Dear Alief ISD Key Communicator,
Schools across Texas opened their doors to about five million students today as the 2012-2013 school year gets underway. Alief ISD welcomed approximately 45,500 students, and we are excited about this new school year! Hopefully, you will have the opportunity during the next nine months to come and see some of the great things that happen every day in our classrooms.
Recently, school districts received word on how they performed (as a district and by individual campus) on the federal government’s No Child Left Behind (NCLB) measures called Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) for the 2011-2012 school year. We were pleased to learn that 87% of all AISD students passed the reading assessment and 83% passed the math assessment. Every sub-population that the accountability system addresses (Hispanic, African American, White, economically disadvantaged, special education, limited English proficient) improved by at least two percentage points from the previous year. This is a significant accomplishment and certainly provides us data to demonstrate that the way Alief ISD teaches students is resulting in improved student performance. It also supports a growing concern that the federal accountability system is flawed. Alief ISD and 86% of all Texas districts did not meet adequate yearly progress as defined by the federal NCLB.
While I fully support assessing students for the right reasons and public education being held accountable, the AYP reports do not accurately reflect or communicate the true successes or concerns with a campus or school district. Unfortunately for our students, parents and communities, a single test or a single rating cannot measure how well we are doing or not doing. I want you to know that Alief students are performing well across the board and our teachers are doing an excellent job of preparing them to be successful. The data proves this. We are very pleased to report that the graduation rate for 2011 was 90.6%-up from 80.8% in 2010. Not only are our graduation rate and test scores steadily increasing, we are also seeing more students taking the SAT and Advanced Placement assessments. Our teachers have always been successful in providing a meaningful, valuable and quality education to all students, and we will continue to improve upon past successes.
We have 3,100+ outstanding teachers in the Alief school district who are dedicated to meeting the needs of a diverse student population. In fact, we have more than 6,100 employees who are committed to doing what’s right for our students, our district and our community. Did you know that out of nearly 96,000 teachers in the Region IV area, Jan Kolk-Alief ISD’s 2012 Secondary Teacher of the Year-was recently honored as one of the top five Houston area educators, or that our 2012 Elementary Teacher of the Year, Omar Rouchon, has accepted a fellowship at Harvard? I’m sure you also have not heard that social studies teacher Wendy Warren has been named as a recipient of the 2012 Texas Outstanding Teaching of the Humanities Award.
These teachers represent a much larger group of educators who do amazing things in the classroom every day, and they probably will never make the news. I invite you to come see them in action and to help spread the word about Alief ISD.
Thank you for your continued support and for being an Alief ISD Key Communicator.
Alief ISD Superintendent of Schools