By CLINT FOSTER
The Texas Academic Performance Report (TAPR) was presented to the Mineral Wells ISD School Board in a regular meeting at the District Services Complex, Tuesday night, with mixed results.
Although all schools in the district met the state standard – with the exception of Mineral Wells Academy – MWISD’s test scores were lower than the state and regional average across the board.
According to information presented by Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment Director Carey Carter, MWISD’s 11th-grade students scored an average of 89 percent on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) test – the state and regional averages were 95 and 95 percent, respectively. The district’s average score for the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) test was lower as well.
MWISD higher ups were understandably displeased and surprised by the results.
“We need to work on plans for improvement,” School Board President Joe Ruelas said. “I know they have and are working toward that.”
MWISD Superintendent Dr. Gail Haterius said, although she believes standardized testing is not always the best way of evaluating student performance, her she wants to make sure every child in MWISD get the best education possible.
“Now it is up to district and campus leaders to help students and teachers learn how the new tests are compiled and scored, provide resources for teachers to use for student success, and provide the accompanying, appropriate professional development,” she said. “At Mineral Wells ISD we will not be satisfied until each and every child is successful on this new round of state assessments.”
Of the 40 percent of MWISD students that took the SAT or ACT exam, the average scores were 1387 for the SAT (the state average is 1422) and 21.7 for the ACT (state average is 20.5). According to these and other statistics, 50 percent of MWISD students were considered “college ready” at graduation.
On the positive side, Mineral Wells High School experienced a dropout rate of under 3 percent. Also Ruelas said he was pleased to see that students, for the most part, were performing at the same level across the board, regardless of race or demographic.
“That’s a positive,” he said. “It basically shows there isn’t one subgroup that’s being taught better than the other.”
For the full TAPR results for MWISD, visit http://ritter.tea.state.tx.us/perfreport/tapr/2013/static/district/d182903.pdf.
In other business, the School Board:
• Heard a spotlight presentation from Mineral Wells High School highlighting the technology department. MWHS Principal Jon Almeida, teachers Donna Parker, DeeAnn Hampton and Peggy Harvey and senior Damon Campbell all spoke to the effectiveness and impact of the new program. Campbell said the skills he learned in computer science classes have helped him secure a job as a computer technician at a PC repair shop.
• Presented their Partners in Education award for December to American Legion Post 75, honoring them for their service and role in the annual Veterans Day Program held at Ram Stadium. MWISD Public Relations Coordinator Karyn Bullock recognized Program Coordinator and American Legion Auxiliary State Finance Chair Linda Horton-Turk, American Legion Riders Director for Post 75 Eddie Pierce and his wife Linda, Program Chair Judge Jerry Ray and Music Director Mike Brooks.
• Approved a financial advisory agreement with FirstSouthwest for the newly approved school bond.
• Appointed Paul Presson as the Owner’s Representative for Bonded Construction.
• Approved First Amendment to the School Resource Officer Program between the City of Mineral Wells and MWISD. This involves a full-time police officer for the schools at the city’s expense.
• Approved Mineral Wells Police Department/MWISD Memorandum of Understanding for Enhanced School Resource Officer.
• Appointed Scott Elder to the Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone No. 2 Board of Directors.
• Approved MWHS 50 Year Club’s property request to give back the old high school campus with a few exception because they could no longer take care of it.
• Approved a resolution electing John Hinton for the Parker County Appraisal District Board of Directors.
• Approved a resolution to split votes evenly among candidates for the Palo Pinto County Appraisal District Board of Directors.
• Heard the Highly Qualified Teacher Report from Assistant Superintendent of Student Services/Human Resources Jay Walsworth. According to the report, 100 percent of MWISD teachers are highly qualified.
• Heard the Fall Semester Athletic Department Report from MWISD Athletic Director Chuck Lawrence.
• Heard the First Semester Technology Report from Director of Technology Greg Bird.
• Voted to recommend Wendy Boswell for a new special education teacher job during a closed session.