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Magnet Schools of America preliminary review of the Houston Independent School District's magnet programs

Magnet Schools of America preliminary review of the Houston Independent School District's magnet programs

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Published by: Texas Watchdog on Nov 01, 2010
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Houston Independent School District Magnet School ProgramReview Update 10/15/2010
Update 1 Page 1
Magnet Schools of America respectfully submits this update as part of its contractual obligation for theHISD Magnet School Program Review. All information contained in this document is a result of completed activities as outlined in the Scope of Work. It is important to note that all information gatheredfrom document reviews and community forums is still being collected and therefore the informationincluded in this first update report should not be considered final and complete. The final phase I reportwill be reflective of all data reviewed and collected to that date.
Contractual Deliverables: Phase I -
To Review District Vision and Governance of Magnet Programs:
Current Magnet beliefs, purpose, and goals; the District’s current Magnet programs rega
rding theirgeographic location, specialty, and program design, with attention to K-12 program alignment or CTEcareer pathways when applicable;
the district’s current decision
-making processes regarding the creation,modification, and/or closure of Magnet programs and the selection of location, specialty, and program
design; current drafts of Magnet Philosophy and Magnet Standards; and each school’s ability to
house/sustain a viable Magnet
 program based on HISD’s reports on school capacity and transfers.
Contractual Deliverables: Phase I
Public Vision of Magnet Programs:
: To solicit parent, community, and student input regarding the updating, refinement, and
clarification of the district’s vision for HISD Magnet programs and their governance by con
ducting an
analysis of the public’s perceptions of Magnet programs and how they align with its reality. The focus
groups will be conducted by HISD personnel in a variety of school/community cluster settings and beassisted by HISD Board Members.
: To be present as a 3
party observer to monitor the focus groups; the provider (MSA) willreceive data collected in order to analyze and report findings
Houston Independent School District Magnet School ProgramReview Update 10/15/2010
Update 1 Page 2
Activities to Date:Activity People Involved Time Summary
Planning process,determining datasources needed, draftingcommunity groupprocess and questions,designing surveyquestions and process,rubrics; contract reviewsand finalization.Preparation of campus
“Guidelines for Reporting Data”,
designed by MSA, forPhase II consultants.MSA ExecutiveDirector, Lead MSAconsultant, AssistantSuperintendent, Officeof School Choice.9/15 to 10/10 201050 hours.Decisions regardingBoard Trustee meetings,12 community groupsplanned, collaborationwith HISD on surveycontent and process:onsite, conference callsand emailcommunications.Principals/MagnetCoordinators to prepareand submit to AssistantSuperintendent forSchool Choice.Board Trusteeinterviews andmeetings; meeting withparent group; meetingwith Superintendent,Deputy and senior leveldistrict administrators.MSA ExecutiveDirector, Lead MSAconsultant, AssistantSuperintendent, Officeof School Choice; SixBoard Trustee members,Superintendent, DeputySuperintendent, andAssistantSuperintendents forFinance, Research &Evaluation, and staff .Met with 6 Trusteesover 3 meetings;Met with 4 senior leveladministrators in thedistrict and 5 additionaldistrict personnel ;Met with 7 parentsrepresenting multipleconstituencies10/5 and 10/6 201016 hoursGathering of information to informhistory of magnets inthe districts, set of interacting challengeswith the system of magnets in HISD, andconfirming data sourcesbased on MSA webresearch, phoneconferences, emailcommunications, andmeetings to commenceonsite documentreviews during
October11-14, 2010. Datasources for Phase 1review of documentsincluded anecdotal,historical information,research & evaluationreports; policies,guidelines, standards;2005 Peer ReviewReport; all relativemagnet financial data;listening,observations/monitoringthe community/parentfocus meetings.
Houston Independent School District Magnet School ProgramReview Update 10/15/2010
Update 1 Page 3
Data and DocumentReview- A list of all theData/Document sourcesand reports requestedand reviewed by MSAconsultants is with theOffice of SchoolChoice.Lead MSA Consultant,4 MSA Consultants10/11 to 10/14 201036 hours both onsite andpre-planning.Reviewed the followingdocuments (includingbut not limited to:MSAP grantapplication; financialdocuments for threeyears; transfer andenrollment data forthree years;demographic data;magnet guidelines;lottery processes;student achievementdata; District profiledata; CTE data;Vanguard dataAnalysis of currentHISD documents relatedto Magnets, CTE, andVanguard Gifted andTalented programsInterviews withadditional HISDpersonnel.
Lead MSA Consultantand 2 MSA Consultants10/11 and 10/12 20103 hoursMet with formeradministrator forMagnet Schools; Metwith administrator forVanguard programs;Met with administratorfor CTE programsGathering of information regardingthe system of magnetimpact from CTE,Vanguard; Determiningof resources;Understanding transfersand lottery processCommunity Forums-See posted list of allCommunity/ParentForums implemented byHISD. Student Forumheld on Thursday,10/14, attended by MSAonsite consultants.*MSA providedconsultation andsuggested forum andsurvey questions. HISDfinalized the discussionquestions and surveyquestions. Survey isposted online throughthe HISD website.Lead MSA Consultant;2 MSA Consultantsattended with the role of observing and listening;HISD Board Membersand District personnelfacilitated all sessions.10/11 to 10/15 201025 hoursAttendance at eachforum through sign insheets provided byHISD and collected byHISD; notes taken atindividual tables;themes will beextrapolated forconsideration by MSAfor commendations andrecommendations. Allinformation will informthe final report dueDecember 2010following the schoolobservations/visits.

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