As reported in The Lewisville Texan Journal last week, Lewisville ISD's board of trustees recently approved an expense of up to $48,250 to re-score STAAR exam short-answers. The district had discovered a disproportionate number of student STAAR EOC results came back with zero scores even though the same students had scored well on other written portions of the test.
When the district sent a sample of 162 student exams back for rescoring, 13 percent of them came back with improved scores.
Lewisville ISD Superintendent Dr. Kevin Rogers sent a strongly-worded letter to the Texas Education Agency requesting that TEA allow districts to view student answers and the questions they were given. The district also requested that TEA pay for the rescoring.
Late Friday afternoon, Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath responded to Lewisville ISD and other concerned districts with the following letter, which does not address TEA paying for any rescoring, and denies the district's request to be provided with the student answers and questions:
SUBJECT: Response to District Inquiries Regarding the 2015 STAAR EOC English I and English II Tests
The purpose of this email is to provide districts with a response to inquiries regarding the scoring of students’ short-answer written responses on the December 2015 State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR®) end-of-course (EOC) English I and English II tests.
The Texas Education Agency (TEA) will not be able to provide districts with electronic images of students’ short-answer written responses. A contractual agreement with an author for one of the passages and plans to reuse at least one of the passages on a future test form will not permit a statewide release. However, TEA is providing an opportunity for the superintendent or the superintendent’s designee(s) to view students’ English I and/or English II short-answer written responses. Images of students’ short-answer responses, associated scoring guides, and rubrics, along with copies of the passages used by students when completing the test(s), will be made available for viewing, per the procedures below.
District personnel who wish to view students’ responses should call TEA’s Student Assessment Division to schedule an appointment in Austin. Appointments may be scheduled between Monday, May 2, 2016, and Thursday, May 26, 2016. For information about appointments, as well as security protocols, contact the Student Assessment Division at 512-463-9536.
Rescore requests that are received by May 10, 2016, for students who are planning to graduate in spring 2016, and who did not pass the December 2015 English I or English II assessments, will be prioritized. ETS will report the results of December 2015 rescore requests for these students by May 20, 2016. All other rescore requests will be reported in July.
For questions concerning information in this email, please contact the Student Assessment Division at 512-463-9536 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mike Morath Commissioner of Education
The letter does give LISD and other districts some small hope, in that they can send a person to Austin to view student answers and the reading passage in question, which could allow some reduction in expense by helping the district more accurately choose which students' answers to rescore.
We have reached out to Lewisville ISD for comment, but were unable to reach them prior to press time.
We will update this post as we learn more about what this response means for the district.
ARLINGTON— Ozone season, like warmer weather, is upon us. As the temperature rises, air quality generally worsens, so it is important for residents to do their part to lessen emissions in the spring and summer.
Beginning May 2, more attention will be brought to the issue of clean air with the celebration of Air Quality Awareness Week. While the week will spotlight the importance of clean air nationwide, in Dallas-Fort Worth, where ten counties are in violation of federal ozone standards, air quality is a focal point every day. And improving it requires assistance from everyone.
North Central Texas Council of Governments operates several programs to give residents the tools to contribute. One is Air North Texas, a regional partnership and campaign encouraging individuals, businesses and governments in North Texas to make clean air choices by promoting behavioral and lifestyle changes that impact their health and the environment.
Participation in Air North Texas is just one way people who call the Dallas-Fort Worth area home can help their neighbors breathe easier during ozone season, which lasts through October. By committing to at least one action to improve the air quality and health in North Texas, anyone – young or old – can help bring the region toward attainment. Residents can also join in on the change by participating in events such as Clean Air Action Day, designated to encourage people to make environmentally friendly choices that could lead to a healthier North Texas. On the first Friday of summer, June 24, commit to clean air actions and share how you will lend a hand with our community.
The following are a few ways residents and employers can participate: · Use mass transit like Dallas Area Rapid Transit, the Fort Worth Transportation Authority or Denton County Transportation Authority. · Carpool or vanpool. · Limit or avoid idling. · Bicycle or walk instead of driving. · Report smoking vehicles. · Take lunch to work instead of going out to eat.
Signing up for Ozone Action Day alerts is another way to get involved and be a part of the solution. These alerts provide information about when the region's air quality may be unhealthy. When unhealthy air quality is forecast, an email will be sent in advance with tips to improve air quality and limit time spent outdoors. Residents can sign up through AirNorthTexas.org.
Other programs that promote air quality are listed below:
DENTON— The North Texas Boulevard bridge across Interstate 35E is set to be demolished this weekend. Traffic across the bridge will be permanently severed at 8 p.m. Friday, April 29. Crews will demolish the bridge between 10 p.m. Friday, April 29 and 6 a.m. Monday, May 2. The bridge will be reopened with one lane in each direction and one turn lane this summer.
The following closures will be in place during the demolition:
Entrance and exit ramps: The northbound entrance ramp from Fort Worth Drive The northbound exit ramp to McCormick Street The northbound entrance ramp from McCormick Street The southbound exit ramp to McCormick Street
Local streets: The southbound I-35E frontage road at Bonnie Brae Street North Texas Boulevard at Eagle Drive North Texas Boulevard at Highland Park Road Kendolph Drive at Underwood Street Avenue C at the northbound frontage road Kendolph Street, Avenue C and Collier Street will be closed to through at Eagle Drive and closed at the northbound frontage road
The Denton County Transportation Authority is collaborating with city partners to conduct a full-scale, mock disaster drill on Sunday, May 1 at 9 a.m. at Railroad Street and Bennett Lane. The exercise will simulate a DCTA A-train incident occurring in Lewisville with corresponding responses by city, medical, police, fire and DCTA contractors, resources and personnel. All organizations participating in the mock disaster drill include: DCTA, City of Lewisville, Medical Center of Lewisville, Lewisville Fire and Police departments, and the Flower Mound Fire department.
DCTA is required to conduct a full-scale mock disaster drill once every two years to meet Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) regulations since the agency operates a commuter rail line. This exercise is designed to establish a learning environment for all participating organizations to practice emergency response plans, policies and procedures. Key objectives that will be evaluated during the mock disaster drill include:
· Operational Communications · Operational Coordination · Environmental Control · Public Health and Medical Services · On-scene Security and Protection