2013-04-25 / School

Superintendent’s Corner

Frances M. McArthur, PhD.,
Superintendent of Schools, Lexington ISD

It is hard to believe we have only six weeks of school left. The year has flown by as we have seen many wonderful accomplishments of our students. Last week our girls’ softball team secured their place in the playoffs. Congratulations to Coach Bradford and our student athletes who have worked so hard for this honor.

Also last week, I had the privilege of hearing our LHS Eagle band play at the UIL competition in Caldwell. I was very proud of Ms. Mosby and our LHS band. They may not have earned the coveted “one” they hoped for, but their music sounded lovely, and our students had a poise and confident humility that shone more brightly than that of any other team present. I was very proud to be their superintendent.

Last Friday afternoon we received the Reading and Math scores for the first-time administration of the 5th and 8th grade state assessments. If students did not pass these tests, then they will have two more testing opportunities before their scores are finalized. I know our schools worked very hard to help our students do well on this administration, and our teachers are providing small group interventions to help close any gaps those students that didn’t quite pass need to close before the next administration in May. Our passing rates will only improve with the additional instruction and testing opportunities for these students. For those who are wondering why there are several administrations at these grade levels, it’s important to note that 5th and 8th grade Reading and Math are the grade levels of the state testing system in which a student gets three testing opportunities to pass in order to be considered for advancement to the next grade level. If a student does not pass in the three opportunities given, then a Grade Placement committee will consider whether they are promoted to the next grade level or not. In 5th grade Reading, our passing percentage was 83%. In 5th grade Math, the percentage was 71%. In 8th grade Reading, the passing percentage was 93% and in 8th grade Math, the passing percentage was 81%. The 8th grade Math score can seem deceptively low because tucked into the high school scores will be the passing scores of our 8th grade honor students who are currently enrolled in Algebra I.

This week, we continue the TAKS testing of our juniors and seniors in reading, math, science, and social studies, and STAAR testing of our 3rd - 10th grade students. I want to thank all of our teachers for their hard work in preparing our students. I also want to thank them for giving up so many of their Sunday afternoons trying to find different ways to teach the same material so that not a single student is left behind, for holding our students to high standards, and for drying their tears when they suffer from test anxiety. Next week is Teacher Appreciation Week, and I encourage all of our Lexington community to thank our teachers and teacher/coaches who serve our children with skill, honor and character each and every day.

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