Society

Inaugural golf tourney deemed huge success

By ROBERT WESTBROOK

A wesome, overwhelmed, and grateful are but a few of the words that describe my feelings associated with our inaugural scholarship golf tournament. The outpouring of support we received in hosting our scholarship golf tournament was above and beyond what I had anticipated. The number of individuals whom stepped forward to help organize, work, and participate in our inaugural golf tournament left me feeling a bit overwhelmed and deeply appreciative. I feel very blessed to be apart of Milano and the MISD community.

MISD’s next regular school meeting is at 7 p. m. Thursday, May 23, at the high school library. One of the highlights of the meeting will be honoring students in our student spotlight section of the meeting. It has been a banner year for MISD, and the school board believes student achievement is its primar y responsibility. We’re proud of our faculty, staff and students and will be taking time to recognize our students who have qualified for regional and state level competitions this spring.

This spring has been busy and our academic regional qualifiers were Stonie Guthrie, Lindsey Greenwelge, Kristin Polich Kaila Heil, Allyson Steinbecker, and Samantha Waldrep. This was Milano’s first year back in the academic UIL competition after a couple of years of not competing. They did a great job for us and have helped lay a strong foundation moving forward.

We are also going to recognize our regional track and f ield qualifiers, which include Myka Morehead, Emily Overall, Halle McManess, Keely Lagrone, Dominique Messer, Alex Ferrara, Junior Gallardo, Jordan Millar, Efrain Flores, Christian Grimes, Sabian Pugh and Kody Love.

Our state qualifying golf team members include Toby Sanders, Jacob Willingham, Mik Mader, Derek Walton and Tyde Taylor will be recognized as well. Furthermore, double gold medal winner/state champion Dominique Messer will be recognized for his state championships in the triple jump and 400 meter dash.

On the legislative front, Texas has long struggled to attain the right balance between two fundamental components of a successful public education strategy—academic achievement and accountability. The legislature has taken a major step toward creating such a balance, signaling a new day for public education.

After weeks of negotiations, the Senate voted unanimously to adopt an amended House Bill 5, which would bring sweeping changes for curriculum and testing requirements in Texas public schools. The legislation is designed to keep students from dropping out of school, give them more curriculum choices, prepare them better for college-level work, and encourage districts to maintain high academic standards.

Under current law students must pass 15 required exams in order to graduate. HB 5 would reduce that to five tests— one each in Biology, U. S. history, Algebra I and English I and II. Districts will also have the opt ion of giv ing two other end- of-course exams—but only to determine if students are prepared for college, not as a requirement for graduation or use in school or teacher ratings.

The scaled- back test ing requirements will give teachers an opportunity to focus on the basics and instill a fundamental core of knowledge on which other learning is based and relieve some of the pressure on students whose advancement is now tied to their performance on 15 separate tests.

The legislation also gives more f lexibility to students by creating new diploma plans that provide more choices in the pursuit of career training courses. The existing graduation plan requires four years of English, math, science and social studies, while the proposed Senate plan requires four years of English, three years each of math, science and social studies, plus an “endorsement” in a specialized area, such as business and industry; science, technology, engineering, and math; or arts and humanities. Students could also opt to keep the so-called 4X4 requirement of English, math, science and social studies, but with a more rigorous academic format.

Some have charged that these changes represent a retreat from the tougher graduation standards that Texas has required from its students. I disagree. The legislation merely recognizes that not all students are alike, and that we need a curriculum that can handle diversity.

However, these changes do present new challenges. They will require students to think earlier about what they want to do in life, more involvement by parents, and greater support for school counselors who will have to provide a higher level of guidance to students who are making life-altering decisions.

But all in all, the education reforms provided in HB 5 are necessary to improve the way we teach our kids the knowledge and skills they need to compete and thrive in a fast-approaching future. rwestbrook@milanoisd.net


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