Friday, March 30, 2007

Mayde Creek HS Seperates Races For TAKS Rally

Mayde Creek High School Principal O.D. Thompson separated students into While, Black, and Hispanic groups to talk to them about their TAKS scores.

Now the public is up in arms, saying his actions are an act of segregation.

I don't think the principal had any malicious intent. I feel he was trying to get the students focused on TAKS.

As I have said numerous times, the TAKS test is a waste of time. Most teachers spend the majority of their instruction time preparing their students for this test. If a teacher teaches low level classes, most, if not all of the time is spent preparing the students for it.

Never mind that the students miss instruction on other thing; the outcome of the TAKS test is how students, teachers, schools, and administrators are judged.

In this day and age of everyone having to feel special, many are afraid they will be judged intolerant, racist, or any one of many terms that are used to label people if they say or do anything that people find offensive.

Those who feel "offended" need to get a life. Thsi principal was trying to do something positive.

Here is a post from the Houston Chronicle.

Administrators at a Katy school are facing criticism from parents after holding separate assemblies for black, white and Hispanic students to address low scores on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills test.

The assemblies at Mayde Creek High were held for ninth- and 10th-grade students of different ethnicities to discuss steps to boost scores on the state-required test, said district spokesman Steve Stanford. He said only students at risk because of their scores were called to the meetings, and that no negative message was intended.

"The purpose was to encourage and to help at-risk students," Stanford said.

But Amber Queen, whose son is in the ninth grade, disagreed with the decision.

"I would think that they would bring all kids and talk to them at once," she said.

School principal O.D. Tompkins, who is black, decided to hold the sessions, Stanford said. He said test scores at Mayde Creek have lagged, and a higher proportion of students are at risk of failing the math and science portions than at some other district high schools.

The first meeting, held before spring break, assembled black students. The sessions for Hispanic and white students were held after spring break.

Tompkins didn't consider it humiliating or discriminatory, Stanford said.

Kevin Tatum, co-founder of the Katy Citizen Watchdogs, which monitors school performance and spending, said he did not yet have all the facts. "But if they did separate by race, what was the point?" he asked.

Stanford said students were segregated because that's how the state looks at and reports achievement. The separate assemblies apparently did not violate district rules, Stanford said.

Perhaps the people who are judging this principal should use their time to help their child do better in school.

In addition, perhaps the principal should have thought this one out a bit better. Having been an former administrator, I would have realized this could be taken the wrong way.

But what is a principal to do when students have lower grades, even lower prospects, and couldn't care less about school and education.

After all, many of them think they are going to be a world famous rapper, play professional sports, or become rich and famous. The funny thing is they don't have any ideas on how to get there. They think it is going to magically happen.

Perhaps an education would help? You think?

After all, that is what the principal was trying to do; prepare them for a better life.

One question I have is: If it is ok for the state to break down TAKS scores by race and ethnicities and judge the school and their personal on those groups, why can't the principal break the students down the same way to help them pass?

This is just some food for thought.

No comments: