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TAKS-ing times for all
by Chip Latcham
Jun 19, 2009 | 734 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
It’s the 800-pound gorilla in the classroom.

TAKS... Teachers and students dread giving and taking it; many parents and casual observers don’t really understand it; and, thankfully, soon it will be going away to that academic ash heap of history.

Probably the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills exam will be replaced by some other end-of-course tests. Yet, for now, the results of this annual exam are how state education officials determine our schools and students are faring on reading, math, science, etc.

According to preliminary unofficial results from the TEA, Bee County public schools have reasons to be pleased, and should be commended, particularly the Skidmore-Tynan and Pettus ISDs.

The Skidmore-Tynan High School and Junior High campuses will be “recognized” and S-T Elementary will receive the TEA’s highest rating of “exemplary,” Superintendent Brett Belmarez said.

Ninety-seven percent of the S-T students who took the reading portion of the test passed it, and the district passing rate for math was 85 percent.

“District math scores showed positive gains in most grade levels,” Belmarez reported.

Word from the northern end of the county also was positive.

“We are very pleased with our scores and continuous improvement in all areas on the district level,” said Pettus ISD Superintendent Tucker Rackley.

“This means our district is at the level of an exemplary rating for reading/English language arts, writing and social studies, and though the science results are at the acceptable level they are showing improvement over previous years,” Rackley said.

Pettus ISD is likely to receive a ranking of “recognized” for students’ scores on the math portion of the exam, and Pettus Elementary is likely to receive an exemplary rating.

Beeville ISD reported its TAKS scores at Tuesday’s board meeting, and results were mixed, showing improvement over last year but still short of state averages in most grades and subject areas.

In reading and math, six out of nine grade levels improved from last year; in writing, seventh grade scores were higher; in science, all four grade levels scores were better; and in social studies, all three grade levels improved.

“We are pleased to see the improvements we made, but we are always looking for additional improvements,” said Nancy Jones, assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction. “Our teachers and students have to be given the credit for the extra work they did this year to get these improvements.”

Indeed, congratulations to all the students, teachers and administrators whose dedication and hard work led to improved test scores and these schools’ recognition.

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