Board hears legislative update, reports

·3 min read

Mar. 22—Ector County ISD Superintendent Scott Muri gave an update on the legislative session in his opening remarks at the board of trustees meeting Tuesday.

Muri told trustees the Texas House of Representatives debated vouchers Tuesday and the Senate was scheduled to do it Wednesday.

Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick have endorsed education savings accounts which would be state funded accounts that parents will have access to to pay for things like private school tuition, home schooling and in some cases high school and college education.

According to the board recap, Muri said buried in the debate was talk of teacher pipelines and development programs, some of which are happening in ECISD. Paid, year-long, residencies for education majors are one example.

The idea of a teacher apprenticeship got some national coverage this week, the recap said. ECISD announced at the State of the District event earlier this month Muri announced plans to create a teacher apprenticeship program which gives teacher candidates access to federal funds to help pay for the apprenticeship program with help from the Permian Strategic Partnership, the recap said.

The board also heard a presentation from the Guidance & Counseling Department looking at a student's pathway from elementary school to college, career and military readiness, and how effective advising supports students along the way, the recap said.

Exploring career interests begins in elementary school with things like career days and living career museums.

In middle school, all eighth graders complete a career cluster profile that helps match their interests to potential careers.

High schools give students resources to earn their diplomas and prepare for life after graduation, the recap said. Course selection, College Night, FAFSA events with college representatives, and ECISD's To and Through Department are designed to help students achieve their academic goals. The recap said it requires continuous collaboration between counselors, teachers, campus and district leaders, parents and the community to ensure students have all they need.

The board also talked about results-driven accountability. Results Driven Accountability (RDA) is the federal monitoring system for three student groups: Bilingual/ESL/Emergent Bilingual; Special Education; and Other Special Populations like homeless, foster care and military connected.

The report Tuesday was for the 2021-22 school year, and those groups' designations were 3, 3, and 4, respectively. Each saw improvement in some areas but was lowered due to an area — for Bilingual and Other Special Populations it was a low score in STAAR Social Studies; in Special Education it was low scores in End of Course English I or II, the recap said.

Special Education achieved some academic growth not experienced before: Algebra improved, Science earned a 0 (the best designation possible), as did graduation rate with an increase of about 10%. The dropout rate also decreased. Overall, Special Education received a 2, improving from a 4 three years ago.

An update on winter 2023 MAP results also was presented.

MAP stands for Measure of Academic Progress. The assessment is given three times to measure a student's growth from beginning to end of the school year.

The report from Tuesday's meeting was for the middle of the year assessments. Growth goals have increased from last year to this year; the bar has been raised for students' grades kindergarten through sixth.

As goals grow, students move closer to proficiency, the recap said. MAP assessment can give a reliable prediction for the STAAR tests to be given in April and May, and scores this round indicate ECISD results will be about three points higher. The recap notes there is still work to be done in order to catch up to the state's overall scores.