2011-05-12 / Community News

From the Superintendent of Schools

Dr. Frances M. McArthur, PhD
Lexington ISD

Our students are gearing up to finish the school year strong before two months of much deserved vacation. At the time of this writing, there are only fifteen days of school left. My first terrific school year at Lexington has flown by. I am looking forward to the many awards ceremonies, band concerts and banquets coming up in the next few weeks.

This week our high school students are participating in fieldtesting for End of Course Exams. The Texas Education Agency is using field tests to help them in the implementation of the state’s new testing system. Next year, Texas public schools will transition away from the TAKS test to the State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness (STAAR) test. The STAAR assessments will be more challenging and will include a new end of course exam component for high school students. Current eighth graders will be the first students who must meet the new end of course testing requirements in order to graduate. The end of course exams are expected to increase the number of tests a student will take during high school and will substantially heighten the rigor of those tests. The STARR tests administered in grades three through eight will be linked to the exit-level exams and also college and career-readiness standards. I firmly believe that college and career readiness needs to begin early on and I have no problem going to a more rigorous testing system. I am, however, very concerned that we are introducing a more arduous series of tests at a time when our resources are being drastically reduced. In order to reduce our budget we are not replacing ten and a half positions that provide direct and indirect support to our students to meet the demands of this more challenging system. Despite the difficulties we face, our Lexington ISD staff is doing everything we can to ensure that our staff is ready for the STARR and that our students will be well prepared next year for these far more arduous exams.

This Saturday the Board of Trustees election will be held from 7:00 am to7:00pm in the Elementary School Library. I encourage you to go and vote for these very important positions. Our trustees face complex challenges and difficult decisions. They spend countless hours evaluating issues and discussing policies that directly impact our schools. Their job is not easy, especially considering our present financial constraints, yet they selflessly commit to leading the district without financial compensation. I am grateful for the countless services these individuals perform and for the passion they so selflessly give.

I want to congratulate our baseball and softball teams who went to the playoffs last week as well as Mackenzie Brown and Kaelan Blok who will be participating in the State Tennis Finals this week. Good luck in Lakeway to Mackenzie and Kaelen. I am sure they will represent Lexington well.

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