Trust Louie

What’s the deal with test scores?

There’s been a lot of talk recently by my opponent and her supporters about our “dismal” rankings and test scores.  Now the TAPR data is sometimes difficult to interpret (there’s an instruction manual to go with it), but the discrepancies between the actual results in the TAPR report and what my opponent and her supporters are saying are so large that I can only conclude that they either misunderstand the data or they are willfully distorting it.

For starters:

There was a contention by a citizen at the last school board meeting that “35% of fifth grade students pre-COVID failed basic math and reading”.  This is untrue.  As a matter of fact, in the 2019 STAAR data, 95% of 5th grade students achieved a passing score in reading, and 96% achieved a passing score in math.  That means that 5% of our students “failed at basic reading” and 4% “failed at basic math”.  That’s not an ideal score – ideally we would want it to be 0%.  But 5% and 4% are a far cry from 35%.

Now in 2021, post-COVID, our scores were a bit lower – as we suffered the same ill effects of the pandemic that everyone else did.  In 2021, 84% of 5th grade students achieved a passing score in reading, and 82% achieved a passing score in math.  A higher number than 2019, but still not remotely approaching 35%.  It should be noted also that our numbers are still significantly higher than for Texas overall.  In 2021 on average, 73% of students achieved a passing score in reading, and 70% achieved a passing score in math.  In 2019, those averages were 86% and 90% respectively, so GCISD lost a bit less ground than Texas overall.

As I said before, these numbers are not ideal – and if you are following the intense efforts being made by instructional staff in the district to close those gaps and to constantly assess and reassess whether the techniques are working or not, then you know that our educators and district staff are doing their best to make sure every kid is successful.

So, at this point, I have to ask myself (and you should too) – why are these people lying about something as important as passing rates in math and reading?  Well, it’s about money.  You see, private charter schools are big business.  But for a private charter school to be authorized in a school district, the district must be shown to be failing in its obligation to educate students.  That’s very hard in a school district as successful and as highly ranked as GCISD.  So, the only way to get special interests involved in for-profit education is to tear the district down.  GCISD does not deserve that.  Please join me in supporting and protecting our excellent district.