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Raising Blended Learners is a statewide initiative in Texas designed to improve student achievement across diverse demographics, particularly among schools and districts with persistent achievement gaps.

As part of this initiative, Raise Your Hand Texas commissioned FSG to conduct a 4-year evaluation of the program’s impact on students and schools, as well as the success of the initiative as a whole. Given the rapid pace of change in blended learning schools, ongoing, dynamic feedback and assessment is critical to make improvements. This approach, known as developmental evaluation, is the basis for the reflections and insights in this report, which chronicles the 2015-2016 planning and selection year of Raising Blended Learners, how the program was designed and executed, and how it was experienced by participants.

Top Takeaways

  1. The founding vision for Raising Blended Learners was to “implement a demonstration initiative that showcases strategies for using blended learning to personalize instruction, thereby improving student achievement, particularly among schools and districts with persistent achievement gaps.”
  2. Blended learning success requires careful planning and design, coupled with a flexibility and willingness to seize opportunities as they arise.
  3. Four factors from the planning year of Raising Blended Learners—adaptive funding, engaging workshops, capacity-building selection process, and an ecosystem of supports—have been central to its success.
It is no small feat to have moved from conception of the idea, to launching a statewide funnel for blended learning, to selecting winners, to beginning implementation—all within a year.