Texas Ed: Comments on Education from Texas

August 26, 2006

We would be a great school if it weren’t for the students

This is sad.

Star-Telegram | 08/26/2006 | Don’t blame kids for unacceptable rating:

Everman High School’s problem is much deeper than hurt feelings.

Everman’s problem is a matter of science — teaching it.

Everman is worse at teaching science than any surrounding high school, including neighboring schools in Fort Worth. In Dallas, 18 of 21 traditional high schools have better science scores.

Across all grades, poor students in Everman lag 10 points behind poor children studying science in Dallas or Fort Worth.

Everman High School is now rated “unacceptable” by the state.

To compound the problem, Principal Kathy Culbertson blames the students.

Twisting the meaning of state test results, she went on the public-address system and announced to the entire school that “African-American student performance” was responsible for the state rating.

Wrong. It was her own staff’s failure to meet an abysmally low state standard, not only in science but also in math.

Race is not to blame.

African-American students do better almost everywhere in Texas than at Everman High School.

At James Madison High School near Fair Park in Dallas, 80 percent of the students are poor, and most are African-American. But 53 percent of those students passed the science test.

At Everman, the figure was 32 percent.

I thought the goal of NCLB sub-categories was to ensure that the schools didn’t leave any group of children behind, not to find a group to blame.

3 Comments »

  1. Honestly, it may seem like our teachers are horrible but there are a few that teach more than I would have learned at any other high school. For example, I take APP classes and I have to say my science teacher, Mr. Ritchie, is the best teacher I’ve ever had. The Star Telegram published an inspiring article about him about two years ago… I wonder why they suddenly blame the entire staff.

    Next time, you should ask the opinion of a student that looks like someone who can pass the TAKS test along with more investigating. The point of a newspaper like the Star Telegram is to right facts, not just to write about the exterior of the story.

    I blame both the school and students. Our former principal didn’t seem to care much about many things, for example certain students that hold the entire school down… The same group that doesn’t learn, the group that has brought everyone to this mess. It seems like its the African American’s fault since they are the dominant race at our high school.

    Comment by EHS Student — February 28, 2007 @ 9:01 pm

  2. It’s never fair to label “all” members of group are a certain way. I’m sure there are some very good teachers at Everman’s.

    Look what happens when you start saying it’s all one groups fault. All teachers are blamed when that certainly isn’t the case. Can you honestly say that all African Americans are to blame because that was the group that failed? If you’re going to blame a “group” then doesn’t the newspaper have the right to point out for some reason that “group” is doing much better at other schools? Does that make it the “groups” problem or the schools?

    I think you’re probably correct when you blame both the school and students for the problems. Ultimately, blaming a problem on a group without looking at individuals does nothing to address the problem.

    Comment by texased — February 28, 2007 @ 9:45 pm

  3. I am not surprised about the statistics regarding academics at my former high school. I was not prepared for college after graduation. Emphasis by teachers and administration was placed on who was popular, extra-curricular activities and who’s parent’s yelled the loudest. I was popular and made good grades and was very active and I skated right through, with lots of favoritism. It was nice then but it did not help me later. I was in for a big shock when I got to college. I had to work my tail off with tutors, etc. to graduate with honors. I will not say that all teachers and all administrators were responsibile, but some. Race has nothing to do with anything. Anyone’s ability to learn at whatever level is directly related to a teacher’s ability to teach. That makes administration ultimately responsible. They need to hire teachers who are qualified and give them the TOOLS to do their job. The school board has a responsibility as well. Order must be maintained, which it is not-and never has been. Principals are responsible for this and again administration is ultimately responsible for the principals. There needs to be an environment conducive to learning. Principals need to eliminate and I mean eliminate the persons that are disruptive. That school is so full of assaultive behavior, including sexual assault and always has been. Nothing was ever done about any of it. How can people learn? Sh… flows downhill, people. How’s that for education?
    Sincerely, a 30 year alumni.

    Comment by ALUMNI — February 9, 2008 @ 11:47 pm


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