COMMENTARY by BRAD ROLLINS
Parents — and taxpayers — in the Hays, Austin, Round Rock, Leander, Pflugerville, Del Valle, Lake Travis, Eanes and Hutto school districts all know how their public school students collectively performed on the new State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness. These numbers are especially important for this year’s ninth graders who won’t be able to graduate unless they pass the battery of assessments by the time they complete 12th grade.
But Eads has taken the position that the school district is not going to release grade-by-grade, school-by-school or even districtwide results to the public until the Texas Education Agency does it for them. That gives them time to spin — I mean “explain” — the results to school board members, parents and students.
In the long tradition of dissembling, convoluted San Marcos CISD news releases, here’s what the school district had to say:
Our intent is not to withhold information, but to provide meaningful and accurate information to our parents, children, and community.
As you are aware, the TEA has not released passing standards for the 3-8 STAAR assessments and will not do so until January 2013. We wanted parents to have a general idea of how our children performed based on a raw score that the TEA provided.
We made the decision to provide information that was meaningful and relevant to the students and their families. (Just as we would provide an academic grade to students as a measure of their progress on a course.) To compare districts at this point without a passing standard for the STAAR 3-8 is incomprehensible.
As for the STAAR EOC assessments, the TEA has provided families and students with their confidential student report(s) for the assessments they took this Spring.
To clear things up; the SMCISD is releasing all scores at the student level. Inevitably, as the accountability system is fully developed, the SMCISD will have district level scores released by the TEA.
In other words, the district is telling each student how he or she scored — but not how students in the district as a whole scored compared to other districts.
The scores will come out eventually and we we’ll know the answer to our questions. More concerning to me is the poor judgement it takes to say: “Hey, let’s just not tell people how we did and maybe they won’t notice.”
It’s a disappointing position for a superintendent who the community has entrusted with sound management of its public schools.Email | Print