Behind the walkout: WFISD board members express their frustration with board meetings

Local News

WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Two of the three Wichita Falls Independent School District school board members are explaining why they walked out of Monday night’s meeting.

They said student achievement is of the utmost importance right now, but they aren’t feeling that sense of urgency from the district.

“I feel stonewalled in getting information regarding our test scores,” WFISD board member Katherine McGregor said.

WFISD school board members Katherine McGregor, Bob Payton and Mark Lukert all walked out of Monday night’s school board meeting early.

In the meeting, McGregor expressed her frustration with how STAAR test results were not being discussed in-depth with the board.

Payton and McGregor said Superintendent Mike Kuhrt has established a pattern of putting subjects off until a later date.

“I sat there and just got fed up with it and decided that I was done, and so we walked out,” Payton said.

McGregor said STAAR test results show the district has done well in some areas but poor in others. Almost 50% of the district’s third graders did not meet reading grade-level, and half of the district’s eighth graders did not meet grade-level in social studies.

McGregor said she has asked for a more in-depth report, but has not gotten one, which is why she is concerned for the district.

“I wanna know what we’re doing in terms of an excellent curriculum. What tools are we providing our teachers?” McGregor said. “I hear a lot about data that we test a lot. I wanna know what we’re doing to help our teachers teach, and I’m not satisfied with the answers I’m getting.”

In a statement, Board President Mike Rucker said information was shared with the board in August and last week about how the district is improving academic achievement this year.

Read his statement below:

He said McGregor also met with the associate superintendent in July about last year’s STAAR results and with district curriculum administrators to discuss academic achievement and systems that were in place last school year.

As administration works to improve test scores in the district, these board members want everyone to get involved.

“Let’s do this. Not trying to throw the administration under the bus, let’s all do this together,” Payton said. “That has been the way that we’ve come at this, but we’re not seeing anything in return.”

“We have to do better, and we can do better,” McGregor said. “But business people, community people, people in schools with children, in schools that are excelling, this is everybody’s problem.”

This is a problem that McGregor said will only get better with acknowledgment and devising a plan to educate future generations.

A special session has been scheduled for next week to have a more in-depth discussion on last year’s STAAR test results.

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