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TPSP logo

About the TPSP

TPSP Benefits

A 2007 evaluation of the Texas Performance Standards Project (TPSP) pilots at grade 4, grade 8, and exit level indicated that the system can help districts evaluate and improve services for gifted/talented (G/T) students in all areas, including identification, professional development, curriculum and instruction, and student and program assessment.

Study findings indicated that use of TPSP materials can support the following:

  • G/T instruction that is rigorous, relevant, and appropriately challenging and that includes options in the four foundation as well as enrichment subjects;
  • Growth in student content knowledge and confidence
  • Student skill development in oral communication, inquiry and research processes, and analysis and synthesis
  • Preparation for advanced courses in grade 10 and beyond
  • Teacher professional growth and differentiation for G/T instruction; and
  • parent involvement


In discussing TPSP program benefits with stakeholders, please consider the following:


How do students benefit from participation in the TPSP? Students who participate in the TPSP

  • develop confidence in their abilities to complete an independent research project;
  • use their own research to produce an innovative, discipline-based product;
  • are stretched to discover what they are capable of doing academically;
  • learn to accept challenges in order to perform at a high academic and intellectual level;
  • explore an area of interest and passion;
  • perform research outside of the traditional curriculum; and
  • improve communication and presentation skills.


How do teachers benefit from participation in the TPSP? Teachers who participate in the TPSP

  • gain an evaluation tool that provides measures for student growth;
  • learn how to achieve vertical alignment in the district's services for G/T students;
  • gain access to fully developed G/T curriculum tasks that can be differentiated for students of all ability levels;
  • gain access to units of study that are aligned with the TEKS and the Texas State Plan for the Education of Gifted/Talented Students; and
  • learn new strategies to work with students in a meaningful, creative, and open-ended way.


What are the benefits to the entire learning community?

The TPSP provides a way to align the curriculum so that a school or district has a true continuum of G/T services. This alignment helps ensure that G/T programs are meeting the criteria from the Texas State Plan for G/T education. After participating in the TPSP, educators will be able to identify areas of strength and weakness in their program. Because of the open-ended nature of the tasks, the TPSP showcases what gifted students are capable of doing academically. Successful students are visible in the learning community and project a positive image of the G/T program.


How does the TPSP help students achieve their learning goals?


The TPSP gives students a framework for successfully completing an independent research project. Because the student work is divided into two phases at most grade levels, there are built-in opportunities for teachers to provide direct instruction so that students have the skills necessary for developing an end product. The TPSP enables students to become real thinkers and scholars. Students are challenged to think critically, abstractly, and logically to evaluate and solve a problem. Students synthesize new information and comprehend different points of view. They also learn to communicate effectively and clearly in written and oral forms.

TPSP History

Rider 69 of the 76th Texas Legislature directed the Texas Education Agency (TEA) to develop an assessment system and statewide standards for gifted/talented (G/T) students at all grade levels. This work began with the 2000-2002 Performance Standards Pilot, an effort to develop statewide standards, sample tasks, and an assessment structure for exit-level G/T students in the areas of English language arts and reading, mathematics, science, and social studies.

In 2001-2002, a working committee of Texas middle school educators drafted performance standards, guidelines for student projects, and design parameters for a pre-pilot of similar materials for grade 8. A committee of national specialists in G/T education then reviewed the results of the pre-pilot, and grade 8 TPSP materials were piloted statewide in the 2002-2003 school year.

Also during 2002-2003, the TPSP was expanded to include grade 4. Five tasks were developed and field tested in schools and districts across the state. A scoring system was also developed and tested during the summer of 2003. In the 2003-2004 school year, the original pilot sites field tested the tasks with revisions based on the previous year's pilot.

After the pilot project, similar sets of tasks were developed for other grade levels to provide a comprehensive set of K-12 TPSP G/T resources.

Getting the TPSP off the ground and into the schools was a major effort. Numerous individuals, including staff from schools, districts, and regional education service centers, were instrumental in the development and revision of the TPSP. We would like to give special thanks to B.K. Dean, Doris Teague, Evie Hiatt, Ann Wink, and John Keene for their leadership and contributions. In addition, we would like to recognize all of the pilot schools and districts.

The following districts participated in the Texas Performance Standards Project (TPSP) pilots and/or contributed resources.

Fourth Grade Project

  • Aldine ISD (2002-05)
  • Alvin ISD (2002-05)
  • Beeville ISD (2002-03)
  • Big Spring ISD (2002-05)
  • Burkburnett ISD (2002-05)
  • Calallen ISD (2002-04) 
  • Carrollton Farmers Branch (2004-05) 
  • City View ISD (2002-03)
  • Colorado City ISD (2002-05)
  • Comanche ISD (2002-05)
  • Corpus Christi ISD (2002-05)
  • Ector County ISD (2002-03, 2004-05)
  • Fort Stockton ISD (2002-05)
  • Hurst/Euless/Bedford ISD (2003-05) 
  • Ingleside ISD (2002-05)
  • Lamar CISD (2002-04)
  • Lubbock ISD (2002-05)
  • Mathis ISD (2002-05)
  • Midland ISD (2002-03)
  • Northside ISD (2002-05)
  • Pasadena ISD (2003-05)
  • Rains ISD (2002-05)
  • Robstown ISD (2002-05)
  • San Benito ISD (2002-05)
  • Slaton ISD (2002-04)
  • Sundown ISD (2002-05)
  • Temple ISD (2002-04)
  • United ISD (2002-03)
  • Victoria ISD (2002-05)
  • Waco ISD (2002-04)
  • Wylie ISD (2002-04)

Exit Level Project

  • Aldine ISD (2000-05)
  • Alice ISD (2000-05)
  • Big Spring ISD (2003-05)
  • Brownsville ISD (2000-01) 
  • Carrollton Farmers Branch ISD (2000-05)
  • Comal ISD (2001-02)
  • Copperas Cove ISD (2003-05)
  • Dallas ISD (2001-05)
  • DeKalb ISD (2000-01)
  • Ector County ISD (2000-01)
  • Edcouch-Elsa ISD (2000-01)
  • Fort Stockton ISD (2000-01)
  • Garland ISD (2000-02)
  • Graham ISD (2001-05)
  • Houston ISD (2001-04)
  • Killeen ISD (2003-04)
  • La Porte ISD (2000-02)
  • La Vega ISD (2001-02)
  • Lago Vista ISD (2000-05)
  • Laredo ISD (2001-02, 2003-05)
  • Northside ISD (2000-04)
  • Pasadena ISD (2001-05)
  • Round Rock ISD (2000-01)
  • Schertz-Cibolo ISD (2004-05)
  • Socorro ISD (2004-05)
  • Sundown ISD (2004-05)
  • Terlingua CSD (2000-02)
  • Wichita Falls ISD (2001-02)
  • Wylie ISD (2001-03, 2004-05)

Eighth Grade Project

  • Aldine ISD (2002-05)
  • Alice ISD (2002-05)
  • Alvin ISD (2002-05)
  • Beaumont ISD (2002-05)
  • Boerne ISD (2002-03)
  • Boys Ranch ISD (2002-03) 
  • Burkburnett ISD (2002-03, 2004-05) 
  • Calallen ISD (2002-04) 
  • Carrollton Farmers Branch ISD(2002-05)
  • Comal ISD (2002-03)
  • Copperas Cove ISD (2002-05) 
  • Fort Stockton ISD (2002-05) 
  • Fort Worth ISD (2002-03) 
  • Garland ISD (2002-05)
  • Georgetown ISD (2002-03)
  • Graham ISD (2002-05)
  • Hemphill ISD (2002-05)
  • Hidalgo ISD (2002-03) 
  • Highland Park ISD (2002-05)
  • Hurst/Euless/Bedford ISD (2002-05) 
  • La Porte ISD (2002-03)
  • La Vega ISD (2003-04)
  • Lago Vista ISD (2002-03, 2004-05) 
  • Lamar CISD (2002-05)
  • Lamesa ISD (2002-05)
  • Mathis ISD (2002-05)
  • Northside ISD (2002-05)
  • Pasadena ISD (2002-05)
  • Sabine ISD (2002-03)
  • Slaton ISD (2002-03)
  • Temple ISD (2002-04)
  • Victoria ISD (2002-05)
  • Waco ISD (2002-04)
  • White Oak ISD (2002-03)
  • Whitney ISD (2002-03)
  • Wylie ISD (2002-04)
  • Ysleta ISD (2002-05)