News

Pearland is Proud of the Little League Baseball Team

Posted on Friday, 19 August 2011

Congratulations for all the hard work the Little League kids put in this year! The team aimed for the second year running to enter the Little League World Series. The Maroon took it one game at a time and successfully completed each game. The last game that would have qualified them had a last minute snafu that allowed the other team to win by one point.

All season long and the majority of the finals Pearland was on track to win a spot in the World Series for the second year in a row. “ Riding the red-hot bat of catcher David Hurst, Pearland scored two in the first, four in the third and one in the fourth to build a 7-2 lead. Hurst singled, doubled and homered, driving in six of his team's seven runs.”
The kids did an excellent job, played well, and are looking forward to another try next year.

Strengthened accountability will keep Texas schools on path to excellence

Posted on Tuesday, 16 August 2011

The Texas Education Agency released accountability ratings on July 29 for 8.526 public schools and 1,228 districts. The ratings are based on high school completion rates, dropout rates and passing rates on the state test, the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS).

Increasing standards and the elimination of the Texas Projection Measure (TPM) resulted in fewer schools and districts earning an Exemplary accountability rating in 2011.

Although this is the last year of the TAKS-based accountability system, there are a number of changes that have increased its rigor and impacted ratings in preparation for the new rating system that will begin in 2013.

“Each year, we raise the bar to push our schools to keep growing and improving. These changes will help prepare schools and districts for the new accountability system in 2013, which will be based on the new State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR™) and are also in response to House Bill 3 passed by the Texas legislature in 2009,” said Commissioner of Education Robert Scott.

Changes to the system include:

  • The elimination of the TPM, which was used for the 2009 and 2010 ratings.
  • The inclusion of additional results for more than 119,000 students receiving special education services who were tested on the TAKS-Modified and TAKS-Alternate assessments.
  • The inclusion of a measure for English language learners based on TAKS passing standards and progress on the Texas
  • English Language Proficiency Assessment System (TELPAS) reading, an assessment that measures a student’s English reading proficiency and progress.
  • Increasing the TAKS indicator standards for the Academically Acceptable rating by five points each for mathematics and science.
  • Adding a new commended performance indicator for the Recognized and Exemplary rating categories.
  • Increasing the rigor of the annual dropout rate for grades 7-8 from 1.8 percent to 1.6 percent.

The TPM was eliminated as a result of public opposition to the use of the measure, including a unanimous vote against further use of test score projections on House Bill 500.

Because of this change to the system and the others listed above, the number of Exemplary districts fell from 241 in 2010 to 61 this year while the number of campuses earning the highest rating dropped from 2,637 in 2010 to 1,224 today.

Those that earned the highest rating had passing rates on the TAKS of 90 percent or higher, a high school completion rate of 95 percent or better, at least 25 percent of students at the Commended Performance level, at least 60 percent of ELL students meeting progress criteria, and a grade 7-8 annual dropout Strengthened accountability will keep Texas schools on path to excellence
rate of 1.6 percent or less.

“Communities should be very proud of these high performing schools and districts that are meeting these rigorous standards,” Scott said.

Conversely, the number of districts with the state’s lowest rating, Academically Unacceptable, increased from 37 last year to 88 in 2011. The number of Academically Unacceptable campuses increased from 104 to 569. Although an increase, only about 7 percent of the districts and campuses in the state received this rating.

The requirements for each rating category can be found in the 2011 Accountability Manual.

The 2008 ratings were the last ratings issued prior to the two year inclusion of TPM in 2009 and 2010. When the 2008 and 2011 ratings are compared, an increase is seen in the number of districts and campuses that earned an Exemplary or Recognized rating, even though the ratings criteria has increased significantly during that time. For example, 43 districts were rated Exemplary in 2008 compared to 61 in 2011.

This year, the most common reason that a district or campus earned the lowest rating was due to TAKS mathematics only with the second most common reason being a combination of mathematics and science.

Below are the number of districts or campuses that earned a rating in either the standard or alternative education accountability procedures rating systems and the percent it represents of the total.

State Ratings

Exemplary 61 Districts (5.0%) – 1,224 Campuses(14.4%)
Recognized 422 Districts (34.4%) – 2,825 Campuses(33.1%)
Academically Acceptable 655 Districts (53.3%) – 3,285 Campuses (38.5%)
Academically Unacceptable 88 Districts (7.2%) – 569 Campuses(6.7%)
Not Rated 2 Districts (0.2%) – 623 Campuses(7.3%)

Source: Texas Education Today, the newsletter from the Texas Education Agency, July 2011 issue

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Posted on Monday, 15 August 2011

Pearland’s Girls Scouts are making themselves and their world a better place. As Junior Troop #7314 journey’s from Daisy to Ambassador they recently had the opportunity to visit a local Hindu Temple to gain perspective on the religions faith and deities. The Sri Meenakshi Davastanam Hindu temple in Pearland was built in the 1970’s and is the United States third largest temple.

Patrons of the temple took time out from their day to visit with these extraordinary girls giving them insite into their faith and culture. The temple allowed them to participate in the morning temple ritual. Hindu morning rituals include various prayers, yoga, and other activities focused on building a strong body and mind.

Following the morning rituals and a tour of the facility, the girls were allowed to freely explore the temple. Many photographed the unique architecture and rooms in the temple. This educational experience will allow the girls to earn their “Passport to Religion badge from the Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana.”

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Posted on Wednesday, 10 August 2011

The Alvin Gator swim team, which is part of the Coastal Cities Aquatic Association, swam at the Texas Amateur Athletics Federation Region 1 on July 16th. The meet held in Texas City advances the top four competitors from each event to the Games of Texas in Waco. Thirty two of the Gator team members advanced to the state swim meet. “Jacob Moore broke the 13-14 Boys 50yd Breast-Stroke Region 1 and TAAF record with a time of 29.69“

Being a part of swim team can inspire and enable children to achieve excellence in the sport and in life. Swim team fosters enjoyment and learning which contributes to a child’s over all success. The Gator swim team is affiliated with USA swimming. To learn more about swim team email ccaaswim@ccaaswim.org or call 512-257-8005. For general information about swim team visit the USA Swimming website.

New Novel by Pearland Author to be Released in August

Posted on Wednesday, 03 August 2011

Pearland Resident and international best selling author, Karen Young will release her 38th novel on August 3rd. The book which is titled Lie for Me will be available for sale online and in major bookstores. The story line is set here in Texas where a drama filled relationship is mixed with moral drama. The book is published by Simon & Schuster.

Karen Young has been a successful romance novelist for years with over 30 books in her collection, however at age 72 she decided to transition into a new style of writing. After the death of her beloved husband she took a 3 month sabbatical. Young then began drawing on her faith as a Presbyterian and churned out 3 amazing faith based novels. The latest book, Lie for Me is “an exciting thriller with the second chance romantic subplot enhancing the suspense. Readers will root for the embattled lead protagonists caught in the cross hairs of a ruthless diabolical killer who framed Tucker and plans to murder Lauren. Lie For Me is a gripping one sitting read”. "

 
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