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TEA Commissioner Approves Plan to Strengthen Student Achievement for Eastside Memorial Vertical Team

Austin, TXLast night, State Education Commissioner Michael Williams announced he has approved the Austin Independent School District’s plan to strengthen student achievement at Eastside Memorial High School. The district developed the plan to partner with Talent Development Secondary, a Johns Hopkins University program, collaboratively with community members to support Eastside Memorial and the middle and elementary schools that feed into it.

Monday, AISD’s Board of Trustees approved the plan, which will be phased in during the next three years to achieve the district’s goals to provide a rich, rigorous and relevant educational experience to improve academic performance for all students at Eastside Memorial and its vertical team of schools.

Earlier this month, AISD trustees named Talent Development Secondary as the district’s partner for school improvement at Eastside Memorial. Since then, AISD has been working with the TEA to answer the education agency’s questions and to make revisions to the plan, including addressing the Eastside Memorial vertical team.

The TEA requested AISD trustees take formal action before submitting the plan to the agency to demonstrate the board is committed to the plan and to securing the resources required to implement the plan, which will cost an additional $5.3 million.

AISD’s trustees approved the TEA request to add a provision to the plan that the board agrees that if the academic rating for Eastside Memorial High School is not acceptable for both 2014-15 and 2015-16 school years, the board will on its own motion order the campus closed for at least one full school year. The commissioner reserves the right to close the campus or take any other action as authorized by state law. The AISD board also agreed that the commissioner may order the campus closed on the basis of any material violation of this agreement by the district.