Teachers At Risk of Losing Jobs After STAR Scores Fall Short 10/15/13
CBS 7 News
October 15, 2013
Odessa, TX - The jobs of nearly 55 teachers and administrative staff will not be guaranteed next school year after the students at Goliad Elementary scored below average on their testing.
It’s part of a recently passed state law that requires faculty to reapply for their positions as a result of sub par scores. Any school that is low performing for two consecutive years must be reconstituted, meaning all staff members must reapply for their jobs.
“We know they are improving it just takes time,” said Annette Macias the Principal with Goliad Elementary. She says the school has been academically unacceptable for a few years, but under new state accountability mandates the school is now designated as “Required Improvement” (RI), which has the same meaning but different consequences, Macias explained. Such as, by the end of the month administrators and faculty will have to once again interview for their position.
“Everyone has anxiety including myself,” said Macias who also has to reapply. “If you're in it for the right reasons and you're in it for the kids then you're the right person for Goliad.”
Along with changing leadership there will be a change in academics. Goliad will focus its efforts on the two subjects they under performed in: Math and Writing.
The school will focus their efforts on the Hispanic and Economically Disadvantaged student groups (these subgroups had the lowest scores). The trustees unanimously approved this plan Tuesday night.
"We barely missed the mark by 2 to 7 points on each index," Macias said, "This is why I'm optimistic because we keep improving."
“Something needs to be done because obviously the test scores are low for some reason,” said Meshell Roman who is one of many parents concerned for their students’ teachers.
“It's going to be very hard for them especially the ones that have been here for a while,” said Jessica DeLeon, a mother of two Goliad students, “The students are already used to their teacher and it’s a big change.”
Other parent say the consequence is too harsh for a faculty trying to turn a school around.
“It’s kind of a slap in the face especially when they're applying to something that they want to do,” said mother, Angela Leal.
The District voluntarily reconstituted Hood Junior High in Spring 2012 and the state agreed that move was enough but now the curriculum must be reevaluated.
Hood principal Wayne Squires says the change was for the best and is optimistic for Goliad. He presented the Hood Jr. High plan that will focus on Economically Disadvantaged students in writing, science, and social studies.
“The change had its ups and downs but it is very beneficial,” Squires said.
Trustees also unanimously approved it.
Squiers says many students in Goliad Elementary will eventually attend Hood Jr. High.
“We look forward to the end of the year when we come out on top,” Macias said.
Here’s a look at important dates provided by the District as the elementary school is reconstituted.
·October 15 – met with Goliad faculty & staff
·October 17 – meet with Goliad parents
·By October 31 – Interviews for Goliad administrators
·November – Round 1 of Goliad staff interviews
·January 6-17 – Round 2 of Goliad staff interviews
·February 3 – Interview ECISD (non-Goliad) staff who have applied
·February 17 – Interview external candidates
Also at Tuesday’s meeting trustees approved the class size waiver for the Fall Semester.
The state-mandated ratio for these classes is 22-1 and most of our classrooms are either one or two students over that cap.
The district says this increase is driven by the rise in the overall enrollment.