SA Ready: materials for STAAR prep and college-and-career readiness

SA Ready is open for business. According to the website:

SA Ready is a free platform that gives teachers access to high quality lesson plans and teaching resources. Developed in partnership between Generation TX San Antonio and Educational Policy Improvement Center (EPIC), SA Ready is aligned with Texas College and Career Readiness Standards (CCRS) and helps prepare teachers to implement college-and career-ready lessons.

The Express-News education desk focused on this angle — giving teachers more rigorous lesson plans might help students with STAAR scores:

Kellie George, who teaches an eighth-grade college readiness course at Harlandale Middle School . . . said participating in the program has meant more work but made her see teaching differently.

Instead of telling students what the Declaration of Independence means, she’s crafted a lesson plan that requires students to translate the document into modern language.

“Now, that I’ve been trained in these standards, I really want to spread the word,” George said. “Most of us who want to be successful, want to arm kids with as much as we can.”

“Students get a boost toward the STAAR”, Jennifer R. Lloyd, San Antonio Express-News, October 7, 2012.

SA Ready leaders wrote in The Rivard Report:

Another unique aspect of SA Ready lesson plans is that they are college-and-career ready specific. So what does that mean? It means any student that graduates from high school should be able to enter a technical, trade, two-year or four-year institution without taking any remediation courses. The overall focus is continuing learning.

“GenTX SA: From High School to Higher Ed and Beyond”, Rosa Gomez & Mari Aguirre Rodriguez, Rivard Report, October 8, 2012; my earlier rant about remedial classes.

Who is behind this? SA Ready is a program of GenerationTX San Antonio and has funding from the Ewing Halsell Foundation and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. Expertise on college-and-career readiness standards comes from Dr. David Conley at Oregon’s Educational Policy Improvement Center.

How do we know if SA Ready is working? One short-term measure of success: SA Ready has already expanded started with a handful of school districts last year (Northside ISD, San Antonio ISD, Harlandale ISD, Southwest ISD, and Floresville ISD) and is adding six more this year (Northeast ISD, Judson ISD, Edgewood ISD, East Central ISD, Alamo Heights ISD, and Fort Sam Houston ISD). We all hope to see improvement in STAAR scores, but it’s hard to know how much of that can be attributed to SA Ready. Perhaps, in the future, SA Ready will disclose how much its materials and videos are being downloaded and shown in classrooms.

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