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2012-11-08 digital edition

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2012-11-08 / School

Superintendent’s Corner

Frances M. McArthur, Ph.D.
Superintendent of Schools
Lexington Independent School District

Over the last year our high school staff has been working hard at educating students about the new End of Course (EOC) exams, which are the high school piece of the State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness (STAAR). A total of 12 EOC assessments have replaced grade-specific tests for students in tenth grade and below. These exams are much more rigorous than the previous TAKS tests and are aligned to ensure students are college and career ready. What has received the most attention in the news is that during the 81st Legislative Session, leaders in the senate told the Texas Education Agency that the scores of these examinations must count as 15% of a student’s final grade for the course. After public outcry last spring, education leaders in the Senate told the Texas Education Agency that districts could request a deferment for the 15 % requirement for last year only. Lexington ISD applied for that deferment because we felt it was in the best interest of our students. Unfortunately, the deferment was only good for one year. While we have been told that this provision of the law is one of the first things that will be addressed during the next legislative session this January, as the law stands, ninth and tenth grade students final course grade will be calculated with the end of course exam computed into their final course grade. Teaching in Lexington schools is not driven by a test, but it is critically important that students and parents understand the high stakes nature of these exams and how they will impact their ability to graduate from high school, as well as their grade for their high school course.

Congratulations to our high school volleyball and football players who have both won the title of “District Champs”. I am proud of our students and our coaches who are not only successful athletically, but most importantly are examples of good manners and strong character. When I see our students reach down to help an opponent up whom they just tackled, or take a knee rather than run up the score, I understand why I am continually congratulated for the character of our students and our coaches.

I would like to extend an invitation to the entire Lexington community to join us as we acknowledge the sacrifice made by our Veterans, and thank them for our freedom at our Veterans Day Program Friday at 10:00am at Eagle stadium. I am looking forward to seeing many of you there.

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