The 83rd Legislature of the State of Texas House Bill No. 5 (HB5), Section 10 and written into the Texas Education Code 28.014, requires Independent School Districts (ISDs) to collaborate with Institutions of Higher Education (IHE) to develop and provide college preparatory mathematics and English language arts courses and assessments. HB5 created an opportunity for the UTSA Institute for P-20 Initiatives, Alamo Colleges and multiple ISDs within Education Service Center 20 (ESC-20) to form a partnership to design the college preparatory courses to be offered to 12th graders for English language arts and mathematics credit. In response to this legislation, the Institute for P-20 Initiatives has developed the South Texas Education Project (STEP) to provide tools to ISDs that focus on alignment of mathematics and English language arts standards as well as low cost content delivery methodologies.
In partnership, IHE professors and K-12 educators collaborated to determine standards, assessments, resources and professional development needed to offer the courses in the fall of 2014. Currently, thirty-four ISDs from Bexar County and surrounding areas signed a Memorandum of Understanding to participate in the HB5 initiative. We are building upon this collaborative model by including partners representing South Texas, which includes ESC-1 that serves 37 school districts and 10 charter school systems in the seven county areas of Cameron, Hidalgo, Jim Hogg, Starr, Willacy, and Zapata Counties. The IHE partners include the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV), South Texas College, Texas Southmost College, and Texas State Technical College.
STEP's mathematics course design makes use of the WeBWorK (http://webwork.maa.org) software, an online homework system supported and maintained by the Mathematical Association of America and the National Science Foundation.