The district administration and a community committee of teachers and parents recommended the removal of Goal 1 from the district improvement plan, removing STAAR scores from the required report.
When discussing the recommendation, Trustees spoke about the importance of state test scores for improving underperforming schools. The discussion included considerations for closing achievement gaps, using local assessments for measuring academic growth, and continuing to use state assessments in the district improvement plan.
Trustees also discussed the long process for creating the goals, including multiple discussions in public meetings.
“It’s time for us to wake up,” Superintendent Bruce Gearing, Ed.D. said. “If we don’t change the way we do public education and address individual student needs, we’re going to fail our next generation. If we’re not connecting to the kids, we’re responsible for, then we’re failing them.”
The community recommendation came at the Oct. 10 Districtwide Educational Improvement Council (DWEIC) meeting. DWEIC, a committee comprised of about 100 teachers, campus administrators, district administrators, and parents across all 43 schools, provides input to the Board on topics including the district improvement plan and the superintendent’s evaluation instrument.
Gearing said the district needs to engage the community to discuss the Board’s work over the next 12 months, which could also include a community-based accountability system.
“In DWEIC, I thought it was a very good conversation; members were asked what learning should look like,” Board President Trish Bode said. “Board collaboration is going to be key as we move forward talking about our goals and if we’re going to do community-based accountability. “
The Board will continue discussing the department and campus improvement plans at their Nov. 11 meeting.