Raise Your Hand Texas today revealed the 10 finalist schools and districts – selected from 75 semifinalists – who remain under consideration for the $5 million Raising Blended Learners demonstration initiative.
The ten finalists include:
Grand Prairie Young Women’s Leadership Academy
Point Isabel ISD
Teams representing these 10 finalists will attend a workshop in February to receive professional assistance in further refining their blended learning plans. Five winners, to be announced as demonstration sites in April, will each receive up to $500,000 in grants and technical implementation support for three years. All semifinalists will have access to blended learning resources to refine and implement plans if they move forward with their own programs without grant funding, as several confirmed they intend to do.
Raise Your Hand Texas is investing in third-party research evaluation and will publicly report on grantee implementation, beginning in the 2016-17 school year, to drive broader statewide adoption of blended learning approaches.
As defined by the Christensen Institute, blended learning is a blend of online learning and brick-and-mortar schooling that takes place when students learn at least in part online, with some student control over the time, place, path, and/or pace of their learning. This is a departure from the broader trend of simply equipping classrooms with devices and software and different from full-time virtual education, which does not include peer engagement and in-person student-teacher interactions.
“We are thrilled with the enthusiasm, among both finalists and the schools and districts not selected, surrounding the potential of blended learning to personalize instruction for Texas students,” said Dr. David Anthony, CEO of Raise Your Hand Texas. “More than 90 percent of all semifinalists said they planned to move forward with their own blended learning programs, regardless of whether they were selected, and we look forward to supporting their efforts, in addition to the five winners chosen to serve as demonstration sites for the state.”
“I am thrilled that KIPP Houston Public Schools has been selected as a finalist for the Raising Blended Learners grant. We are grateful to Raise Your Hand Texas for this opportunity to enhance the learning of more than 2,000 students,” said Sehba Ali, KIPP Houston Public Schools Superintendent.
About Raise Your Hand Texas
Raise Your Hand Texas is a non-profit, non-partisan organization advancing public education by igniting fiercely innovative leadership and advocacy for our state’s 5 million+ students. We invest in best-in-class programs to develop an innovative new breed of leaders for Texas public schools, and lead research-driven public policy advocacy that elevates the quality of Texas public education, ensuring that our economy remains strong and Texas’ future remains bright. Visit RaiseYourHandTexas.org to learn more.
About KIPP Houston Public Schools
KIPP – the Knowledge Is Power Program – is a national network of open-enrollment, college-preparatory public charter schools that prepares students in underserved communities for success in college and in life. KIPP was founded in Houston in 1994 and has grown to 183 schools serving nearly 70,000 students in 20 states and Washington, D.C. Houston is KIPP’s largest region, with 24 public schools serving 12,500 students and an additional 4,000 alumni in college and beyond. While only eight percent of students from low-income communities across the nation graduate from college, KIPPsters boast a 50 percent college graduation rate, tracking from the 8th grade. www.kipphouston.org