Bright Spots / Educators’ Perspective: The Impact of High-Quality Instructional Materials in DeSoto ISD

Copy Of New Data Show A Decade Of Growth In Dallas County 1

Bright Spots

Educators’ Perspective: The Impact of High-Quality Instructional Materials in DeSoto ISD

As we spotlight school districts in Texas that provide high-quality instructional materials (HQIM) to their students, we hope it shows the role these materials play in closing achievement gaps and providing equitable educational opportunities to reach economic success. Visit Commit’s blog series about HQIM to follow how other districts are benefiting.

House Bill 1605 (88R) paved the way for Texas school districts to provide high-quality instructional materials (HQIM) for their students, and DeSoto ISD has embraced this transformative strategy. HQIM are grade-level curricula based on research and aligned with the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) standards, ensuring all students have access to rigorous, grade-level content, while simultaneously enabling teachers to spend less time sourcing and making lesson plans and more time focused on teaching their students.

Since 2021, DeSoto ISD has witnessed gradual academic growth. According to the Texas Education Agency, every elementary school student in DeSoto ISD now attends an A- or B- rated campus. From 2022 to 2023, DeSoto students’ achievement grew in several subject areas at a rate that exceeded statewide averages, including 23 percentage points in eighth-grade math.

This growth underscores DeSoto's unwavering commitment to providing all students with valuable educational experiences – a commitment reinforced by their proactive implementation of HQIM across all grades in reading and math, beginning in the 2022-23 school year.

“The results for districts that adopted these instructional materials have been significant. As the chief academic officer of DeSoto ISD, managing curricula is among the many hats I wear, and in just one year in this role, I’ve witnessed major change firsthand,” said DeSoto ISD Chief Academic Officer Stephanie McCloud in a recent Dallas Morning News Op-ed.

Hear directly from teachers and administrators on how HQIM has positively impacted DeSoto ISD:

Research shows that students unable to read at grade level by third grade are four times more likely to drop out of high school than proficient readers, making it less likely, in turn, that they will go on to attain a postsecondary degree or certification and secure a good job. That's why it’s especially meaningful that, in one school year following implementation of HQIM, third-grade reading achievement in DeSoto grew five percentage points, representing several additional students on a path to living-wage attainment.

As we work toward our True North Goal for 2040 — ensuring that at least half of all 25- to 34-year-old Dallas County residents earn a living wage — access to grade-level content will play a key role. As more students gain access to HQIM thanks to state policymakers, district leaders, and educators, the more we expect to witness similar growth in schools across the state.

Special thanks to Huma Islam, Lakesha Jackson, Stephanie McCloud and Lashay Williams for sharing their testimonies about how their students were impacted by the opportunities offered by high-quality instructional materials. Their insights can guide Texas school districts as they move to adopt these materials with support from new state legislation. We invite you to stay tuned in the coming weeks for additional perspectives from educators on HQIM.

Recent Articles

Learning to read by third grade allows children to grasp more complex subjects in later grades, creating a path to a degree or certification. That's [...]

In our ongoing work to develop a skilled workforce in Dallas County that can command living wages, it’s important to celebrate the educators who make [...]

More young Dallas County residents than ever before are achieving postsecondary credentials, according to Commit analysis of newly released census data. Specifically, the percentage of [...]