School district working to improve school testing results
January 30, 2014, 2:00 pm by Keith McBurnett, BCISD Superintendent
Last week a letter was sent home along with report cards for all high school students as required by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) under the Public Education Grant (PEG) Program.
Under PEG, TEA identifies campuses with passing rates on the state assessment that are less than or equal to 50 percent in any two of the preceding three years or were rated Academically Unacceptable (AU) in 2011 or rated Improvement Required in 2013 under the new state accountability system.
I recognize that the letter sent home may have confused some parents, because even though the state had as its mission to make the accountability system easy to understand, that has not been the case.
To clarify, TEA has identified Burnet High School as a PEG campus because the 2013 STAAR Writing scores were below 50 percent.
Burnet High School is not rated Academically Unacceptable and is currently rated as having Met Standard on the 2013 Accountability Rating System.
Part of the confusion is that similar letters have gone out the past two years because Burnet HS was rated as AU in 2011. Then when the state changed the state assessment in 2012 they froze all ratings and continued to label Burnet HS as AU.
Even though Burnet High School and all BCISD campuses are rated as Met Standard, there is still much work to be done, especially in the area of writing. Scores in writing were low across BCISD and across the state.
Here are just some of the things we are doing as a District to address student achievement in writing:
At the middle school and high school level the Springboard curriculum was adopted this fall. Springboard is a nationally recognized program that offers a rigorous curriculum, formative assessments and sustainable professional development.
In addition, the College Board was contracted to provide coaching to teachers in grades 6-12. It has transformed the way we teach English Language Arts including writing, and so far, we are seeing excellent results since implementing this program and hope to see improved test scores when we test again in 2014.
At the elementary level teachers have participated in an expository writing academy and are registered for the four day, "The Summer Writing Academy Institute.”
We have also contracted with the Region 13 Service Center to develop philosophy of writing for all elementary campuses and provide writing across the curriculum training to elementary staff.
Finally, we have implemented the AVID program this year in grades 3-8. Teachers have attended training that highlights writing and teachers are registered for the AVID Summer Institute in grades K-10.
On another note, filing for a place on the ballot for BCISD School Board this week and will continue through Friday, Feb. 28 at the BCISD Central Office, 208 E. Brier, Burnet.
The Burnet CISD School Board Trustee Election will be held on Saturday, May 10. There are two places on the ballot this year: Place 3, currently held by Martin Riley and Place 7, currently held by Jim Luther, Jr.
These are three-year terms. Information about the School Board is posted on the Burnet CISD website.
I also want to let the community know about two important meetings that are coming up soon.
On Monday, Feb. 3 at 6:30 p.m. the School Board will be hosting a workshop meeting to discuss the District’s facility needs assessment conducted by Pfluger Associates.
With aging facility issues like roofing systems and HVAC systems, the administration is in the process of drafting a plan to address the issues in the most efficient and economical way.
In addition, the District is hosting a Community Forum on Thursday, Feb. 6 at 6:30 p.m. We will be sharing important information about the District and answering questions form the audience. I hope you will join us.
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