Bloomington parents note school strengths despite low test scores

Carolina Astrain By Carolina Astrain

July 10, 2013 at 2:10 a.m.
Updated July 11, 2013 at 2:11 a.m.

While the Bloomington school district's STAAR results remain comparatively low, parents said they have still seen improvements.

"This year, they put in some intervention programs they did not have the year before," said Maribel Gonzalez, a parent with an incoming junior at Bloomington High School. "They implemented Study Island, which is an awesome program, and also offered summer tutoring."

Gonzalez's daughter, Analysa Gonzalez, 15, took some of the Study Island tutorials online before retesting for the English II writing exam Wednesday.

"It was easier, and it was cut down a lot more than what the other one was," Analysa said. "Study Island helped a lot."

The student said she thinks scores would get better if teachers were allowed more time to go over key lessons.

Bloomington school board member Bacilio Cantu, recently re-elected and a former board president, said he thinks recruiting more Hispanic teachers would encourage the predominately Latino population to do better on the state exams.

"We're not putting the emphasis needed on the Hispanic student population," Cantu said. "We need to have role models in there that are Hispanic; that's how I feel."

But third-grade teacher Melinda Perez, said it's not just about ethnicity when it comes to hiring good teachers to better serve a predominantly Hispanic student body.

"Most of the times, it's just that students speak Spanish at home, and it's not that they're not educated - it's that they're not educated in their first language," she said. "It's about teachers being open-minded."



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