AUSTIN, Texas — The College of Education at The University of Texas at Austin has been awarded $4 million for the contract by the Texas Education Agency to design and launch the state’s new literacy and reading-to-learn academies. The goal of the academies is to provide professional development for Texas K-5 elementary school teachers this summer and next summer on research-based best practices that can be implemented to enhance Texas students’ reading skills.
The UT College of Education has a history of taking the lead on statewide education initiatives for past governors. “We are honored to once again be seen as the trusted leader and go-to partner on Gov. Greg Abbott’s reading academies,” said Dean Manuel J. Justiz.
“The Meadows Center is nationally recognized as a research leader in the areas of reading, writing and literacy. IPSI is an innovator in student achievement and effectiveness,” said Justiz. “Together, through this summer’s literacy academies, they will help teachers across Texas benefit from their latest research findings and field-tested strategies for reading instruction and intervention. Teachers will carry that new knowledge back to classrooms across Texas, improving the learning of countless students,” he said.
The College of Education’s Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk is developing the evidence-based course content for the academies. Its content development teams are charged with creating engaging, hands-on professional development sessions. The college’s Institute for Public School Initiatives (IPSI) will implement the train-the-trainer model in intensive sessions beginning June 20 with kindergarten and first-grade teacher literacy academies. Trainers from urban school districts and 20 regional Education Service Centers will come to Austin or San Antonio for the IPSI-led sessions. During the summer of 2017, IPSI will implement the second- and third-grade teacher literacy academies, and the fourth- and fifth-grade reading-to-learn academies.
“The UT College of Education is consistently ranked among the nation’s top five public colleges of education. We are proud to serve the great state of Texas by providing the intellectual capital and effective instructional practices for the state’s teachers,” said Justiz.