EDUCATIONAL SERVICE DELIVERY
This chapter examines the Kerrville Independent School District's (KISD's) educational service delivery system in seven sections:
- A. Student Performance
- B. Instructional Resources
- C. Dropout Prevention/Alternative Education
- D. Gifted and Talented Education
- E. Special Education
- F. Bilingual/English as a Second Language Education
- G. Career and Technology Education
A. STUDENT PERFORMANCE
TAAS performance serves as the primary factor in determining a district's accountability ratings. TAAS is administered in grades 3-8 and 10 and includes a reading and mathematics test in grades 3-8 and 10 and a writing assessment in grades 4, 8 and 10. Science and Social Studies tests are included at grade 8, but are not included in determining accountability ratings. Because there are five tests administered in grade 8, this grade level usually has the lowest percent of students passing all tests taken. The Spanish version of TAAS is given in grades 3-6.
The TAAS administration schedule changed in 2000 with the addition of the Spanish version of TAAS for grades 3-6, the State Developed Alternative Assessment (SDAA) for special education students in grades 3-8 and the Reading Proficiency Test in English (RPTE) designed to measure annual growth in English reading proficiency of second language learners. Starting in 2003, TAAS will be administered in grades 9 and 11. The exit level examination will be moved to grade 11 and will include Science, Social Studies, English Language Arts and Mathematics. A Science test will be added to grade 5.
KISD continued to improve its TAAS scores over a five-year period. Between 1996-97 and 2000-01, TAAS scores have steadily increased in KISD, Region 20 and the state overall. KISD had the highest TAAS scores among the peer districts in 1996-97 and 1997-98. In 1998-99, 1999-2000 and 2000-01, KISD had the second highest TAAS scores among its peer districts. For 2000-01, KISD TAAS scores exceeded the regional average by 10.2 points and the state average by 7.4 points. KISD increased the percent of students passing all tests taken by 6.9 percent between 1996-97 and 2000-01 (Exhibit 2-8).
Exhibit 2-8Source: TEA, AEIS, 1996-97 through 2000-01.
TAAS Passing Rates
KISD vs. Peer Districts, Region 20 and State
1996-97 through 2000-01
District 1996-97 1997-98* 1998-99** 1999-2000** 2000-01** Percentage
Kerrville 83.7% 84.4% 87.1% 88.1% 89.5% 5.8 Midlothian 81.2% 83.7% 89.6% 91.2% 93.7% 12.5 Aransas County 81.0% 84.0% 79.5% 86.5% 84.3% 3.3 Marble Falls 80.2% 81.8% 80.6% 83.0% 87.0% 6.8 Brenham 71.8% 73.3% 76.4% 79.1% 80.2% 8.4 Levelland 71.6% 76.2% 80.2% 81.9% 83.3% 11.7 Region 20 66.6% 72.3% 74.4% 77.1% 79.3% 12.7 State 73.2% 77.7% 78.3% 79.9% 82.1% 8.9
*Recalculated from original posting to include special education and grade 3 and 4 Spanish TAAS.
**Recalculated from original posting to include special education and grade 3-6 Spanish TAAS.
***Percentage Point Change is defined as 2000-01 percentage minus 1996-97 percentage.
KISD TAAS performance exceeded both regional and state performance at all grade levels and subject areas between 1996-97 and 2000-01 (Exhibit 2-9). KISD TAAS scores increased over the five-year period (1996-97 to 2000-01) in all grade levels and subject areas with the exception of grade 6 reading, grade 8 social studies and grade 10 writing.
Exhibit 2-9Source: TEA, AEIS, 1996-97 and 2000-01.
TAAS Passing Rates
KISD vs. Region 20 and State
1996-97 and 2000-01
Reading Mathematics Writing Science Social
Grade Level* 1996-97 2000-01 1996-97 2000-01 1996-97 2000-01 1996-97 2000-01 1996-97 2000-01 1996-97 2000-01 Grade 3 KISD 89.7% 97.0% 91.1% 96.4% 84.5% 94.2% Region 20 74.1% 84.6% 74.2% 80.4% 65.1% 74.9% State 81.5% 86.8% 81.7% 83.1% 74.2% 78.2% Grade 4 KISD 86.9% 96.1% 92.8% 97.8% 92.3% 95.3% 82.2% 92.5% Region 20 75.9% 90.3% 75.4% 90.5% 84.5% 89.0% 64.2% 80.3% State 82.5% 90.8% 82.6% 91.3% 87.1% 89.2% 72.0% 81.6% Grade 5 KISD 88.6% 93.1% 91.4% 96.6% 84.9% 90.6% Region 20 80.7% 89.9% 81.9% 94.4% 73.6% 87.8% State 84.8% 90.2% 86.2% 94.6% 79.2% 88.2% Grade 6 KISD 95.4% 88.9% 93.5% 96.3% 91.1% 88.6% Region 20 80.9% 83.0% 75.8% 88.2% 70.3% 78.7% State 84.6% 85.6% 81.8% 91.4% 76.8% 82.7% Grade 7 KISD 92.6% 93.6% 88.1% 96.5% 86.2% 92.2% Region 20 81.7% 87.5% 74.5% 87.8% 69.8% 81.7% State 84.5% 89.4% 79.7% 89.6% 75.1% 84.3% Grade 8 KISD 91.7% 93.0% 84.0% 92.5% 81.1% 91.6% 90.9% 95.3% 80.1% 76.4% 68.9% 71.2% Region 20 81.0% 90.3% 70.2% 90.6% 78.4% 83.9% 82.3% 92.9% 62.9% 74.3% 51.3% 65.4% State 83.9% 91.9% 76.3% 92.4% 80.7% 85.8% 84.6% 91.8% 67.4% 77.0% 57.3% 69.2% Grade 10 KISD 94.2% 95.5% 86.1% 92.7% 96.4% 90.9% 82.4% 84.5% Region 20 83.6% 87.6% 66.3% 85.4% 86.4% 86.5% 61.6% 75.1% State 86.1% 90.0% 72.6% 89.3% 88.5% 89.1% 67.8% 80.3%
KISD has a well-developed process for reviewing TAAS results and modifying instruction based on student performance. In July, KISD central office administrators, campus administrators and program directors attend a three-day retreat to analyze TAAS data for the past three years by subject area, grade level, campus, special populations, ethnic groups and TAAS objectives.
As part of the analysis, TAAS objectives in which student performance fell below 80 percent are highlighted and reviewed. KISD staff also examine across grade levels to identify any objectives associated with poor performance. The TAAS analysis is summarized in tabular and graphic form, showing results by TAAS objective and grade level for meeting minimum expectations (passing) and for mastering all objectives.
The results of the analysis are presented in a KISD Student Performance Report that breaks out TAAS results by grade level across three years collectively for all students and then for Hispanic, Anglo, African American, Economically Disadvantaged, Title I, At-Risk, Gifted and Talented (G/T) and Special Education students. The report details the test results by year, grade level and each group. Data are shown by three measures: Texas Learning Index (TLI), percent meeting minimum expectations and percent mastering all objectives.
During the two staff development days at the start of the KISD school year, district administrators review TAAS results and discuss the analyses. KISD teachers meet by grade level to review TAAS results and the item analysis performed by the Academic Excellence Indicator System-IT (AEISIT), a software program that the Education Service Center in Region 10 developed. The AEISIT program provides reports by TAAS objective and TAAS item for classrooms, student groups or individual students. Each KISD school has an individual trained in the use of AEISIT who can generate TAAS analyses for the current and previous years.
Based on TAAS data analysis results, KISD teachers identify the TAAS targets (TEKS objectives) needing improvement. Teachers analyze TAAS results by target from the weakest to the strongest performance. Each grade level or department performs an item analysis of each TAAS release test and identifies the factors causing low success rates for specific items as well as strategies for improvement. TAAS release tests are tests that have already been administered and are used by schools as benchmark or practice tests.
KISD uses TAAS analysis data to determine the time allocation for improvement of identified targets and to develop a calendar of instruction based upon inclusion of TAAS targets in the curriculum. KISD also creates a timeline for the mastery of each TEKS item and its assessment. KISD grade level and department teams meet with the principals to analyze checkpoint and benchmark test results and develop plans to address class-wide and individual weaknesses. Checkpoints refer to the assessment of a few TAAS objectives at a time. Benchmarks refer to an entire TAAS Release Test.
The KISD assessment calendar, based on a six-week period, includes checkpoints and benchmarks. KISD has developed an assessment calendar for each grade level. For example, grade 1 and 2 students take district-developed TAAS-like tests in May (grade 1) or in February and May (grade 2). Grades 3-8 students take a combination of checkpoint tests and two to three benchmark tests before the official TAAS tests. High school students take checkpoint tests in English II, Algebra I and Geometry.
KISD offers a wide range of assistance to students with low TAAS performance. Students in K-4 can get assistance through programs such as Reading Rescue, a program administered by paraprofessionals trained in Reading Recovery strategies, and Sequoia, a computer-based reading program for elementary students. Students at all schools can participate in Creative Education Institute (CEI) Labs or receive after-school tutoring. Middle school students can use computer-based reading programs such as PLATO. Each school also has a mentoring program. The district uses TAAS results to determine staff development needs.
KISD uses group and individual student performance data to guide instructional decisions for improving student performance.
KISD student participation in the Academic College Test (ACT) and the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) exceeds regional and state averages. KISD has the second highest percent of students who took the ACT or the SAT in 2000-01 and the highest percent of students who met the criterion. KISD's average SAT and ACT scores are also the highest among the peer districts and surpass both the regional and state averages (Exhibit 2-10).
The Academic College Test (ACT) includes English, mathematics, reading and science reasoning, with scores ranging from 1 to 36 on each component. The ACT composite is the average of the four component scores. TEA selected a score of 21 on the ACT and a score of 1,110 on the SAT to represent high levels of performance on college entrance exams. The Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) includes a verbal and a mathematics component. Scores range from 200 to 800 for each test component. The combined total is the most frequently reported score and ranges up to a maximum of 1600.
Exhibit 2-10Source: TEA, AEIS, 2000-01.
College Entrance Examination Scores
KISD vs. Peer Districts, Region 20 and State
District Percent of
Midlothian 72.7% 33.9% 1011 21.6 Kerrville 70.0% 39.4% 1058 21.8 Marble Falls 68.6% 29.3% 1007 20.9 Brenham 54.3% 28.5% 1015 20.4 Aransas County 53.6% 24.6% 972 19.8 Levelland 48.1% 18.9% 967 20.6 Region 20 64.0% 22.5% 946 19.5 State Average 62.2% 27.3% 990 20.3
KISD aligned its K-12 curriculum to the ACT and SAT objectives in 1999-2000. KISD high school teachers and staff encourage students throughout the year to sign up for the ACT or SAT. The district also offers fee waiver options for students who cannot pay the ACT or SAT registration fees. These strategies have increased participation in the tests and improved performance on the tests.
KISD has a high rate of student participation and performance on ACT and SAT examinations.
KISD has set student performance and conduct expectations through the Kerrville ISD Graduate Profile and integrates them into its curriculum. The District Curriculum Team aligned the KISD curriculum to the Graduate Profile to make sure that the objectives in the Graduate Profile were addressed in the curriculum before graduation.
The Graduate Profile, which was developed by a committee of community members, business members, parents, teachers, administrators and students, serves as a guide for the KISD's curriculum philosophy and vision. The KISD Graduate Profile outlines expected knowledge, skills and conduct of KISD graduates in four areas: communication skills, knowledge/academics, citizenship and problem-solving skills. Each of the four areas describes achievement levels required of KISD graduates.
In the Communication Skills area, graduates are expected to:
- communicate accurately and effectively,
- demonstrate social communication skills, and
- demonstrate comprehensive interpersonal skills.
In the knowledge/academics area, KISD graduates are expected to:
- demonstrate knowledge of career planning and goal setting,
- use technology skills,
- appreciate cultural diversity,
- implement financial management,
- use geography/map reading,
- employ life-management and goal-setting skills,
- demonstrate mathematics, reading, writing and science applications,
- exhibit values and
- practice wellness.
In the area of Citizenship, the KISD graduate is expected to demonstrate:
- a knowledge of government,
- an appreciation for leadership,
- an understanding of economics and
- community involvement.
In the area of Problem Solving Skills, the KISD graduate is expected to employ:
- problem-solving and thinking skills and
- critical thinking skills.
The Graduate Profile specifies how the KISD graduate should demonstrate each of these skills or behaviors. For example, the graduate will demonstrate communicating accurately and effectively by completing an application, developing a resume, producing business/personal letters, demonstrating effective interview skills, utilizing correct grammar, practicing appropriate telephone and e-mail etiquette and demonstrating public speaking skills.
KISD integrates student performance conduct expectations into its instructional program.
KISD has a transitional first grade to increase student preparedness and success. KISD provides parents of kindergarten students or new students who enter KISD in grade 1 and who are not prepared for grade 1 the option of placing their child in a one-year transitional program. The transitional program is designed to enrich the kindergarten curriculum and give these students an additional year to mature. Students who are placed in the transitional program are academically on grade level but are not physically or developmentally ready for grade 1. The parents of these students are given the option of their child spending a year in this program, which is designed to enrich the kindergarten curriculum and give students an additional year to mature. KISD has developed extensive screening procedures to identify students who will benefit from this program.
The KISD transitional program uses children's literature in all content areas. To teach writing, teachers advance the children through pre-writing, drafting, editing and writing. The pre-writing step is experience-based. Teachers read to children then brainstorm questions the children raise to create story beginnings or endings. In the drafting stage, children do a mind map of a story, outlining what they want to write. In the writing step, children put these ideas into complete sentences. In the last step, the children edit their story. To teach math, children engage in high application math using manipulatives, hands-on and real life applications such as measurements.
KISD's retention rates at the kindergarten and grade 1 levels exceed the peer districts' and the state's rates. At 14.5 percent, KISD's kindergarten retention rate is more than five times the state average rate and is nearly twice as high as the retention rate at Levelland ISD, which rates second among the peer districts. Kindergarten retention rates for the other peer districts range between 1.3 percent in Aransas County and 7.7 percent in Levelland. The state average is 2.3 percent. KISD's grade 1 retention rate is 46.5 percent higher than the state's average rate. KISD's retention rates for grades 2-8 are generally lower than the state average (Exhibit 2-11).
Exhibit 2-11Source: TEA, AEIS, 2000-01.
Retention Rates by Grade
KISD vs. Peer Districts and State
Brenham Midlothian Levelland Aransas
Kindergarten 14.5% 3.4% 2.6% 3.6% 7.7% 1.3% 2.3% 1 8.5% 7.9% 2.9% 4.2% 0.0% 6.5% 5.8% 2 1.3% 6.6% 1.3% 0.8% 0.0% 1.5% 3.1% 3 0.7% 5.3% 1.1% 1.2% 0.0% 0.0% 2.2% 4 0.7% 5.9% 2.4% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 1.3% 5 0.4% 1.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 3.0% 0.8% 6 2.0% 3.3% 0.3% 0.0% 0.5% 0.0% 1.6% 7 0.7% 0.9% 0.0% 0.3% 0.5% 6.7% 2.8% 8 0.9% 1.2% 0.0% 0.4% 1.0% 2.6% 1.9%
KISD's transitional program could also contribute to the high passing rates of its students in grades 3 and 4 on the TAAS in 2000-01. More than 96 percent of the students in grade 3 (the grade in which the test is first given) passed TAAS reading and math. During grade 4 when writing is added to the test, more than 95 percent of the KISD students passed TAAS writing. TAAS performance of KISD students in grades 3 and 4 exceed regional and state performance (Exhibit 2-12).
Exhibit 2-12Source: TEA, AEIS, 2000-01.
KISD Grades 3-4 TAAS Performance
KISD vs. Region 20 and State
Reading Math Writing All Tests
Grade 3 97.0% 96.4% N/A 94.2% Region 20 84.6% 80.4% N/A 74.9% State 86.8% 83.1% N/A 78.2% Grade 4 96.1% 97.8% 95.3% 92.5% Region 20 90.3% 90.5% 89.0% 80.3% State 90.8% 91.3% 89.2% 81.6%
KISD's transitional first grade program helps students perform well in school.