Park Independent School District
14705 Woodforest Blvd. w Houston, Texas 77015 w (832) 386-1230
Staci Stanfield w Director of Communications

September 3, 2002


TEA declares Galena Park ISD “Exemplary”

     After issuing Galena Park ISD an acceptable rating in August, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) has approved the district’s appeal.
     “We have been rated a Texas recognized district for three consecutive years. This year our TAAS scores are clearly exemplary,” Dr. Shirley Neeley, superintendent of schools, said. “All students in all subjects, teachers and administrators have worked hard for this highly acclaimed rating. I applaud TEA for doing the right thing and granting our appeal.”
     The district was originally given an acceptable rating because High Point received a low-performing rating. High Point School is a disciplinary alternative education program (DAEP) and serves nine Houston-area districts. Although High Point is not located in Galena Park ISD, 13 GPISD students who were assigned to that particular campus took the TAAS test while attending High Point. The TEA included High Point’s overall low-performing rating in the Galena Park ISD rating totals. Under the state’s current accountability system, no district can hold a recognized or exemplary rating if it has one low-performing campus.
     “TAAS scores of 13 GPISD students attending High Point were included in our campus and district totals,” Neeley said. “With and without these scores the GPISD scores are still exemplary in all subjects.”
     After TEA released the acceptable rating on Aug. 1, Neeley filed an appeal to exclude High Point’s overall low-performing rating and change the Galena Park ISD rating to exemplary. She argued that DAEP’s are not rated in the current accountability system and that it would be wrong to deny GPISD the rating they worked so hard to earn.
     Under Neeley’s leadership, Galena Park ISD schools have shown steady progress for all students in all subjects over the last school year. GPISD schools faired well when ranked individually. This year a record number of Galena Park ISD schools received an exemplary rating including Cobb 6th grade campus, Cloverleaf, Jacinto City, MacArthur, Pyburn and Tice Elementary Schools. Thirteen schools received a recognized rating and only one was ranked acceptable.
     “These outstanding scores are the result of a true team effort,” Neeley said. “I applaud our board for their support and thank them for allowing us to do ‘whatever it takes’ for all children to be successful.”
     After taking the TAAS for ten years, students will now meet a new challenge – the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) – which is considered by some critics to be a tougher exam. Although nearly 20,000 Galena Park ISD students will take the TAKS next year, school ratings will not be assigned until the 2003-2004 school year.
     “We have worked hard to achieve exemplary status and look forward to the new testing standards,” Neeley said. “Our students and staff are ready for this challenge. We have faith that they will continue striving to be the best.”