News and Events
  • Friday, May 18, 2018
    Bright future for great school district
    This week Brenham ISD students joined more than 5 million other third through fifth graders enrolled in our state’s public schools for a second installment of STAAR testing. High school students took the End of Course exams (EOC) last week.

    Most Texans are aware of the high stakes standardized testing that has been part of the educational accountability system in Texas public schools for over 30 years now. In 2015, the state Legislature passed a law outlining a new process by which schools will receive a letter grade. This year, testing will lead us down that new path.

    More than 1,000 public school districts in our state will receive a letter grade of A, B, C, D or F. The Legislature and Texas Education Agency believe that giving school districts a letter grade will provide parents with a clearer understanding of how well schools are doing academically. This will be a significant change from the "met standards" versus "did not meet standards" rating in previous years.
    As the superintendent and CEO of Brenham ISD, I can’t overstate how much I believe in our students, teachers and support staff! I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that our school system is doing a fantastic job of educating our students for a successful future. We have many highly successful graduates currently making their mark on the world’s stage.

    Last week, I asked Director of Accountability and Testing Mark Strauss to update our board on the newly adopted A-F accountability system. Mr. Strauss, a professional with 28 years of experience as a high school counselor, now serves as the district’s “expert in residence” to provide leadership in interpreting data related to testing.

    Sadly, even the experts are unclear on how school districts will be fully measured on the standardized tests this year. This is due to the TEA’s lack of communication on finalized “cut scores” for STAAR standards. In short, district leaders across the state are left scratching their heads because we are uncertain about how our students will be measured under this new system.

    Regardless of the STAAR testing results, which are usually reported back to districts around mid-June, I believe it’s important for the Brenham community to hear directly from me that our public school district is financially solvent and academically strong. While I wholeheartedly accept the responsibility of accountability, I believe the sum of our students’ value does not fully lie in a standardized test score.

    The Brenham community should be very proud that its schools have all of the critical qualities that make up a world-class educational system: brilliant and highly inquisitive students, caring and passionate teachers, visionary and strong principals, and an engaged community that is deeply committed to educational excellence for all.

    I believe a public school system is only as strong as its community. In today’s highly political times, the word “public” sometimes carries the idea of being inferior to other school systems; however, this is quite the contrary. Our district is consistently doing more with less.