As reported by Hair Balls, the Texas A&M consultant that was brought in by HISD and Superintendent Terry Grier to evaluate Community Education Partners (CEP), its provider for the disciplinary alternate education program, has now issued his long-awaited report. You can read it here, but the short answer is that CEP was given a fine evaluation. Here’s the executive summary of the report:
Observations of CEP schools indicated that both CEP campuses were well‐organized to effectively manage behavior and deliver instruction with clear goals. CEP referrals also reportedly have a positive impact on the behavioral and learning climate of home schools. Importantly, CEP exceeded the standards for most quantitative contract indicators. For example, results indicate that CEP exceeded performance expectations relative to the state assessment (Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills), pre and post‐assessment, middle school promotion rates, and leaver status. Where standards were not met, specifically for disciplinary action rates and attendance, two facts should be observed. First, for both disciplinary action rates and attendance, the contract called for examining the performance of students who attended CEP for 120 days or more, thus focusing these analyses on less than 10% of the student population served by CEP; CEP would have met these standards had the entire population of students served been considered. Second, the contract provides CEP with an opportunity to remedy any performance issues noted in its evaluation. In sum, the vast majority of data gathered and analyzed for this evaluation indicates that CEP performed well relative to expectations.
The whole report is worth reading for the feedback it got from principals, which suggested a few places for improvement. The Chron story about the report has an interesting tidbit:
The analysis of dropout data showed that CEP lost 9 percent of its students in the 2008-09 school year. Records showed that many left for schools outside Texas, to be home-schooled or to go to their home country. But 158 students — of the 2,913 enrolled — could not be accounted for.
The researchers did not look at the number of students who were referred to CEP but dropped out rather than enroll. That has been a concern for critics of CEP, including former HISD administrator Bob Kimball, who has done his own studies of CEP, and advocates with the League of United Latin American Citizens, Council 402.
Anyway. Grier had made an effort to get HISD out of its contract with CEP, for which the cost of the program was cited as a concern, but in the end that contract was maintained, with some changes. It’s hard to read this report as anything but a validation of Gayle Fallon and the HFT, who were staunch opponents of cutting ties with CEP and had vouched for its effectiveness all along. See here for all previous blogging on this topic.