Carroll school district officials say they've spotted a problem with data they have received about the SAT test. Administrators are blaming a coding error for stats that show 104 fewer Carroll students took the exam this year than in 2008. Counselors dispute the figures, saying the information is inaccurate, according to district newsletter.
Officials plan to work with The College Board "to resolve questions about a drop in the percentage of test takers in the Class of 2009."
Scores for students in the Southlake-based school district are up, though. Carroll students increased 12 points on the exam. The composite score for Carroll students showed an increase from 1664 in 2008 to 1676, district officials said.
That weather Thursday night was something. There were 350 lightning strikes between 7 and 8 p.m. yesterday, including one that hit a pregnant Bedford woman. So the kickoff to many high school football seasons was delayed. Three Fort Worth games that were canceled will be played at 7 p.m. Saturday. Click here for more details.
Arlington school trustees voted 4-3 about 11 p.m. Thursday night to include in their 2009-2010 budget a one-time payment of two percent of salaries for about half of district employees.
The board had struggled with whether to extend a state mandated pay increase for teachers, librarians, counselors, speech pathologists and nurses to other employees. Those groups, which make up about 4,000 of the district's 8,000 employees, got a pay raise of 2.8 percent because school funding legislation required it.
Giving the one-time payment to the employees not included in the mandated raises will cost the district $1.6 million this year. That addition brought the deficit in the district's 2009-2010 operating budget to $12,073,882. That money will come from district reserves.
Trustee Aaron Reich (at left) suggested the one-time payment, saying he didn't think it was the right time to add more raises to the budget.
Trustees Gloria Pena, Wayne Ogle, Peter Baron and Reich voted for the one-time payment. Trustees JimAsh, Mike O'Donnell and Bowie Hogg voted against it.
Ash (at right) had recommended that the trustees stop adding expenditures to this year's budget. He noted that state funding increases expected in 2010-2011 would bring the district enough money to have a balanced budget in 2010-2011 if the shortfall this year was held to about $10.5 million.
Arlington's operating budget for 2009-2010 includes $438,635,549 in expenditures. Ogle was the only trustee to vote against the full budget. He had advocated adding an increase to first-year teacher salaries to the budget. That suggestion failed to win board approval.
On the social networking and multimedia front, Northwest school district has launched a Facebook page, with the first post on August 18. Right now, they have exactly two fans. Posts include photos from the first day of school on Tuesday and the recent teacher convocation. Yesterday, Superintendent Karen G. Rue posted a back-to-school video greeting. Check it out; it is only 13 seconds.
Over on Northwest's Twitter page, the district has started posting videos using the Twiddeo application. And plans are to start podcasting soon. This is all in addition to video reports on the district's video-on-demand feature called The Net, Northwest Educational Television. The Net is a partnership between the district's communications office and students in the Academy of Media Arts and Technology, which opened this year at Northwest High School.
We noted earlier that a Carroll teacher is a finalist for Texas Secondary Teacher of the Year. Keeley Lowery, a biology teacher at Carroll High School, has seven personal rules for being an outstanding teacher, the school district says. Here they are:
Rule 1— Make it significant. “It is my goal to make my students see how biology is all around them in their world today.” Rule 2 — Make the kids laugh. “I deeply believe that if you make them laugh, you get their attention and they will learn.” Rule 3 — Make learning fun. “Do whatever you can to make learning the concepts as much fun as possible.” Rule 4 — Have high expectations. “I have learned that children will rise to whatever expectations you set for them.” Rule 5 — Always try new things. Trying new things “keeps the curriculum current as well as challenging for the teacher.” Rule 6 — Be sure to share. “The benefits of sharing are immeasurable because when you share, even more students will benefit in the long run.” Rule 7 — Remember that it is about the relationships more than anything else. “The kids can tell if you enjoy what you do, and they can also tell if you enjoy them."
Teachers, weigh in. Do you have a teaching philosophy or guidelines that you follow to help you deliver your best each school day? Share ideas here or e-mail them.
Early in Keeley Lowery's teaching career, she saw herself a superhero Mighty Mouse "waiting for another summons to change the world." She later decided that was unrealistic. But she still wanted to make an impact.
Her skills in the classroom are being recognized. A biology teacher at Carroll High School in Southlake, Lowery is one of three finalists for Texas Secondary Teacher of the Year, the Texas Education Agency announced Tuesday. Three other teachers are vying for Elementary Teacher of the Year honors. Winners will be announced Oct. 30 in Austin and one will represent Texas for National Teacher of the Year.
The other secondary finalists are David Bolster of North East schools in San Antonio and Yushica T. Walker of El Paso schools.
Texas students scored slightly higher than last year on the math portion of the SAT, but the state’s average scores in math, critical reading and writing fell below the national numbers, according to numbers released by the Texas Education Agency Tuesday.
The test, was taken by 1.5 million class of 2009 students nationwide and 141,733 public and private school seniors in Texas. Texas had 137,024 graduating seniors took the test last year. Texas students’ mean score in math was 506, a one point increase from 2008. The critical reading mean score was 486 and writing was 475 – a two point and five point drop, respectively.
Nationally, the mean score was 515 for math, 501 for critical reading and 493 for writing. Scores nationally stayed the same in math and lost one point from 2008 in critical reading and writing.
The maximum score on the sections is 800.
The number of public school students taking the test in Texas,112,485, was down by about 4,000 from the previous year.
The TEA said a couple of factors could account for Texas students’ “mixed results.” They pointed out that a smaller number of students are taking the test more than once and that last year’s testing period occurred during the H1N1 flu outbreak. That outbreak closed down about 40 SAT testing sites in Texas, the state said.
Here's another postcard from Micayla Brown, who is in Italy with about 100 other teen athletes from the area with Fort Worth Sister Cities International. They are at the international youth Olympiade. Click here for videos from the event. Micayla, a Paschal High student, is on the soccer team.
USA played Reggio Emilia today (Monday) for just a friendly relaxed scrimmage. Our team strategy was mainly to possess the ball and keep control of the game intensity. Reggio came out with the same motives as we did because we wanted to play smart before the big championship game tomorrow. The first half was great! We had clean passes and good ball control. The half ended in 0-0. The second half we still played our game moving the ball around waiting for an opportunity to score. Madison Wolfe scored a swift shot in the lower front post assisted by Micayla Brown. The game ended with another USA victory, and we are pumped for the championship game for the gold!