bloggin' all things brownsville

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

BISD Fails to Meet AYP Standards


All Brownsville Independent School District high schools, and the district overall, failed to meet Adequate Yearly Progress Standards in 2008, the Texas Education Agency reported today.

According to the TEA:

The federal evaluations are based on:
● graduation rates for high schools and districts;
● attendance rates for elementary schools; and
● participation and passing rates on state tests for grades 3-8 and 10.

This year to earn a label called “Meets AYP,” the schools and districts had to test at least 95 percent of their students and at least 60 percent of the students had to pass the reading/English language arts state exam and at least 50 percent had to pass the mathematics exam. High schools or districts had to achieve a graduation rate of 70 percent or better for the Class of 2007. Elementary and middle schools were required to achieve at least a 90 percent attendance rate. Schools and districts can also meet AYP by demonstrating significant performance improvement.

The tests used to determine the federal evaluations are the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS), which 90 percent of the students in these grades take, and three new variations of TAKS that are used for students with disabilities.

It’s tough to extend kudos to our district for receiving the BROAD Prize for Urban Education with news like this. Let’s hope the money’s used toward adequately preparing our high school students for college.

For the AYP results, click here.

19 Comments:

Blogger BobbyWC said...

The only way BISD received this award is through fraud. At the end of the day one must look to the students and their success rate. The truth is, BISD is a failure.

People are desperate to make sure their friends get the goodies being offered by Lehmann. They will say anything. Not that reality matters to pathological liars but the tax rate for BISD came down because of a new state law - the BISD Board had nothing to do with the lower tax rate. Truth matters - unless you are paid to push for the election of one candidate over another.

This child I have been speaking about on the BV is so far gone with his ADHD he can barely learn. I worked with him tonight. It is a near impossibility. My question is, why do we pay teachers if part of their job is not to identify children in need. Other than complete and total incompetence by the teachers at Oliveira there is no explanation for what is happening to this child.

The principal cannot micro-manage everything. At some point it is up to the teachers to care enough to make referrals for children who are not learning.

By chance I met the principal at Oliveira on Friday. He knew exactly how I am - in a very professional manner he approached me, ID's himself, and with the parents' consent we immediately started to talk about the needs of the child.

It takes a real professional to put aside our differences and focus on the child. I give the principal an A+ for how he handled me. Now if I could just get him to kick Art Rendon's butt into action.

BObby WC

Tuesday, October 14, 2008  
Blogger Kurgan said...

I know I am cynical, I know that.

Whatever is being paid for the grant / award writer appears to be money well spent.

The Broad Prize for the district, the CUBE prize for the school board, yet the kids are failing?

When TEA comes in and takes over the schools, will they write themselves up for awards too?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We should remember that the Broad Prize recognizes making progress relative to the progress made by other large school districts with as many problems as BISD. It is not for reaching the ultimate goal of every child graduating with a great education.

I think what needs to be noted is that consistently scores and progress began to diminish at the middle school level and ends with graduating classes half the size of the freshmen. It seems that for so many students, when adolescence begins, progress ends. I think this is where more counseling and psychologically-based teaching could help. Something new needs to be tried at the middle school level.

Now, the head of the grants department was made head of guidance and counseling, so if Kurgan is right, maybe he'll do his magic there too (or at least the counselors will get an award).

Patricia A.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry Patricia A. but the head grants dept is not the guidance and couseling head. The Grant Dept. head is now serving in two capacities for BISD: Grant Dept. head and Procipal of the ECHS. The guidance and couseling head was previously the head of Professional Development.

The funny part of the Broad Award is it is based on criteria of years that BISD was under the leadership of Dr. Z. Listening to Hector Gonzales, it was all about him.

Juan O'Leary

Wednesday, October 15, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Texas District Wins Prize for Schools

The Brownsville Independent School District in Texas won what may be the nation’s most important prize for excellence in urban education on Tuesday, the same day that Texas authorities announced that the district had failed to meet achievement targets for two years under the federal No Child Left Behind law.

Erica Lepping, a spokeswoman for the foundation that administers the $1 million Broad Prize for Urban Education, said the 10-member prize jury, which included two former secretaries of education, was aware that Brownsville had missed its testing targets under the federal law last year but had considered many other academic quality indicators in making its choice.

A vast majority of the nation’s largest urban districts, including three of the four runners-up for this year’s Broad prize, also failed to meet the federal law’s annual targets, Ms. Lepping said.



Here is link to the rest of the article about the issue:
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/15/education/15prize.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=broad%20award&st=cse&oref=slogin

Juan O'Leary

Wednesday, October 15, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

These bureaucratic mandates are just one of many factors that the Broad Foundation looked at in making their decision.

With a distinguished 10-member jury panel, which included two former U.S. Secretaries of Education, this $2 million award to BISD should put these so-called "minimum standards" and standardized tests into question.

How can we measure children's "successes," "failures" and "potential" with one government-mandated test, that is hurting, not helping classroom instruction?


Josh

Wednesday, October 15, 2008  
Blogger Chris Davis said...

"...with one government-mandated test, that is hurting, not helping classroom instruction?"

Explain how an attempt to gauge LEARNING hurts classroom instruction, please.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008  
Blogger Kurgan said...

I hear you CD.

Teachers had many, many years to prove that they could teach without standardized testing to show that what they were doing was working.

In those days it was, "If you learn, Great! If you don't learn, Great! We are still moving you up and out."

When you are "teaching to the test", you are still teaching.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, does this mean that the standard at BISD was so low that they could be most improved from that standard and still not meet targets? I would love to know two things; What's the excuse and what is the reason?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're absolutely right, Juan. I relied on faulty memory of a recent article on administrative changes. The former administrator for grants is now the principal for the Early College High School.

Thanks.

Patricia A.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chris,

A scantron test can be one of the methods in gauging "learning," "success," and "failure," but should in no means be the dispositive one. The government likes to make this TAKS test a talisman, while the Broad Foundation saw past that in measuring BISD's performance as a whole.

Best,
Josh

Wednesday, October 15, 2008  
Blogger Chris Davis said...

Thanks for the reply, Josh, but I think you skirted my question.

Once again: how does a LEARNING gauge, in whatever form, hurt classroom instruction?

Also, do your quotes curiously surrounding learning, success, and failure present these ends as abstract or subjective somehow?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chris,

Without a doubt, I believe "learning," "success," and "failure" are subjective. Who's to say what the definition of these terms are? I don't buy these AYP benchmarks, and everyone should question them, or at the very least, take them with a grain of salt.

The State thinks it can gauge "learning," "success" and "failure" by administering these government-mandated exams (in whatever form) and in turn, tie funding to them.

School districts, administrators and teachers become obsessed with these tests, at the expense of more flexible, creative and challenging lesson plans.

Take a poll of teachers and see if they believe whether TAKS hurts or helps the classroom.

I'm not opposed to learning gauges, but I'm opposed to this specific, outcome determinative gauge. These tests are hurting the classroom because they are the ONLY learning gauge on which schools are relying. Because "learning" is such a subjective term, you can't measure it with one bureaucratically created test.

Josh

Wednesday, October 15, 2008  
Blogger PanchoLaNeta said...

Cris,

It sounds to me like it is more his opinion than what ever the point you are trying to make. His comments may sound theoretical or biased to you but non the less they are his point of view, and I happen to agree with him that when a classroom teacher pays a lot of attention to a state mandated test for the purpose of budget it hurts the children. Some school principles expect miracles from educators when some kids are obviously not the sharpest knives in the drawer and yet they have to respond for their grades. There is more to an education than going to school, that classroom lets out at 3:15 then the parents need to do their part for their kids sake and to help them not fall behind.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

that classroom lets out at 3:15 then the parents need to do their part for their kids sake and to help them not fall behind.

to pancholaneta,
how can a parent help, if the majority:
--Do not speak the english language,
--do not have a computer to check the grades.
--is trying to make ends meet with two jobs, and can not make a parent night out, teacher team meeting, or counselor's appt.

that is why BISD starts with 30 elementaries, 13 middle schools and 5 high schools (kids drop out around middle school).

Wednesday, October 15, 2008  
Blogger PanchoLaNeta said...

I am a father of two myself and have had a tough upbringing myself, so I know the difficulty of life in this area but I have never stood here and made excuses. My parents which neither spoke nor understood English at the time did their best to help me I recall.
As for work well there is always time for your children if not they should not be living in that household. We also worked very hard to make ends meet which in no way should it contradict what you meant to say because all circumstances are unique. I had to carry my own weight at home since a very young age and I am thankful for that. If there was one thing they instilled in me was the importance of an education and that does not require a specific language, also growing up there were no computers available for home usage and if there were any we were so WELL off that we never heard of them and guess what I still managed to pass. When my parents wanted to know how I was doing they would go see my teacher and ask how I was doing (which was uncalled for past 8th grade but they still did it) not log on or call. I have nothing against your point of views I respect them and in no way could I compare my life to yours or anyone for that matter I would be lying if I did. All I am interested in is stopping the finger pointing to educators everyone is in on this together for the sake of the kids so congrats on the scholarship money it will be put to very good use I bet.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008  
Blogger BobbyWC said...

pancholaneta,

you are missing a key point - you are right about how teching to the test interupts instruction - but conversely if we do no have some type standards then schools are free to just pass students without regard to whether or not they have learned.

I grew up in NY when they had three different diplomas. Applied (no testing) Regents (testing) Honors (testing)http://www.nysedregents.org/testing/hsregents.html The courses were harder in Regents and Honors. I graduated with a Regents. Most of my friends opted for Applied - you know they just graducated them regardless of whether they learned.

I hope these new end of terms exams which will come on board soon will solve the problem of teaching to the exam - without a test we have no accountability.

It is not perfect but it is better than just passing everyone.

Bobby WC

Wednesday, October 15, 2008  
Blogger PanchoLaNeta said...

BobbyWC,

I see your point and I do understand the importance of the TAKS I myself had to pass the TEAMS when I was in school, it is the emphasis they put on this test and the pressure they put the kids under to pass that I don’t agree with.

Thursday, October 16, 2008  
Blogger Kurgan said...

One of the more interesting facts is that the "respected leaders" of the BROAD prize includes Rod Paige.

I was under the impression that anyone who had anything to do with Bush was an idiot and a crook.

I guess if he is handing out awards and cash, he must be okay.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008  

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