Grow Our Own Network progressing

Progress on the Grow Our Own Action Network and an office for the Education Partnership of the Permian Basin were reported during a Zoom meeting of the Education Partnership of the Permian Basin Tuesday.

Jonathan Fuentes, executive dean of academic partnerships at OC, chairs the committee along with Lisa Wyman and Courtney Wardlaw.

Education Partnership Executive Director Adrian Vega said the purpose of the Grow Our Own Action Network is to identify, align and leverage community resources that lead to increased postsecondary success, workforce development and a stronger community.

Fuentes said they looked at penetration rates and different ways that career and technical education is paid for, whether it’s by the school district or by parents or a combination of both.

Some districts pay for the full amount of dual credit, Fuentes said.

“We’re excited about what we’re uncovering and we’re getting quite a bit of data,” Fuentes said. “We’re serving about 50 high schools. …”

As a district starts paying for more dual credit, he said, it is starting to trend upward in terms of having more penetration within your high school.

In explaining penetration, he said, “we took the number of dual credit students that are served at each high school and then divided it by the total number of high school students to end up at a penetration rate.”

Fuentes said they are excited about the data they are uncovering and are working on goal setting.

“On the other side, we’re thinking about the CTEs (career and technical education), what are districts doing in terms of CTE programs and we have a survey that has been developed and will be shared out to the different school districts. What we’re trying to do here is we’re trying to figure out what do school districts currently offer and where would they like to expand next and what are the barriers to that expansion,” Fuentes said.

“That will also help us start setting those themes that we’re uncovering across the Permian Basin so that we can then set goals,” he added.

“And so dual credit, advanced classes … these are a couple of the CCMR (college, career, military readiness) indicators to see whether school districts are graduating students that are more prepared, if you will,” Fuentes said.

Co-Chairman Lorraine Perryman said the partnership is in the process of leasing an office across from the Region 18 Education Service Center.

Bridget Worley, executive director of the Texas Impact Network, talked about what House Bill 3, passed by the state legislature in 2019, looks like in the Basin.

“(On) the Teacher Incentive Allotment, Ector County led the way applying in cohort C with Dr. Muri. They were approved and implemented their program last year, so they’ll be submitting their data to get full TEA approval in November,” Worley said.

“Greenwood, Midland and Stanton all applied last April in cohort D and were all approved by TEA to implement their program this year and collect the data to then get full approval a year following Ector County, so huge teacher incentive allotment take up in the Permian Basin, which is going to lead to more funding for the highest performing teachers in your school systems to help retain them and then also ideally recruit other great educators,” Worley said.

The additional day school year opportunity is the program where you can get state funding for up to 30 additional days in your elementary school instructional calendar. Worley said Ector County and Pecos are both implementing the summer model.

Midland is implementing an intercessional model to occur throughout the year instead of in the summer, Worley said.