September 3, 2002
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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
“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
“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.”