‘Exemplary’ early TAKS scores cheer RISD officials

Eighth, fifth grades show strides in state assessment
By MIKE BROWN Reporter Editor

So far so good. No, make that “so far, so very good.”

Rockdale ISD officials are elated about preliminary fifth-grade and eighth-grade TAKS results, the first inkling of how those important scores may affect the district’s 2010 ratings in August.

Supt. Dr. Howell Wright said both eighth-grade math and reading scores are in the “exemplary” range, as is fifth-grade math, while fifthgrade reading is in the “recognized” range.

Dr. Wright emphasized the scores are preliminary, noting some fine tuning will still occur, determining which school district gets to count students who moved between districts last year.

But the numbers could also actually tick upwards since the district gets to count scores in one subsequent TAKS test for which results have not been received.

Exemplary scores

“Now, this isn’t to say we’re sure all, or any, of our campuses are headed for exemplary ratings in August, based on these scores,” Dr. Wright said.

Many more test scores, and other factors including sub-group TAKS performance and dropout rate, are also considered in TEA rankings.

“But we’re very proud to get these preliminary scores which show what we’re doing is working and getting results,” Dr. Wright said.

He’s especially pleased with the eighth-grade math scores. “I just attended a conference in Dallas with many other superintendents from across the state,” Dr. Wright said.

“They’ve also got their preliminary scores and it seemed like most of those districts’ eighth-grade math scores were in the 70s. Ours were in the 90s,” he said.

TAKS strategies

“I’m not saying we’re surprised at these scores because we felt like our teachers and principals had a good grasp of TAKS strate- gies and were doing an excellent job,” he said.

“We view these results as evidence we’re on the right track,” he said.

“And that doesn’t just apply to TAKS,” he added. “We’re doing a lot more than teaching the TAKS test.”

Dr. Wright said more TAKS results, including the first scores from the high school campus, will be received later this month.

Last August the Rockdale ISD got its highest TEA rankings in seven years with the high school and elementary earning recognized status, while the juniorhigh and the district as a whole were rated acceptable.

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