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Calhoun falls from exemplary to recognized, stays optimistic

July 29, 2011 at 2:29 a.m.


The 2011 TAKS scores for Calhoun County school district dropped the district from exemplary to recognized this year.

Calhoun High School dropped from being exemplary to recognized; Point Comfort Elementary went from exemplary to recognized; and Seadrift School went from exemplary to academically acceptable.

Superintendent Billy Wiggins said he and his staff were not surprised by the lower rating. Last year, CCISD was allowed to use the Texas Projected Measurement, which helped improve its ratings last year. The TEA isn't allowing school districts to use the measurement this year. The measurement let school districts count students who almost passed TAKS as if they had actually passed it.

"The TPM made a big difference in ratings because the scores between this year and last year were relatively close," Wiggins said.

Wiggins acknowledged the district needs to improve in some areas, particularly the math and science scores for the students.

At Calhoun High School, only 67 percent of African-Americans passed science and math, and 71 percent of the economically disadvantaged passed science.

The rating at Seadrift School was also impacted by lower science scores with only 79 percent of the student population as a whole passing, and only 64 percent of Hispanic students passing science.

Wiggins said the district already has programs and training in place to work on improving in their lower scoring areas, but, overall, he's pleased with the scores.

"We would like for them to have been higher, but we're pleased with them. We had a few small drops, but overall we had some good scores," he said.

Now, he and the rest of the school district are gearing up to face next year's challenge, the new standardized test STAAR.

"The rigor of the instruction has to be greater so we're putting a lot of things in place for next year," he said.

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