Katy school separates races for TAKS
March 29, 2007
It makes more sense to deal with students one-on-one and not by color. When testing pushes schools into targeting students by race, it's a great concern.The Massachusetts-based center was founded in the mid-1980s by leaders of groups that promote racial equality and student advocacy. The goal is to monitor educational practices and promote better forms of testing.
The sessions at the school were for ninth- and 10th-grade students at risk of failing the TAKS. The first session, for black students, was held before spring break. After the break, sessions were held for Hispanic and white students.
Administrators say they thought targeted intervention would be an advantage to at-risk students. The step was taken in a "positive light," school district spokesman Steve Stanford said.
Stanford said the students were separated by ethnicity because it coincides with the way the state reports achievement. The state reporting is broken down by ethnicity, poverty levels and by enrollment in special education programs, etc.
They are looking at how well we do with each subset. The principal thought it would help the students succeed, not just on the TAKS, but also overall in their education.TEA spokeswoman Debbie Ratcliffe said she does not support segregated assemblies. Ratcliffe said Katy ISD officials told her that the message of the talks was largely the same for all students. She said that while the state does not regulate school assemblies and the school district did not violate any rules, the state does not encourage separating pupils by ethnicity for TAKS preparation.
We want schools to work with students who are struggling to improve performance, but we certainly think there are better ways to accomplish this. In hindsight they (school administrators) realize it was not the best approach.Stanford said he was not sure whether the school will try the same approach next year.
Schaeffer said mounting pressure from the federal government on the No Child Left Behind mandate encourages schools to look at students less as individuals but more as special groups by race, poverty levels and special needs. Under that mandate, all groups must show continuous improvement. He said:
This fixation on test scores lead schools into practices that are not educationally sound.You can check out the ethnic profile and academic rankings for Mayde Creek and other Katy ISD campuses by going to the TEA Web site <http://www.tea.state.tx.us/> and clicking on the 2006 Academic Excellence Indicator System report. Then click on data resources and research, then click on the Academic Excellence Indicator System. Then click on AIES Reports for 2005-06 and on "campus report" to search campuses by name.
What do you think is the best way to boost scores for underperforming groups on the TAKS? Since schools have to report to the state in subgroups, should they address pupils by the same groups for improvement?
Posted by HelenE at March 30, 2007 11:53 AM
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