The Impact

A Model of Collective Impact: Systemic Change that Leads to Success

Alone, we do good.  Together, we do greater good! 

Collective Impact is a model for social change that brings together community stakeholders connected with various systems to tackle a complex problem, like education, to bring about real change.  E3 Alliance uses the Collective Impact model to ensure that all students succeed and our region’s economy remains thriving and strong.  We convene the leaders from business, industry, community, parents, school districts, higher education, non-profits, and the community-at-large to build relationships of trust, craft a common agenda, and identify and measure the ways they will collaborate and work together for the success of all of our students.

Together we work on creating education change that is meaningful, transforms the student experience, and improves high school, college and career outcomes for all our children –takes time, community commitment and persistence. It takes a belief that every child deserves the best chance at a prosperous and happy life. Her future is our future, after all.

Four Case Studies

E3 Alliance involves and energizes diverse stakeholders to build community will, maintain and build momentum, and drive toward shared commitment for higher student outcomes and a strong economic future. The following case studies tell the story.

ELL Achievement

Problem: Gaps between English Language Learners (ELLs) and non-ELLs are leaving students behind, with TAKS passing rates for ELLs up to 40 percentage points lower than non-ELLs.

Solution: E3 Alliance initiated the regional ELL Collaborative to leverage research and identify practices to improve ELL education.

Results: The ELL Collaborative developed a research-based rubric to understand what practices lead to high-performing campuses for ELLs, and districts piloted the rubric. Further, E3 Alliance kicked off a unique qualitative study to identify replicable practices in schools identified as providing the highest academic growth for ELL students.

Partners: Twelve school districts, three universities, Education Service Center Region XIII, and the Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber all actively work together in the ELL Collaborative.

It is so exciting to see districts, higher ed and our state agencies all coming together to better serve this critical population. Practitioners are thrilled to learn from each other and share the best ideas wherever they arise. -Dr. Rosalinda Barrera, Dean of Education at Texas State University

Kindergarten Readiness

Problem: Fewer than half of Central Texas Kindergartners start school prepared, as assessed in a range of critical competencies.

Solution: E3 Alliance led a collaborative effort to create the first student-centered standard for Kindergarten readiness in the history of the state. Ready, Set, K! provides a detailed diagnostic rubric, instructional practices, and small group and individual interventions so that pre-K and Kindergarten teachers can assess and better serve the needs of our youngest students.

Results: Five regional school districts now use Ready, Set, K! to build greater readiness across all competencies for pre-K and Kindergarten students, and E3 Alliance has completed the most comprehensive regional study of school readiness ever undertaken in Texas.

Partners: In conjunction with the E3 Alliance annual regional study of school readiness, Education Service Center Region XIII is providing training and online tools to support pre-K teachers in districts across the region.

I’ve taught Kindergarten for 12 years. I know how important it is for students to start school “ready” … E3 Alliance worked with teachers and experts from across the region to create the first student-centered, aligned standard for readiness in the state of Texas. It helps me get them ready to succeed in school, guide instruction and makes my conferences with parents far more productive. -Mitzi Krueger, Kindergarten Teacher at Manor ISD

STEM Pipeline

Problem: In Central Texas,  several of our fastest growing, highest paying occupations are in industries that require concentrations and post-secondary credentials in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). However, a 2007 gap analysis of our STEM student “supply” versus workforce “demand” indicated that our region’s education systems were falling far short of current and projected labor market needs.  An E3 Alliance analysis of Central Texas high school graduates obtaining Bachelor’s or Associate’s degrees estimated that less than one-fourth majored in STEM fields and only 12% in engineering and computer science.    Industry has been forced to import talent from across the country and the region at a cost of about $100,000 per experienced engineer.

Solution: In 2008 E3 Alliance created the STEM Pipeline Collaborative to engage middle school students through robotics competitions, expand secondary STEM course offerings, improve STEM professional development opportunities for teachers, and provide the first articulated college credit for high school engineering courses in the history of the state of Texas.

Results: The Collaborative more than tripled the number of students participating in secondary engineering courses, from 1,493  students to 6,373, while building a more diverse and better qualified pipeline of students preparing for STEM careers in our region. There was a greater diversification of the pipeline in populations not traditionally represented in STEM careers. Hispanic students increased at almost 1.5X the overall rate, female students at almost 2X, and low-income students at 2X the overall student growth rate. School districts habe integrated this engineering program into their career pathways offerings and this program is now self-sustaining. E3 Alliance considers this initiative to be one of our best examples of “systems change.”

Participation has grown at over twice the state’s rate. Last year, more than 10,300 students participated in PLTW classes – a 700% growth since 2008!

Partners: Twelve  school districts, four institutions of higher education, and ten community organizations and industry partners are all actively working together in the STEM Pipeline Collaborative.

We are proud that we have been able to increase our engineering enrollment more than 300 percent in the last four years. Our great partnership with E3 Alliance and school districts was a major contributor to this growth. -Dr. Harold Stern, Professor at Texas State University Ingram School of Engineering

Missing School Matters

Problem: An E3 Alliance analysis of school year 2010-11 found that there were 2.4 million student absences in Central Texas in the year. Half of Central Texas students missed more than six class days per year, and accounted for 85 percent of all absences. And while non-low income students across the state had about the same number of average days absent per year, Central Texas low income students had the highest absence rates of any urban area in the state. And attendance is highly correlated with school performance: E3 data indicates that a high school student who misses 10 or more days of school is 3 more times likely to drop out than a student who misses 5 days or fewer.

Solution: Since the spring of 2011, E3 Alliance, in partnership with the participating school districts, business community and community partners across the region, has spearheaded a regional approach to increase student attendance through the Missing School Matters Campaign.   Our goal:  to increase attendance by a minimum of two percentage points, or an average of three school days per student, to save our school districts $34 million annually.

Results: Since the inception of the Missing School Matters Taskforce, our region has been able to save $33 million cumulatively, which is making a difference.  The increase in student attendance also has a “Triple Bottom Line” benefit of: students learn when they are present in class, teachers have more opportunity to teach, and increased revenue to districts through the current funding model of Texas school districts which is based on student attendance.

Partners: Fifteen school districts, two institutions of higher ed, and ten community organizations and industry partners are all actively working together in the Missing School Matters Campaign.

Attendance matters and missing school matters, it’s not just the money that is lost to the districts, it is also the opportunities that students miss out on when they are not present — they miss out on developing relationships with peers and school adults that they could lean on during difficult and challenging times, and they miss out on important instruction, and they miss out on the important habits of daily attendance that will serve them later in life in the workforce! -Rocky Zepeda, Director of Student Services at Del Valle ISD and Co-Director of the Missing School Matters Taskforce