Weatherford Democrat

September 22, 2013

Report: WISD assessment scores above state averages


Weatherford Democrat

— By DERIK MOORE | WISD Director of Public Information



Weatherford ISD Board members were pleased that the district’s state assessment scores had exceeded state averages in each of the four new index target areas after hearing a detailed report at the Sept. 12 monthly meeting in the District Services Building Boardroom.

Linda Crownover, WISD Executive Director of Curriculum and Instruction, said the results were based on last school year’s State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness exams. She reminded the board that the state’s new accountability system is still in a phase-in process.

“The 2012-13 school year was a busy one,” Crownover said. “The Texas Legislature was in session, a new accountability ratings system was implemented, and the abandonment of the CSCOPE lessons was taking place.”

Crownover said the district is in the process of writing its own lessons that align with the curriculum system management system called the TEKS Resource System.

According to the Texas Curriculum Management Program Cooperative website, the TEKS Resource System includes curriculum and assessment components aligned to the most current versions of the State Board of Education-adopted TEKS for English Language Arts and Reading (grades K-12), Mathematics (grades K-12), Science (grades K-12), Social Studies (grades K-12), Spanish Language Arts and Reading (grades K-5), and Spanish translated versions of Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies (grades K-5).

WISD Board President Paul Paschall said he has been amazed at the progress the district has made so far with its curriculum-writing process.

In other action, Seguin Elementary Principal Andy Pool presented his campus report to the board.

Pool’s report focused on Seguin Elementary students showing each board member how they use a computer-based learning system called iStation.

iStation is a tool teachers use to help teach students how to read by assessing their skills accurately, engaging them in lessons that address their individual needs, continually monitoring their progress, and augmenting on-screen lessons with powerful teacher-led tutorials.

Tracy Ray, WISD Assistant Superintendent for Business and Operations, also reported to the board that the district received a “Superior Rating” based on the state’s Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas guidelines.

Ray said the district scored a perfect 70-out-of-70 based on 20 indicators used in the rating system process.

“Our ‘Superior Rating’ was not just achieved by the WISD Business Department alone,” she added. “Other factors that were associated with the scoring included tax collection, student-to-staff ratio, and maintaining an adequate fund balance.”

Ray also said the business office continues to do an outstanding job when it comes to compliance issues.

“We are very successful at providing a clean audit, we have strong internal controls, and we do not have material weaknesses or disclosure issues,” she added.

According to the Texas Education Agency, the purpose of the financial accountability rating system is to ensure that school districts are held accountable for the quality of their financial management practices and achieve improved performance in the management of their financial resources.

The system is designed to encourage Texas public schools to manage their financial resources better in order to provide the maximum allocation possible for direct instructional purposes.