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How do McLennan County public high schools

measure up? By Kathleen McKinney

What is the best way to measure a child’s learning? While that question may never have a definitive answer, parents, educators and administrators continue to debate the methods of evaluating education. Some favor standardized testing; others are adamantly against it. Although standardized test scores are only one measure of student achievement, the fact remains that they have become very important in assessing student learning. The No Child Left Behind Act requires all states to have a state-testing program. Public schools must demonstrate evidence of “adequate yearly progress” toward meeting state learning standards for all groups of students. Schools that meet or exceed these objectives will be eligible for state academic achievement awards. Schools that do not comply risk losing federal Title I funding. Students in failing schools have the right to transfer to a better-performing school in the district and obtain supplemental services, such as remedial classes and tutoring. In 2002, the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) replaced the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills (TAAS). TAKS is based on the state-mandated curriculum, the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS). With a focus more on content than method, the TAKS test was created as a more accurate measure of learning. TAKS examines whether students in grades 3 through 11 have mastered the state’s learning standards in reading, English language arts, math, social studies and science. In 2004–2005, the Texas Education Agency also put into practice a new accountability system based on TAKS scores, dropout rates and school completion rates. Other factors weigh into the accountability rating, including how student subgroups perform and whether or not the school has shown improvement. Schools are rated as exemplary, recognized, academically acceptable or academically unacceptable. Following is a statistical snapshot of 20 public high schools in McLennan County. It covers everything from test scores to demographics. We’ve also included the numbers for the average public high school in Texas to see how Waco schools compare statewide. While the results for the 2009-2010 school year show that a few schools have improved, the majority of Waco-area schools have simply maintained their accountability ratings. Four McLennan County high schools were deemed exemplary: Crawford High School, Harmony Science Academy, Meyer Public High School of Rapoport Academy and Robinson High School. This is the second consecutive exemplary rating for Crawford High School and Rapoport Academy’s high school. Also in 2009-2010, 10 schools were rated as recognized: Axtell High School, Bosqueville Secondary School, BrucevilleEddy High School, China Spring High School, Lorena High School, Mart High School, McGregor High School, Midway High School, Riesel High School and West High School. Overall, five schools improved their accountability ratings, and 12 stayed the same. Only three schools saw their ratings drop: A.J. Moore dropped from recognized to academically acceptable, and Bosqueville Secondary School and China Spring High School dropped from exemplary to recognized. In McLennan County, only Waco High School remains academically unacceptable. While statistics can be an indicator of a school’s performance, they don’t tell everything that is happening in a particular classroom. A visit to the school is necessary to understand the complete learning environment.

Jan 2011 } Wacoan.com 87


Principal: Sam Sexton 254/799-4951; www.lavegaisd.org

LA VEGA HIGH SCHOOL

Principal: Erol Kose 254/751-7878; www.hsawaco.org

HARMONY SCIENCE ACADEMY

Principal: Don Harris 254/486-2381; www.crawfordisd.net

CRAWFORD HIGH SCHOOL

Superintendent: Frances Penland 254/296-6700; www.connally.org

CONNALLY HIGH SCHOOL

Principal: Mike Compton 254/836-1771; www.chinaspringisd.net

CHINA SPRING HIGH SCHOOL

Principal: Chris Gibbs 254/859-5848; www.beisd.net

BRUCEVILLE-EDDY HIGH SCHOOL

Principal: Anton Hrebec 254/752-8513; www.bosqueville.k12.tx.us

BOSQUEVILLE SECONDARY SCHOOL

Principal: Dale Monsey 254/863-5301; www.axtellisd.net

AXTELL HIGH SCHOOL

Principal: Angela Reiher 254/753-6486; www.wacoisd.org

A.J. MOORE ACADEMY

WACO-AREA HIGH SCHOOL TAKS RESULTS School type

Public, 9-12

Public, 9-12

Public, 6-12

Public, 9-12

Public, 9-12

Public, 9-12

Public, 7-12

Public, K-10

Public, 9-12

TAKS-based state rating

Acceptable

Recognized

Recognized

Recognized

Recognized

Acceptable

Exemplary

Exemplary

Acceptable

2010 TAKS met standard all tests

65%

81%

82%

81%

87%

60%

91%

89%

50%

9th grade math

59%

79%

90%

84%

88%

55%

90%

99%

50%

9th grade reading

92%

95%

99%

99%

98%

88%

98%

99%

82%

10th grade math

77%

87%

79%

86%

92%

68%

88%

99%

61%

10th grade science

72%

87%

74%

78%

84%

58%

93%

99%

52%

10th grade English language arts

93%

96%

89%

95%

97%

84%

98%

92%

83%

10th grade social studies

94%

98%

94%

93%

98%

89%

99%

99%

83%

11th grade math

87%

95%

94%

95%

99%

88%

99%

N/A

80%

11th grade science

88%

98%

97%

91%

99%

90%

99%

N/A

76%

11th grade English language arts

89%

98%

97%

95%

97%

90%

98%

N/A

88%

11th grade social studies

99%

99%

99%

95%

99%

97%

99%

N/A

97%

Total students

657

207

295

233

643

655

321

433

777

African-American

29.5%

3.4%

6.4%

2.6%

3.4%

27.6%

<1%

8.8%

32.8%

Native American

<1%

0

1%

0

<1%

<1%

1.2%

1.2%

<1%

Asian/Pacific Islander

<1%

<1%

<1%

0

<1%

<1%

<1%

2.5%

<1%

Hispanic

55.3%

10.6%

18.3%

21.9%

11.5%

24.1%

7.5%

53.8%

41.3%

White

14.3%

85.5%

73.6%

75.5%

83.4%

46.7%

90%

33.7%

25.1%

Economically disadvantaged

84.3%

44.9%

34.6%

43.3%

18.7%

60%

15.9%

70%

74.9%

Special education

17.4%

12.6%

11.2%

20.6%

10.7%

18.9%

7.5%

2.5%

11.8%

Gifted and talented

14.2%

7.2%

5.8%

19.3%

4.2%

6.4%

4%

9%

3.1%

Limited English proficient

6.8%

0

0

<1%

<1%

1.8%

0

<1%

7.1%

Attendance rate

95.3%

96.8%

96.7%

95.6%

95.7%

96.3%

96.7%

96.8%

91.9%

Average class size

21.4

14.8

14.4

11.9

17.7

15.6

15.9

17.8

19.3

Number of students per teacher

13.1

9

11

7.4

14.2

13

11.9

14.9

16

First-year teachers

11.6%

5.1%

0

9.5%

1.6%

7.9%

3.7%

34.4%

11.1%

Average years teaching

9.2

15.4

17.1

13.3

15.8

14.9

17.3

2

12.3

Students taking SAT/ACT

66.4%

69.7%

52.9%

36.7%

65.8%

43%

64.9%

N/A

61.7%

Mean SAT score

849

994

1040

956

1097

1018

990

N/A

862

Mean ACT score

17.9

21.6

21.1

21.6

21.5

22.5

21.2

N/A

17.5

Completion rate

98.3%

100%

100%

N/A

100%

95.7%

100%

N/A

84.7%

Dropout rate

1.1%

0.5%

0

0

0.1%

1.2%

0.5%

0

1.7%

Graduated

89.5%

100%

100%

N/A

100%

90.6%

97.4%

N/A

75.2%

Mobility rate

14.5%

14.2%

8.9%

18%

15.5%

21.6%

8.2%

16.4%

22.4%

Total operating expenses per student

$8,141

$14,569

$8,109

$10,292

$6,199

$7,444

$7,524

$7,071

$5,800

School data and TAKS scores are for the 2009-2010 school year, courtesy of the Texas Education Agencyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s


STATE AVERAGE FOR TEXAS PUBLIC HIGH SCHOOLS

Principal: Wayne Leek 254/826-7510; www.westisd.net

WEST HIGH SCHOOL

Principal: Clarence Simmons 254/776-1150; www.wacoisd.org

WACO HIGH SCHOOL

Principal: Nolan Correa 254/756-1843; www.wacoisd.org

UNIVERSITY HIGH SCHOOL

Principal: Jeanie Johnson 254/662-3840; www.robinson.k12.tx.us

ROBINSON HIGH SCHOOL

Principal: Stephen English 254/896-3171; www.rieselisd.org

RIESEL SCHOOL

Superintendent: Nancy Grayson 254/754-2288; www.rapoportacademy.org

RAPOPORT ACADEMY

Principal: John McNamara III 254/853-3622; www.moodyisd.org

MOODY HIGH SCHOOL

Principal: Chris Allen 254/761-5650; www.midwayisd.org

MIDWAY HIGH SCHOOL

Principal: Herb Cox 254/840-2853; www.mcgregor-isd.org

McGREGOR HIGH SCHOOL

Principal: LouAnn Wolf 254/876-2574; www.martisd.org

MART HIGH SCHOOL

Co-principals: Rusty Grimm & Sam Holland 254/857-4604; www.lorenaisd.net

LORENA HIGH SCHOOL

Public, 9-12

Public, 9-12

Public, 9-12

Public, 9-12

Public, 9-12

Public, 9-12

Public, 7-12

Public, 9-12

Public, 9-12

Public, 9-12

Public, 9-12

N/A

Recognized

Recognized

Recognized

Recognized

Acceptable

Exemplary

Recognized

Exemplary

Acceptable

Unacceptable

Recognized

N/A

85%

81%

75%

83%

53%

85%

79%

82%

58%

54%

76%

77%

86%

69%

79%

78%

51%

95%

88%

81%

56%

51%

76%

72%

98%

96%

93%

97%

86%

99%

98%

97%

89%

84%

93%

92%

83%

78%

70%

86%

51%

69%

84%

93%

65%

59%

77%

75%

89%

83%

75%

89%

58%

69%

86%

84%

61%

60%

82%

75%

95%

97%

94%

96%

76%

85%

86%

92%

89%

86%

97%

91%

95%

92%

94%

98%

81%

99%

98%

96%

97%

90%

95%

93%

97%

99%

86%

94%

81%

96%

94%

94%

79%

79%

96%

89%

97%

98%

90%

97%

88%

99%

97%

97%

82%

80%

95%

92%

95%

99%

94%

96%

94%

96%

97%

91%

90%

91%

95%

93%

99%

99%

97%

99%

99%

99%

99%

99%

95%

96%

99%

98%

464

182

340

1,961

196

89

305

671

1,294

1,628

467

N/A

1.3%

20.9%

9.1%

12.3%

5.6%

31.5%

3.3%

4.6%

26.7%

44.6%

3%

14%

<1%

0

1.5%

<1%

1%

0

<1%

<1%

<1%

<1%

<1%

0.4%

1.1%

0

0

3.5%

0

1.1%

0

<1%

<1%

<1%

0

3.7%

10.8%

6.6%

44.4%

14.9%

25.5%

15.7%

11.1%

15.6%

66%

38.3%

10.3%

48.6%

86.6%

72.5%

45%

68.7%

67.9%

51.7%

84.9%

79.1%

7%

16.2%

86.3%

33.3%

15.7%

52.2%

58.8%

22.8%

53.1%

60.7%

34.1%

17.3%

87.3%

76.8%

33.4%

59%

14.9%

13.7%

14.7%

10%

18.9%

6.7%

14.4%

13.4%

13.6%

13.9%

10.1%

9%

8.8%

8.8%

11.8%

13.1%

1%

0

8.2%

10%

7.9%

12.1%

7.5%

7.6%

<1%

<1%

3.8%

<1%

<1%

0

1.3%

<1%

7%

5.8%

<1%

16.9%

96.2%

94.9%

95.4%

95.7%

95.8%

96.1%

96.6%

95.9%

93.2%

86.9%

96.2%

95.6%

16.5

13.6

14.5

21.9

12.2

8.8

15.9

13.8

23.7

19.9

14.8

19

12.8

9.2

8.8

14.3

9.3

5.6

12.6

11.8

15.4

12.5

10.9

14.5

5.9%

5.1%

0

0

0

32.7%

4.1%

2.4%

4.8%

10.8%

2.3%

6%

14.6

10.7

18.9

14.5

10.7

6.7

15.7

14.2

13.1

9.6

12.8

11.3

77.8%

44.1%

30%

57.4%

45%

N/A

60.7%

67.6%

55.2%

49.4%

49.5%

1038

887

N/A

1107

1054

N/A

1023

1132

835

880

967

985

22.3

20.4

21.4

23.4

19

N/A

20.6

22.3

16.5

17.9

21.1

20.5

98.9%

97.6%

96.2%

97.5%

91.5%

N/A

96.9%

98.8%

82.5%

72.5%

96.2%

89.2%

0.4%

0

0.3%

0.6%

1.7%

0

0

0.1%

4%

8.5%

0.6%

2.9%

98.9%

97.6%

91%

93.7%

89.4%

N/A

96.9%

98.8%

71.2%

64.4%

93.3%

80.6%

10.1%

12.6%

14.2%

13.9%

21.5%

22.7%

14.8%

12.5%

20.8%

29.6%

13.2%

N/A

$6,454

$12,135

$9,532

$6,943

$9,560

$6,976

$8,626

$7,197

$6,874

$6,207

$8,484

$8,572

Academic Excellence Indicator System reports. Student demographics and attendance, graduation and dropout rates are from the 2008-2009 school year.

61.5%


TAKS: How Do McLennan County Public High Schools Measure Up?