WES ranks in top one-third of Texas school districts
by Steven Self Woodsboro ISD
Aug 28, 2012 | 1643 views | 0 0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
I want to congratulate Leslie Garza and the Woodsboro Elementary School faculty and staff for their achievement of Meeting Adequate Yearly Progress under the No Child Left Behind Act for last school year.

Less than 50 percent of campuses statewide met the AYP standard and only about one-third of the districts met AYP for the 2011-12 school year. So this is quite an accomplishment!

WES students demonstrated improvement in both reading and math for all students and in every student group (i.e., Hispanic, White, Economically Disadvantaged, Special Education). Improvement ranged from 3 to 14 percentage points with 93 percent meeting the standard in reading and 84 percent meeting the standard in mathematics.

What are the No Child Left Behind and Adequate Yearly Progress Programs? NCLB was the attempt by President George W. Bush, with the assistance of Ted Kennedy to use, on a national scale, the kind of testing-based school accountability system they had seen at work in Texas for two decades.

The theory was to roll together the results of annual standardized testing, attendance monitoring and graduation rates. If results were published, schools would be held accountable and scores would improve.

Ten years ago, the standard for reading was 47 percent passing and 33 percent passing for mathematics. The standard was set for all students and all student groups. After 10 years, more students are included in the accountability than ever before, and the test measure has become far more difficult and demanding.

The standard for this last year was 87 percent passing for reading and 83 percent passing for mathematics. Ninety-five percent are to take the test.

WES had 100 percent taking the test and The Woodsboro Junior and Senior High had between 96 percent and 100 percent taking the test in the various groups. Graduation rates fell between 88 percent and 100 percent for the various student groups. The NCLB standard is 75 percent.

Next year, the passing standard will be 93 percent for reading and 92 percent for math. For 2013-14, the final year of NCLB implementation, passing standards of 100 percent for both reading and mathematics will be expected.

This will be very difficult, if not impossible, for school districts to achieve. I believe that all educators in Woodsboro and Refugio County are doing their very best to provide the educational opportunities needed by our students.

NCLB does not measure individual improvement of students or classes. Only the groups are counted. I know I am proud of the efforts of our faculty and know they work extremely hard and many times on their own time after school, on Saturdays, and during the summer, to assist our students.

By the way, if you have not met our new secondary principal, Linda Garza, you need to stop by the secondary campus to meet her. She will continue to push our students to the higher standards required by the new STAAR and End of Course Tests.

2012 Tax Rate

With the construction of the new SouthCross Energy Natural Gas Processing Plant, the WISD tax base will increase about $40 million (a 30-percent increase).

Unfortunately, because of the state’s funding formulas, which decrease the state’s funding responsibility as local values rise, the WISD revenues for the total Maintenance and Operations budget will increase very little.

Taxpayers should realize a decrease in their tax rate, though, from about $1.60 per $100 value to about $1.44 per $100 value. This represents a decline of approximately 16 percent.

The added value helps the state’s budget much more than the local school district. Last year, WISD had about $262,683 of property value per student compared to $820,404 for Refugio and $2.964 million per student for Austwell-Tivoli.

The WISD Board of Education and I appreciate the support of our citizens as we needed increased funding for building projects and revenue shortfalls, they were there with their votes and encouragement. With this increased taxable value, they will get a small break for the 2012 tax season.

The Eagle Dome

Because we are in the midst of hurricane season, I wanted to remind all the residents of Woodsboro, Bonnie View, and Bayside that Refugio County remains an Evacuation County during a hurricane or tropical storm event.

If our county judge calls for a mandatory evacuation, citizens are strongly encouraged to evacuate the county. The Dome is for first responders who have to remain during the disaster.

Firemen, emergency managers, DPS, local and county officials may stay in the Dome for protection during the major impact of a storm. The State Office of Emergency Management and the Federal Emergency Management Administration may also determine groups or individuals with access to the dome in a hurricane emergency.

The Dome is not a hurricane or tropical storm shelter for the public. It is to be used for tornado protection for the community of Woodsboro and the students of Woodsboro ISD. It is not a hurricane shelter.

Again, I look forward to a very successful year with our academic and athletic programs. With the addition of High School Principal Linda Garza and the continued dedication of Leslie Garza and her staff at WES, I know all of us will do all in our power to assure the success of the children of the Woodsboro ISD.
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