda.

Absenteeism and Student Behavior

Two issues that emerged that play an important role in student success are absenteeism and student behavior.

Both teachers and parents have submitted questions about these two issues. First, discipline is an issue that is on the forefront of teacher’s minds and many of the parents with which we have spoken. Second, absenteeism impacts revenue from the State as well as the academic impact of excessive or chronic absenteeism. While these issues traditionally do not appear on the Common Agenda of community priorities, there may well be a desire from the community to address in an alternate way, yet unidentified. Just based on the comments received, these are both issues that will make it into the conversation about improving our schools.

Educational Success in Other Places

What is happening around the State that is working well?

There are a number of initiatives around that state that have shown great progress in supporting pockets of students. These include whole school models like ECHS, STEM, New Tech, and some high-performing charters. There are also components of the educational ecosystem that have shown progress like dual credit, advanced placement, AVID, career and technical education, and early childhood education. There are fewer examples, but none the less still some, that have supported English language learners and students with special needs.

Vocational Training

What about vocational training?

As a community is in the process of developing their Common Agenda, we will evaluate the unique needs of our community including the range of workforce needs from our major employers. The purpose of maintaining a diverse and cross-sectional representation of the community in the task force structure is to ensure inclusion and careful consideration of all educational needs to prepare our kids for workforce readiness in whatever fields match their interests, skills and abilities. There is little doubt that the efforts of this project will yield a product mindful of vocational training.

Measuring Success

What measures will be put in place to measure student success?

As part of the collective impact process, the leadership team will develop guiding principles and ultimately focus areas along the cradle to career continuum (also known as a common agenda). Communities typically select indicators to measure and focus efforts in 2 – 3 of the following areas along the continuum to begin with: Kindergarten Readiness, Early Reading, Middle School Math, High School Graduation, Post-Secondary Enrollment, and Post-Secondary Degree Completion. The Educate Midland leadership team, in collaboration with the Data Support Council will determine how best to measure these indicators. As a part of the collective impact model, once focus areas are determined and Educate Midland begins to measure these indicators, this is typically shared via a community scorecard on an annual basis.

Stay in Touch

Receive updates on our progress in the community.

Educate Midland

3500 N. A Street, Suite #2700
Midland, Texas 79705
(432) 818-2620