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Old 08-22-2008, 10:36 AM
 
20 posts, read 68,580 times
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Went to Parent Orientation last night in Lancaster. It is now a requirement for all grades to have passing Taks scores in addition to passing grades to be promoted. Many children have fallen through the cracks. They make grades barely good enough to be promoted but cant pass the TAKS. Now those kids are going to be mentally scarred because of this test. Has anyone thought about what happens when these kids who drops out of school because the state said that weren't smart enough to get a diploma after going through 12 maybe 13 years of school? Only a couple of things can happen. They live on welfare or they resort to a life of crime - stealing, robbing and dealing drugs just to keep a roof over their heads 'cause they want to be independent. How do the children survive when we as parents are constantly trying to help them but the state tells them that its still not good enough? I understand the concept but there has to be a better way other than sacrificing our kids well being. Just sitting back listening to LISD kids talk, the truly feel that LISD don't care about them and that they want them to fail. Of course, that's not true, but obviously LISD is not reaching our kids.
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Old 08-22-2008, 12:35 PM
 
4,996 posts, read 12,118,541 times
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I hear good things and bad things about LISD. Seems to me the administration understands there is a problem and for every good thing they do (requiring kids read over the Christmas holidays) they do something stupid (requesting 4 day school weeks). I think that parents involvement is the only thing that is going to save LISD. Only demanding parents can make the changes required. I have yet to come across anyone who is in favor of TAK's. That includes school administrators, teachers and parents. It's what we have and this is what all students are graded on. If a large precentage of students are failing the test dropping the test is not going to cure the problem.
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Old 08-22-2008, 12:56 PM
 
Location: Texas
112 posts, read 327,007 times
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Is TAKS now required across the state for graduation? If so, I am really disappointed in Texas for taking that stand. I am originally from Texas and live in the UK now. The UK is soooooo much "teaching to test" that it is not even funny. Our neice who has just finished her masters at Cambridge has even said that all her friends from the US (that she met at Cambridge) seem to be more well rounded in their US education than they were here for taking so many tests. I know my SD cannot remember anything she has learned once she has taken an exam. I wonder how she will fare when we move back to the US next year...
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Old 08-22-2008, 01:02 PM
 
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There are some good things about LISD. The extra reading is wonderful as that a lot of parents wouldnt make their kids do it unless its forced. Suggesting the 4 day school week was ridiculous. From what I see, there has to be some way to boost the morale of the complete school body....students, as well as teachers. The students feel that LISD don't give a crap about them (I've heard it said). The teachers feel that the students don't respect them (I've seen it for myself when visiting!!!). When asking the parents to get involved, they are already partial to their child vs listening to the WHOLE scenario and letting their children know that right is right and wrong is wrong......no matter who you are. Bottom line: There is not enough parents involved. Another issue I have is that the PTA meetings are not publicized other than on the signs outside of the schools. Letters are NOT sent home. Since my kids ride the bus, I have to make a special trip by the school for the information or call them. This is a two side issue. Schools need to provide more information. AND...when the school does, the parents need to DO SOMETHING!
My biggest concern now is how do we reach those kids who have fallen through the educational cracks without making them feel hopeless? I don't think failing them is the answer.
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Old 08-22-2008, 01:06 PM
 
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It is a state requirement. Students that are in the class of 2012 have to pass it every year to be promoted. Students in the class of 2010 have to pass their Jr year to graduate. LISD added their own twist by making every body pass it every year.
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Old 08-22-2008, 02:13 PM
 
Location: Texas
112 posts, read 327,007 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HelpTheKidsInLancasterTx View Post
It is a state requirement. Students that are in the class of 2012 have to pass it every year to be promoted. Students in the class of 2010 have to pass their Jr year to graduate. LISD added their own twist by making every body pass it every year.

So what happens to those that move into the state from another state or even another country (like us)? How will this affect her graduation requirements? (I think she would be in the class of 2012)
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Old 08-22-2008, 02:33 PM
 
20 posts, read 68,580 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lplkemc View Post
So what happens to those that move into the state from another state or even another country (like us)? How will this affect her graduation requirements? (I think she would be in the class of 2012)
They will have to take the TAKS test in order to graduate. Now I know the curriculums vary from state to state. If your child fail the test and you feel that what she was tested for wasn't covered in your state, you can request to have a meeting between yourself, the principle and the child's teachers. There's actually a term for this meeting, but I can't think of it right now. All parties have to agree on the fate of that child, as in whether to promote or fail that child. Now as a senior, if that child still hasn't passed the TAKS, they can agree to accept a "certificate of completion" but from what I'm told (hear say), that could prove to be a big mistake. Most colleges won't except it in place of a diploma and you can't join the military with it. From what I hear, its just like dropping out, except her classmates won't know the difference because she walked across the stage with them so there's no embarrassment from that perspective (if the school allows it).
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Old 08-22-2008, 02:56 PM
 
Location: Texas
112 posts, read 327,007 times
Reputation: 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by HelpTheKidsInLancasterTx View Post
They will have to take the TAKS test in order to graduate. Now I know the curriculums vary from state to state. If your child fail the test and you feel that what she was tested for wasn't covered in your state, you can request to have a meeting between yourself, the principle and the child's teachers. There's actually a term for this meeting, but I can't think of it right now. All parties have to agree on the fate of that child, as in whether to promote or fail that child. Now as a senior, if that child still hasn't passed the TAKS, they can agree to accept a "certificate of completion" but from what I'm told (hear say), that could prove to be a big mistake. Most colleges won't except it in place of a diploma and you can't join the military with it. From what I hear, its just like dropping out, except her classmates won't know the difference because she walked across the stage with them so there's no embarrassment from that perspective (if the school allows it).

That is terrible! I understand she will have to take some courses that she would not take here in the UK (US government, etc) in order to graduate, but to have to worry about that on top of taking however many years of tests to graduate is just too much.

I wish that I knew which bright spark decided that testing like this is a good measurement.
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Old 08-22-2008, 06:33 PM
 
Location: Lancaster, TX
1,598 posts, read 3,618,502 times
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The good things going on in Lancaster ISD are under-emphasized, especially in the local media. The negative stories always seem to get more coverage. In the coming week or two, there will probably be a story on how many students didn't turn in the required summer reading projects and were suspended. You won't hear anything about the fact that the district's reading scores are generally in line with state standards. While I am certainly not a big fan of the TAKS test and the way the ratings are commonly used as the only factor in determining whether a school/district is either "good" or "bad", if the scores improve significantly then it should be lauded as an achievement by students, teachers, parents, and administrators.

Parental involvement, as mentioned earlier, does play a significant role in how successful a student is. The district does need to do more to keep parents informed about meetings and other goings on in the district. My brother is a student at Lancaster High and my mom would have been able to attend the Parent Orientation meeting if it had been scheduled and posted on the district website a week or two in advance so that she could have made the proper work arrangements. There was no letter or e-mail sent out about it and no notice was posted in the Lancaster Today newspaper, which all households with LISD students receive on a weekly basis. Another big gripe is that school board meetings aren't recorded and put on the local public-access cable channel. They did this in DeSoto (where we moved from in 2006) and Lancaster approved it earlier this month. This will be a great service to parents, especially single parents and people with erratic work schedules who can't attend every meeting.

Overall, Lancaster is not a bad school district. Yes, it has its issues, but no district is perfect.

One of the most irritating stereotypes about the district is that it is simply another "Wilmer-Hutchins". Lancaster is still accredited, hasn't been plagued by years of financial mismanagement and DECADES of incompetent leadership with lingering racial tensions as a factor, is not experiencing a mass exodus of students to neighboring school districts, and hasn't ever been accused of widespread cheating on standardized tests. All of these things contributed to the downfall of Wilmer-Hutchins, while NONE these things have occurred in Lancaster.
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Old 08-22-2008, 06:45 PM
 
216 posts, read 666,181 times
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I can understand why many are so frustrated with the TAKS. passing the TAKS only means the student met the minimum standards (if a child cannot meet these minimum standards i dont think they should graduate or be promoted) the students have multiple opportunities to take the exam. I am not a fan of TAKS but it allows teachers and students to be held accountable and makes sure graduates have met some kind of standard, even though some will argue that the standards are really too low.
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