College Station Independent School District

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					Monday Message
Success...each life...each day...each hour

December 1, 2008 CSISD Staff: I hope you had a few good meals over the Thanksgiving break. I know I did. For the first time I can ever remember, I didn’t have a meal involving turkey on Thanksgiving Day. Sally and I were actually in Georgetown, Texas on Thanksgiving Day watching Scott play in a basketball tournament, so we went with the team after the game to IHOP. No doubt, a country omelet and pancakes for Thanksgiving was pretty darn good. On Sunday, Sally did cook a traditional Thanksgiving meal for our family and some friends, and it was fun eating the turkey, dressing, and all that goes with it. By today, I was already enjoying the leftovers from yesterday. I’m always amazed at how fast the school year goes by. It seems the year just got started; however, we are only three short weeks away from the winter break. And, that means the Texas Legislature will convene in short order after the beginning of the year. So you are aware, CSISD is actively communicating with our legislative representatives, and we are attempting to send a consistent message about the following issues:  Pathways to Graduation: From our perspective, the legislature needs to take a hard look at providing multiple pathways to graduation in order to capitalize on student interests. Currently, the Recommended High School Diploma has the exact same requirements for every single student, with the only flexibility for students found in the electives they choose to take. And, because so many students are involved in one activity (like choir, band, athletics, orchestra, theater, etc) for four years in a row, what little flexibility a student has is further reduced. We will encourage the legislature to look at building some flexibility into graduation plans so that students may be able to purse a liberal arts interest, a math/science interest or even a career interest. Certainly, our goal is not to water down the graduation requirements, but rather provide students with options so that they can pursue their interests. Accountability: CSISD is encouraging our representatives to address the state accountability system so that it is fair for all school districts and so that a school/school district is not evaluated solely on its poorest performing student group. As the current system stands, a school that has one poor performing student group for one year can receive a negative accountability rating. In no way do we want to be absolved from the responsibility of making sure that all our students learn; however, having a system in place that evaluates schools by looking at three years worth of data rather than only one years worth of data seems to make some since. In addition, we would like to see the public accountability system simplified so that it can be easily explained and understood by parents and community members. School Finance: Certainly, the Texas school finance system has been unstable for years, and it continues to be so. If nothing else, we will be pushing our representatives

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to adjust the school finance system so that the revenue that school districts receive is adjusted on an annual basis based, not only on student growth, but also on the increased cost of goods and services. Without a doubt, there is no easy fix to the Texas school finance system, but it is incumbent upon our representatives to address the needs in CSISD and across the state to the extent the needs can be addressed. As you have opportunity to learn about the upcoming legislative session, I hope that you will stay informed about the educational issues that need to be addressed. Certainly, the district will do its part of communicating the needs we have and offering some reasonable solutions to consider. Thanks for all you do for CSISD. Success. Eddie

College Station Independent School District