LISD Spokesperson Sarah Marcus said that 132 of the answer forms for the 6th grade reading test administered in April of 2012 had gone missing. That number represented approximately 47% of the students enrolled in 6th grade last year at Durham.
Although Texas Education Agency (TEA) had not assigned blame, LISD's internal investigation pointed to a loss by Pearson, the company that holds the monopoly contract on high-stakes testing in Texas. LISD sends completed tests directly to Pearson for grading. Results were not returned to students in a timely manner, because the TEA only finally set the performance standard this January.
LISD's Director of Assessment, Dr. Sarah Fitzhugh said that although the students affected will not receive scores, they will not have to retake any 6th grade tests. Rather, the students will participate in the appropriate assessments based on their grade level and courses for 2013.
You might remember that last year, the Lewisville Texan Journal reported on the district and various campuses in the district missing its Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) targets under the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). In that story, using preliminary TEA data, we reported that Durham had missed AYP based on a lack of participation in reading tests. LISD successfully appealed that ruling, and TEA has now updated its AYP report to indicate that the campus meets AYP.
Campuses that miss AYP two years in a row face certain costly consequences, most notably the requirement to transport students to another campus within the district if they choose. See our previous article for a detailed explanation.
The Lewisville High School Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA) is organizing a family baseball outing for May 3rd as a fundraiser for the organization. Participants will see the Frisco Rough Riders take on the San Antonio Missions. Tickets are $20 and include admission, a limited-edition Rough Riders hat, all-you-can-eat hot dogs, brats, nachos, and Dr. Pepper products.
Dr. Mark Welding, 46, a Highland Village Optometrist, has filed today to run for Place 3 on the Lewisville ISD Board of Trustees. A native of Iowa, Welding has lived in the district for three years, and resided in Texas for the last 19. He has operated a local vision care practice for the last 15 years.
Place 3 is the seat left vacant after Trustee Jeff Knapp moved out of the district and resigned last year. Welding will face Paige Shoven, who is also seeking the seat.
Welding's community service includes the LISD Bond Oversight committee and LISD Student Health Advisory Council, which he chairs.
Welding uses his is the founder of the Christian Community Action Eye Clinic and provides free services through this program. He is also the founder of the 20/20 Caring Program for LISD students, a district-wide program providing free eye exams and glasses to students in need. He also contributes his talents to the children’s vision screening programs of area Lions Clubs.
Welding is a current member and past board member of Flower Mound Rotary Club, a past board member of the Flower Mound Chamber of Commerce and a board member of New Horizon Foster Ranch;.
One of Welding’s goals, he says, is to address the continued rapid growth in certain areas of the district, while maintaining the district's reputation in older areas where growth has slowed.
“Every community in the district needs the board’s attention, not just certain pockets,” said Welding, “and I am committed to serving all areas in a fair and equal manner.”
Public school finance is something that Welding would like to focus on. “LISD needs to remain vigilant,” he said, “in order to continue to fund our schools now and into the future, we must be fiscally responsible. At the same time we need to educate our students with the best teachers, technology and facilities.”
Welding graduated from Iowa State University and the University of Houston School of Optometry. He lives in Highland Village with his wife Andrea, a fifth grade teacher in LISD, and his stepson Zack.
Welding says his commitment to the students of LISD and to the community is evidenced by his dedication and service for more than a decade.
“I look forward to serving with this great group of board members,” states Welding. “I’m excited to run for this position and ask for the community’s support as we work to keep this district one of the best in Texas.”
As we wrote in a story last November, Lewisville ISD is going to get a brand makeover, which includes a new logo. Your editor served on the Strategic Design Subcommittee that directed the development of it.
Now that the committee has selected two possible logos from the various options we reviewed, LISD is asking the community to VOTE on which one the district should use.
Here are the two options:
The new tagline, "Real Innovation, Limitless Opportunity" is more than just a platitude; it's a bold promise that the committee and the district intends to be lasting and relevant.
Here is a little video that LISD produced showing part of the process we went through, looking at how the district should be perceived by the various stakeholders:
We would be interested to see your choice and your comments, so leave a comment below and tell us which one you chose, and why. Also, since the district would like wide community input on this, please consider sharing this link via the social media buttons at the bottom of the screen.
Texas New Mexico Power Company (TNMP) recently awarded a grant to the Lewisville ISD Education Foundation, an important nonprofit partner that plays a key role in improving educational opportunities for Lewisville students.
The foundation was awarded $5,000 to help fund grants, scholarships and more in support of Lewisville teachers and students, a mission it's been carrying out since 1990.
"We're very excited to have received this grant," said Connie Pelphrey, the foundation's executive director. "We are putting it to good use, helping to fund initiatives that enable our students and teachers to excel in the classroom." Pelphrey says it will support the "Changing Children's Lives" fund.
Kathy Duke, LISD Trustee: "This is just a first step. The system needs to be fixed. I believe we all know that. Now, Let's see what our Legislature says about this. This is about the kids, their education. They are the future leaders of Texas.
The judge was clear: Unconstitutional on all points. We are 49th in 50 states on funding. That is nothing to be proud of. If we want higher standards and Austin is going to ask for higher standards than they need to fund them."
Dr. Steve Waddell, LISD Superintendent: "We are grateful and pleased at Judge Dietz' ruling. We won on all counts. It is important that the judge found a de facto state property tax and that the system is inequitable. Most important, he found that the funding was not adequate. Simply restoring the $5.4-billion is not sufficient. That would only replace the money that district's already had two years ago. The judge observed that if the state wants higher standard, they should pay for them. He was right in declining to rule on the interventions by TREE and charter schools. Those are matters for the legislature. It will, of course, go to the Supreme Court, but this is, nonetheless, an important victory."
Julie Foughty, LISD Trustee: "I'm pleased with the ruling but caution parents to not let their guard down. This will be appealed and our state will spend a great deal of money going into a special session to address a new funding system. Parents who want strong public schools need to be watchful and alert on this issue and let those who represent them in Austin know that they want this problem fixed and our children's future in public schools secure and supported with their vote. "
Carol Kyer, LISD Board President: "We are pleased with Judge Dietz's ruling. He states that Texas does have a de facto state tax with how schools are currently funded. Most importantly, we applaud the ruling highlighting that the current finance system is inequitable and inadequate. We also agree with his comments regarding the state implementing higher standards, such as STAAR and EOC testing, in that the state should provide funds to school districts to support this new system.
While we recognize this ruling will be appealed, this ruling is truly a victory for LISD and all school districts across Texas."
Flower Mound Resident Kris Vaughn filed today to run for Place 4 on the Lewisville ISD Board of Trustees during the upcoming May 11th election. Place 4 is the seat currently held by Julie Foughty, who has announced she will not run again.
Vaughn’s says that her commitment to LISD is evidenced by 10 years as a parent volunteer and leader in the district through PTA, Communities in Schools of North Texas, and district committees. “I want to support LISD as the strategic design implementation continues, and we focus on our vision for each student to enjoy a thriving, productive life in a future they create,” says Vaughn. She serves on the 26 member Strategic Design Team that was formed in October 2011 and helped create a new vision and mission for LISD.
Vaughn says that community involvement is a key aspect of the strategic design, and she has a consistent record promoting support and collaboration for grassroots efforts. “As a parent of two LISD students, I have a vested interest in the district building strong relationships with community members, and I am eager to help make this happen.”
Vaughn and her husband Trent have lived within LISD for 13 years. She has a son and daughter at Flower Mound High School. Vaughn is a graduate of Central College in Pella, Iowa, where she received a degree in Business Management.
LISD Trustee Brenda Latham announced today that she will be seeking re-election to her place 5 position in the May 11, 2013 elections. Latham was first elected in 2010, a year when three challengers swept out incumbents on the LISD board. In the 2010 election, she beat Fred Placke in a three-way race with Patrick Kelly. Of those three, only Latham is seeking re-election. Jeff Knapp left his place 4 seat after moving out of the district, and Trustee Julie Foughty announced that she would not seek re-election. Latham has been a very vocal advocate for schools within Lewisville, fighting against the perception and labeling by others that somehow schools in the city are of lower quality than those in the more affluent areas.
Pointing to the progress made in her first term regarding fiscal issues, as well as policy matters of importance to the parents, teachers and students of LISD, Latham expressed confidence in her decision.
“This Board has proven we can work together to bring resolution to the critical issues which impact our teachers’ ability to do their job, and our students’ ability to perform at their maximum, while also respecting the costs apportioned to the community. With the ever increasing taxes from federal, state and local entities I understand the importance of appreciating what taxpayers of LISD have provided, and I am committed to maximizing the benefit received from each dollar.” said Latham.
Paige Shoven, a 13 year resident of Lewisville, announced today that she will file to run for place 3 on the Lewisville ISD Board of Trustees, the seat left vacant after Trustee Jeff Knapp moved out of the district and resigned last year. This is Shoven's second run for the school board, having run in 2012 for place 1, against Kathy Duke and two others. Kathy Duke won that race, but Shoven pulled in 24% of the vote for 2nd place.
Shoven and her husband of 12 years, Rick, have two daughters, Elizabeth 11 and Kara 8, in the LISD school system.
"I learned so much while campaigning last year, it was a great experience." Shoven said of unsuccessful run for office last year. "My love for the children of LISD did not stop when the election votes came in." Over the past year, Shoven says she has attended every school board meeting, participated in the INSIDE LISD program, served on the Facilities Committee for the district, volunteered with the LISD Council of PTAs, both local chapters of PTA and stays active in her church.
In past years Shoven served as PTA president at her local elementary and was honored with the lifetime PTA award. She has served the last five years on the Council of PTAs in a number of roles including First Vice President. In 2011 she was named outstanding manager of the year for US Vision where she is currently employed as an optical manager.
On January 23rd, 2013, representatives from three groups held a series of public meetings in Lewisville to inform the public about pressing educational issues that need to be resolved by the Texas Legislature. The meeting, hosted by local parent group Speak Up for Texas Public Schools, hosted two other statewide educational advocacy groups:
Texas Kids Can't Wait representatives, former Waco Mayor Linda Etheridge and Dr. Bonnie Lesley discussed the problems with vouchers and privatization, and how they negatively impact public education.