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East Central adopts high-stakes testing resolution
N. KILBEY-SMITH/Reprints at wilsoncountynews.com
During the April 19 board meeting, East Central Independent School District trustee James T. Mulkey (left) and Superintendent Gary Patterson (far right) congratulate (from left) East Central High School powerlifting coach Todd Dorgan and lifters Matt Ritch, Karla Tapia, and Jaelynn Clark, all of whom performed recently in state competition. At state, Karla placed second in Class 5A in the 148-pound class; Jaelynn was the district’s first-ever individual state champion in her division; and Matt captured fifth place in his class.
EAST CENTRAL -- The East Central Independent School District (ISD) has joined more than 240 school districts statewide to adopt a resolution urging the Texas Legislature to “reexamine the public school accountability system ... and to develop a system that encompasses multiple assessments, reflects greater validity, ... and more accurately reflects what students know...” in an effort to move away from high-stakes testing, such as the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) and its predecessor, the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills.
The East Central board of trustees voted unanimously to approve the resolution’s adoption during the board’s April 19 meeting.
“It’s amazing to me that the generation that put man on the moon did so without standardized testing,” board President Steve Bryant said after the vote. “Maybe it’s time we went ‘back to the future’ on this!”
Superintendent Gary Patterson encouraged the board to review a report on the topic, Creating a New Vision for Public Education in Texas, which promotes “a balanced educational environment and much more local board control,” he said.
Area districts which have adopted the resolution include La Vernia, Stockdale, Floresville, Poth, Nixon-Smiley, and Karnes City, among others.
Reflecting the district’s efforts to provide the best education possible, the trustees also unanimously approved a district goal for the 2012-13 academic year. The goal recommended by Patterson is that the district “will provide an exceptional learning environment.” He advised the trustees that district administrators and employees will work to establish criteria for achieving this goal.
In other matters, the trustees approved:
•Hiring Coleman, Horton & Co. LLP as the district’s independent auditor for the annual audit for fiscal year ending Aug. 31, 2012, with an option for a four-year extension of the contract.
•Nonrenewal of the term contract of Christopher Dooley.
•Gym flooring replacement at Harmony Elementary School by Athletic Surfacing Specialists for $30,720.
•Flooring replacement at several district sites. This will include a total of $53,196.51 to Discount Carpet and $84,537 to Green Carpet Co., for a total of $137,733.51.
The trustees tabled a presentation by representatives of the Pecan Valley Golf Course, as they were not present, and a personnel department report, which was not ready for board review.
Also tabled was a 2008 bond expenditure update. Patterson advised that the district, having been a good steward of the funds, still has money left. Administrators are considering the best use of the remaining funds. This and the personnel department report will reappear on a future meeting agenda.
The board withdrew into closed session to discuss a board policy amendment to allow trustees to consult with legal representatives. No action was to be taken, as this was scheduled as a report for discussion only.
In attendance: Board President Steve Bryant; trustees James T. Mulkey, Monique Presas, and Claudia Barrientos; Superintendent Gary Patterson; assistant superintendents Patti Birney and Jim Selby; administration staff Debbie Walker and Joan Milner; district principals and faculty members.
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