Monday, April 7, 2014

Community Engagement Metrics – “How’m I doin’?”

Ed Koch, former mayor of New York City, famously asked “How’m I doin’?”  While we may quiver at the poor grammar structure, the reality is that this is a very real and relevant question for all of us.  It’s getting closer to the time where we, as trustees, have the responsibility to not only pose the question but to make certain that we have a response from our communities, and to report our performance ratings to TEA; ratings are due August 8 of each year.  Regardless of how you choose to address the opportunity to enlist the support of your community, there is relatively little time to form the committee, define the metrics and then evaluate by campus and the district overall how well you’re “doin'”.

So in the absence of any specific guidance on how to approach this task, what are you doing within your district?  Perhaps the best resource for you to call on is your Region Education Service Center.  As mentioned previously, most have either defined a tool that you can use, or have at least provided guidelines on the types of questions to ask surrounding each of the eight measured areas.  There is no predefined guideline for how many criteria need to be evaluated for each of the eight, but you certainly want something that gives you a community perspective of what is important to them.  Of course, you need to be a part of the discussion.  Remember that there is also a compliance question, kind of a “pass/fail” on how well you followed the spirit and intent of HB5.

In the April 4 edition of the Legislative Report provided by TASB Governmental Relations, Dax Gonzalez included the following update.  By the way, if you are not already an SBAN (School Board Advisory Network) subscriber, you should be!  Send a request to Dax at or visit

TEA Posts HB 5 Community Engagement Rule

TEA has posted a proposed rule regarding the community and student engagement accountability portion of House Bill 5. The proposed rule would establish procedures for each school district to report performance ratings that the district has assigned to itself and to each of its campuses for the new community and student engagement indicators. The official comment period began April 4 and ends May 5, 2014. Any comments must be submitted to TEA at

What does this mean to you?  Our sense is that the TEA action is somewhat in response to questions districts have had about how to go about reporting performance ratings.  But because this is not specifically defined, you still have the latitude to exercise discretion in how you approach this efforts; remember, it’s all about local control and your ability (and willingness) to use it wisely.

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