Blanco ISD’s District Site-Based Decision Committee met on Monday to assess the district in regards to Community and Student Engagement.
“We had a good meeting,” said Superintendent Dr. Buck Ford.
The topic came about as part of the requirements of House Bill 5, which was passed by the 83rd Legislature and signed by the governor in June 2013. The new law made significant changes to public school curriculum, assessment, and accountability.
In addition, the law required each district and each campus to conduct a self-evaluation and rate itself in regards to community and student engagement. These ratings must be reported to TEA annually, and by August 8 must be made publicly available.
“This came about because legislators were hearing from parents, students, teachers, administrators, local business groups, school boards, and others that there was an over-emphasis on standardized testing,” said Ford.
“They weren’t asking for the elimination of standardized testing, just reducing the over-emphasis. They felt that test scores don’t provide a comprehensive view of all that students are learning and achieving.”
The new law stipulates nine areas of evaluation:
-Wellness and Physical Education
-Community and Parental Involvement
-The second language acquisition program
-The digital learning environment
-Dropout prevention strategies
-Educational programs for the gifted and talented students
-Compliance with statutory reporting and policy requirements
Eight of these categories are to be assessed on a rating system of Exemplary, Recognized, Acceptable, and Unacceptable. The compliance category is assessed on a “Yes/No” basis. An “Overall” rating is also reported.
“We were able to identify our strengths, and we were also able to identify where we need to improve.” said Ford.
“We intend to use this evaluation to improve on these areas of community and student engagement.”
Individual campuses will conduct their own assessments at some point during the spring.
District and campus ratings will be presented and released at a future board meeting, said Ford.