|Trinity Standard - Local News
Stories Added - February 2009
Copyright 2008 - Polk County Publishing Company
Low ‘mock’ scores eyed at high school
Trinity Standard - February 2009
TRINITY – Although the first of the annual TAKS exams do not take place until next month, practice or “mock” exam results from Trinity High School seemed to shock members of the Trinity School Board Monday night.
During the meeting, Secondary School Principal Jim Underwood presented the mock Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) results, some of which he term as “dismal.”
Results from the latest of two mock exams given THS students ranged from a low 5 percent passing score in freshmen math to a high 64 percent passing figure on the freshman reading exam.
Consistently the lowest scores came in the math exams with only 9 percent of the sophomores passing and only 19 percent of the juniors passing the exit level test.
Under state regulations, students must pass all sections of the exit level TAKS test in order to receive a high school diploma. Those that fail all or part of the test as juniors, can retake it as seniors.
Despite tutoring during and after school and other work, the latest mock scores were in many cases were down from a practice test taken earlier in the year.
On the first exam, 20 percent of the freshmen passed the math test, compared to only 5 percent on the latest exam.
“I have no explanation,” Underwood said. “The only reason that I have found for these latest scores is that the kids just don’t seem to care. They don’t feel the test counts for anything and they don’t take it seriously.”
“Don’t they know they have to pass this test in order to graduate,” one board member asked.
“Honestly, I don’t think they really think about that until it gets down to the wire,” the principal said.
“We’ve got to find a way to motivate the kids,” Board President Dorothy Franklin said. “Do the teachers really care and do the kids know that the teachers care?”
Underwood noted that many of the teachers at THS are among the best he has worked with in his career and all have been working had to provide the information needed by the students.
“Do the kids really want to go to a school that will be known for low scores like this?” board member Maggie Trevino said. “Maybe you should have an assembly and let everyone know just how poorly they are doing.”
She indicated that if they are not motivated by the test, they may be motivated by pride in their school.
While not as high as they would like them to be, the latest mock test scores from Trinity Middle School, Trinity Intermediate School and Lansberry Elementary were generally higher than those posted at THS.
The range at Trinity Middle School was from a low 14 percent passing rate in seventh grade math up to 67 percent passing in seventh grade writing.
At the intermediate campus, they ranged from a low of 54 percent passing the fifth grade science test to a 71 percent passing rate in sixth grade reading.
Elementary scores ranged from a low of 38 percent passing the fourth grade math up to a 77 percent passing rate for fourth grade reading.
Elementary Principal Stacy Collard and Intermediate Principal Vanessa Franklin both indicated that they expected their scores will be higher on the actual tests and indicated they expected to meet or exceed all state minimum standards.