Published on Sunday, September 26, 2010 by Ricky Lara
After the Texas Education Agency (TEA) released their annual school ratings, an inaccurate picture was garnered regarding the success of students due to the “unacceptable” rating awarded to BHS.
However, administrators are extremely pleased with the performance of students on the most recent TAKS test.
“Our students blew the top off the test,” principal Diana Werner said. “It was great.”
Other administrators were also pleased with the marked improvement in almost all grade levels, ethnicities and content areas.
“We did better than we did the year before, especially at the 11th grade level,” Dean of Instruction Donna Willett said. “In all four tests, English, Math, Science and Social Studies, over 90% of the students passed.”
Based on the TAKS scores alone, Bryan High earned a recognized status from the state.
TEA ratings, though, are not based solely on testing, but on many other factors including performance by all subgroups and high school completion rates.
“[The unacceptable rating] had to do with the number of non-completers,” Willett said. “It really had nothing to do with testing; it had to do with students who either dropped out or didn’t come back to school if they only needed to pass the TAKS test to graduate.”
The district is now working to ensure that non-completers will not be an issue in the future.
“The community [members] met at Lamar and they went out on buses to find the students who [are listed as non-completers],” Werner said. “It’s called ‘We Miss You’ and they’re encouraging students to come back to school.”
Some students are close to completion and only lack a few elements to earn their diploma.
“We are getting those kids back to school. Some of them need credits and some of them just need to take the TAKS,” Willett said. “So we are having them come to school part of the day and work in really small groups to work on their skills so they can take the TAKS test in October and, hopefully, at that point they can get their diploma.”
Even though the school is already focused on next year’s results, they are still working to change the unacceptable rating from the 2009-2010 school year.
An appeal has been filed with TEA to correct two non-completers’ statuses. This would effectively change the school’s rating to acceptable.
Although the announcement that BHS was labeled as unacceptable was a blow to campus morale, the administration & faculty are still encouraged by the overall student performance on the test.
“It is quite the accomplishment,” Willett said. “Based on test scores, Bryan High School would’ve been recognized.”