Surprise! A roundtable on teacher and student success turned into big news for Somerset ISD, Texas: The district received NIET's 2020 District Award of Excellence for Educator Effectiveness. The honor comes with a $50,000 cash prize, and NIET presents only one district award nationally. Watch NIET Chairman and Founder Lowell Milken and CEO Dr. Candice McQueen announce the award to thrilled district and school educators and leaders.
Somerset was recognized for its successful, decadelong partnership with NIET to improve the district’s support for teachers and high-quality instruction as its key lever to improve student outcomes. From 2016-19, Somerset students have improved in state and district STAAR performance for all subjects, increasing proficiency by 7 percentage points in English language arts and 15 percentage points in math. In 2019, Somerset earned a B in student achievement and an A in student progress from the state.
"These advancements just don't happen. They require intense focus, work, careful design, and execution," said Milken. "You are changing the trajectory of young people's lives. I applaud you for all that you've accomplished, and for all that you will accomplish in the future."
"Instructional excellence and high expectations are the cornerstone to your student achievement," said Dr. McQueen. "The most effective way to move to support students best is to have a high-quality teacher in front of them every day. You have spotlighted that for the rest of the country."
View the full story in the press release: Somerset ISD, Texas, Earns $50,000 NIET Award of Excellence for Educator Effectiveness.