A couple of real quick disclaimers to note:
(A) not every school uses the same curriculum or the same textbooks...to think that is obtuse...there are a variety of reosurces the state approves and then you choose as a district or campus. And curriculum does vary as well: CSCOPE is a guide, not the Holy Grail in SCUCISD in San Antonio (where my best friend teaches) while it is used with absoluteness in our district and then it isn't used in other districts such as Randolph Field ISD or FSHISD.
(B) Just because kids don't score well on the test doesn't mean our teachers are bad: this is the first test these kids were supposed to look collegiate, and the reality is, across the state these scores were low. It was a new standard, and truthfully, probably very subjective. That doesn't mean the English teachers were perfect, but it also doesn't mean that all of them should be fired...sorry, but the kid still has to write a decent essay, not the teacher.
(C) The money is fixing the schools to an extent: your kids are not in classrooms of forty like they would be at Memorial. Your kids are seeing increases in scores...this was the first test, and I love that nobody talked about the TAKS results even though this is the only real measure we have of data since we don't know what these tests look like. Think you can do it better, by all means, come do it for a year and see.
(D) In regards to fixing the problem, attendance is the biggest issue...START FINING PARENTS! In San Antonio, police officers show up at the home and bring the kids in and cite the parents...upwards of a $250 fine (it is a misdemeanor to support truancy). VPD and to an extent the VCSO need to step up enforcing the laws during the day of kids being in school. Hit parents in the pocketbook and they will listen...hit them with a warning time and time again and we will see the complacency time and time again...and finally, get the businesses to stop allowing high schoolers to work until midnight or later...we get them in so tired they don't function. Why? Because 17/18 year old senior Johnny was stuck closing at 2am at HEB or worse, interviewing a student at 2pm for a job and saying if he can't make that time he doesn't get the job so the student leaves early. Victoria is a messed up city in this regard: you want higher education but you don't support the basics to get it happening and then are surpised by the results...think it through.
I'm not necessarily convinced it's the teacher's and that less than half of English 1 students passing the exam is a reflection of the teacher. I believe there is a huge gap in what is being taught (forcefed curriculum from the State *my assumption*) versus the material being tested on. My son , who has always been an "A" student didn't pass his either and has to retake. He is in the "Honors" program and does his schooling through the virtual school online, which is the same material as VISD. Needless to say he , and I both were shocked. I think the material taught should mirror what is on these tests.
ZaPaTeRoChUpA.You have spoken my mind. Victoria Adovcate need to do its JOB and and write a follow up with State Rep. Geanie Morrison. JUST DO IT!!!!!
Mr. J. Williams
"less than half of VISD freshmen passed the English I writing test"
Well if this isn't a good indicator of which teachers to fire. Get rid of 'em and bring in some fresh new faces that know how to teach the students.
This is COMPLETELY unacceptable. I am so embarrassed by our school district.
the Crossroads Commission on Education nothing less than a huge failure
all involved should be shunned from this community
Hmmm. Have to agree with VOX on this one. Crossroads Commission on Education was supposed to be addressing PK-12 and college education issues in this area. Other than trying to sneak A&M in the back door by badmouthing UHV, have they come up with ANY constructive ideas? Have they even met anymore - or just crawled under a rock? What about it VicAd - how about a follow up article with Geanie? I'll bet she's "unavailable"...
I disagree with you Mercator, if you look at ethic make up within our VISD it is more resembles the State of Texas averages. Texas: 13% African American, 50 % Hispanic, 31% White, 6%otherVISD: 8% African American, 61% Hispanic, 29% White, 2 % other. Edgewood ISD 1%African American, 98%Hispanic, 1% WhiteHarlandale 97%Hispanic,2%WhiteSouth San 1%African, 97%Hispanic, 2%WhiteSouthside 1%African American, 89%Hispanic, 10%White, 1%other,East Central 9% African American, 68%Hispanic, 22% White, 2 % other, This data was provided by TEA Snapshot 2011.. While East Central is close to the make up of our district the other ones are not even close. Comparing our kids to the other kids in the state who are taught from the same textbooks and are suppose to cover the same material is the only way we can gauge how well of a job our district doing.
All the teaching, testing, new schools, equipment or supplies in the world will not improve the scores or knowledge of a populous that has no desire to excel in life. As long as parents and family members allow and encourage mediocre performance and allow their children to embrace the "Thug Lifestyle" there will be no improvement. Reports such as this are useless, and a complete waste of time and resources. Discover a way to make the parents give a rat's a** and then the scores will go up.
I don't have the answers, although I wish I did. It certainly is not difficult to see the problem. And tests and scores and new schools is no it!
Where did you find the scores for all the districts in the state?
What??? You mean the $259 million dollar bond and new schools didn't fix the lack of quality education in Victoria schools? Now I'm upset because the school board said the new buildings would fix the problem. Can we get a refund? Where is Bob?
Between Gov. Perry's massive theft of funding (rob Peter to pay Paul) for education and the "sanitizing" of the students text books to "purify" the subjects taught I am amazed kids can spell their own name.
One of the strengths of Texas was the ability of our universities and colleges to produce important intellectual properties. To continue that trend we will have to import intellect from outside the state. From what we can see of our states future it is beginning to look like a old saying, "If you think times are bad, wait until last year" is our leaders new motto.
So how's that Crossroads Commission on Education coming along? Haven't heard anything from them that didn't have to do with maroon in a while. How about a follow up with Genie on that Advocate?
But, Sgt. Jiggler--you know that those bright minds in the Texas Legislature know better than the rest of us! Why, how could we contnue to keep our low rating nationwide, if not for these tests? And isn't he guy behind the development of the STAAR test some buddy of Rick Perry's? I think so.
Look how long it has been that a 4 year degree is really a 5 year degree. It is not all due to students keeping course load low. It is those remedial classes.
I agree--just teach the kids and forget the tests! All the tests prove is that students don't test well, teachers can't just teach and Texas is STILL draggin' up the rear! Good job Perry and SBOE!
Thank you for your comments, Mercator. You are absolutely correct.
And I agree that I, for one, am quite tired of Liberty Academy being forgotten. They excelled on this year's STAAR testing, just as they did in other areas, but it is never mentioned. Sad, VicAd!
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I am astonished at the presentation of data given by the district and the Advocate...no I'm not really surprised, data is something people in this town are not very good at. Liberty exceeded the state averages but they are forgotten (as usual) but let's compare apples to apples and not apples to walnuts. San Antonio has several school districts that are comprised of similar populations as ours and here is how they scored:
East Central- 74% Algebra (70/73 E/W), 87% Bio (77/78), 79 W.Geo (69/74), 48% Writing (49/48), 68% Reading (60/68)Edgewood- 58% Algebra, 68% Biology, 65% Geography, 28% Writing, 47% ReadingHarlandale- 75% Algebra, 76% Bio, 66% Geo, 34% Writing, 47% ReadingSouth San- 69% Algebra, 81% Bio, 68% Geo, 38% Writing, 50% ReadingSouthside- 79% Algebra, 72% Bio, 76% Geo, 37% Writing, 57% Reading
In short...yeah, our numbers were lower than the state average, but that includes ALL schools like Randolph and Fort Sam Houston and others who service a more specific population. Better data would come from comparing districts with similar demographics as us, not comparing us to an entire state. Not to mention this test is kept so secret from teachers that I feel like I needed a Top Secret Clearance just to be in the building with the tests. The people of Victoria should not be discouraged nor should this be used to negatively attack the schools, their teachers, or their students.