Beth Cooper serves as Associate Professor of Practice in Educational Leadership and Policy and Superintendent/Director IV of The University of Texas at Austin High School Special Purpose District.
Cooper works at the intersection of research, policy, and practice. Her research interests include implementation of blended learning instructional models in K-12 schools and districts, effective practices and policies to support advanced and gifted learners, and understanding the variables involved in school choice contexts. Cooper also serves as a state policy consultant for virtual school policies, best practices to support advanced and gifted learners, and policies for K-12 credit by exams.
Beginning in 2014, Cooper led the development of the virtual UT High School from a small school for 350 students to a comprehensive school district serving 8,000 students annually. The District also provides curriculum and professional development to K-12 educators in Texas and beyond.
In 2018, the Texas Education Agency selected UT High School to design and deliver a statewide professional development program to support educators to implement blended learning instructional models; the statewide initiative receives $2M in biannual funding for the K-12 school districts. In 2023, the UT High School District received $1.9M to develop and launch a statewide online adult learner program for students to complete their high school diplomas in a partnership with the Texas Workforce Commission.
The work of Cooper and her team at the UT High School District expands the University's impact statewide by providing 8,000 high school students with virtual courses, 2,000 K-12 educators with professional development, 30,000 students taking K-12 credit by exams, and more than 300 Texas school district partnerships annually.