News and Information
Effective Schools Project celebrates 25th anniversary
Tarleton State University
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, October 1, 2013
STEPHENVILLE, Texas—More than 200 educators from across Texas gathered on the Tarleton campus today to celebrate a quarter-century of the Jim Boyd Effective Schools Project (ESP), a collaborative professional development program established by the university’s College of Education in 1988.
Faculty members, program administrators and educators from 22 area school districts attended the celebration that included a special performance of David Marquis’s “I Am a Teacher” at the Clyde H. Wells Fine Arts Center auditorium, a luncheon at the Thompson Student Center ballrooms, and professional development workshops.
“I doubt that any of us who assembled in a small office 25 years ago had any idea that the professional development program we were contemplating would endure for a quarter-century,” said Dr. Bill Larmer, director of the project. “Throughout its 25-year history, the Jim Boyd Effective Schools Project has brought together teachers and administrators from good schools that are striving to get better.”
Dr. Jim Boyd, former dean of the School of Education, helped to create what was then known as the School Improvement Program, a cooperative effort between Tarleton and 18 school districts, including 25 elementary and secondary campuses. Designed to focus on individual campuses, the program involved faculty as mentors with public schools to improve instruction delivery.
The project has focused on a range of topics, including: instructional leadership, curriculum alignment, authentic assessment, cooperative learning, site-based decision making, educating students from poverty, brain-based learning, differentiating instruction, and 21st century learning skills.
Each year the project also produces The Journal of the Effective Schools Project, dedicated to the dissemination of information, ideas and research among the participating educators. To view the latest and past editions, including the first annual journal published in 1994, visit www.tarleton.edu/esp/Journal.
During its history the project has involved more than 220 different public school campuses and multiple Education Service Centers to provide opportunities for professional development associated with the correlates of effective schools.
At the ESP’s first annual planning retreat in 1995, Larmer stated why the program has been a lasting model for university-school collaboration and school improvement: “When the Effective Schools Project was initiated in 1988, Jim Boyd remarked that a major goal of ESP was to help improve education in Texas—one campus at a time. For those of us who have been associated with ESP over the years, it is especially rewarding to note that individual schools are now working in concert with each other toward the common goal of school improvement. The Tarleton faculty members are pleased to be associated with the ESP educators who share the commitment to continuous improvement.”
For more information about the Effective Schools Project at Tarleton, visit www.tarleton.edu/esp.
Tarleton State University
A member of The Texas A&M University System
Contact: Dr. Bill Larmer, ESP director