IDEA Public Schools

TeachBoost helps IDEA’s growing network centralize feedback, data, and trends across 7,000+ educators


Texas and Louisiana Charter network


7,357 educators 42,728 students 91 schools



187,208 observations since 2015!

IDEA is a public charter network that serves students in Texas and Louisiana, with schools opening in Florida and Ohio in 2021-22. Founded in 1998, IDEA has 91 schools, and U.S. News & World Report ranked six IDEA College Preparatory high schools among the top 500 high schools nationwide and in the top 60 in Texas!

IDEA’s mission is to ensure that every student is accepted and prepared for college. In the 2018-19 school year, they graduated more than 1,185 seniors from 15 campuses, and for the 13th consecutive year, 100% of IDEA students were accepted to college.

Our network is rapidly growing, with new schools opening in 2021-22. The way we onboard, train, and support new leaders and teachers is critical to our mission of 100% college-bound seniors. TeachBoost has become a critical tool for us to be able to streamline the observation and coaching process around our rubric.

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The Goal: Maintain high expectations for teachers and leaders as the network scales

IDEA's leaders not only set high expectations for students and instructors, they have rigorous standards for the data they use to measure progress. They needed an observation and evaluation system that could keep up with their data needs and support their proprietary rubrics, with one for teachers and another for school leaders.

Since TeachBoost partnered with IDEA in 2015, the number of schools in the network has quadrupled. This growth has increased the demand for training leaders and teachers on the rubric requirements and their overall approach.

Richel Raich-Cantu works with a teacher during her classroom coaching rounds.
Richel Raich-Cantu works with a teacher during her classroom coaching rounds.

Richel Raich-Cantu, Director of On-Demand Training, shared that "because our network is so large and expansive, we've relied on digital tools to support our onboarding, training, and coaching work, and TeachBoost is an essential piece of the puzzle.

Every IDEA leader and teacher has access to the platform, which enables 1:1 conversations but also network-wide visibility into the ongoing observation and feedback cycle. We use this to pull out emerging trends which drives how we think about professional learning opportunities."

The Challenge: Disrupt silos and leverage technology to support every educator in the network

The expansion of the IDEA network means that different schools are at different stages of professional development and training. Their challenge is to break down communication barriers and ensure that professional development can be differentiated to meet the needs of both long-time and new staff members.

"We're seeing our strongest ratings with our newest staff because they went through onboarding and training most recently," Raich-Cantu shared. "We're working with our long-time staff members to refresh and recertify their training in our rubrics. TeachBoost helps us manage our growth with continuity and flexibility."

Our leaders love the Sketch feature. The form is easy to use and includes timestamps and links to our proprietary rubric so that the focus remains on classroom observations.

The Outcomes: A tool that supports a growing network focused on its critical mission of college readiness and advancement

"We see the TeachBoost customer support team as an extension of our own team. Many are former teachers, and we've come to rely on their expertise in designing an observation and evaluation system that works to support our aggressive goals."

IDEA leaders have a clear vision for their teachers and students, and they look to TeachBoost to track, measure, and ultimately advance this vision. TeachBoost has enabled:

  • Customization of the observation, evaluation, and professional development process, tailored to a specific rubric
  • Unification of meetings, evidence, classroom visits, action steps, and notes, organized by timeline for each teacher
  • Explicit, specific, and actionable observations
  • Centralized, real-time reporting that shows progress toward goals
  • Ability to pinpoint holes and gaps at the individual, department, school, district and network level
  • Trend tracking and analytics at the educator, school, and district-wide levels
  • Centralized place to store evaluation targets and complete observation cycles by tracking completion rates
  • Aggregated data at an individual, group, school, or district level
  • Data views by any metric, including standard, rating, observer, demographic, and date
  • Progress monitor on goals, next steps, and action plans across a set of teachers or individual teachers teachers
  • Transparency that encourages dialog among educators
Richel Raich-Cantu works with a teacher during her classroom coaching rounds.
Richel Raich-Cantu works with a teacher during her classroom coaching rounds.

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