WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Wichita Falls ISD administration and community members packed Tuesday’s school board meeting following last week’s meeting that abruptly ended when three board members walked out.
The superintendent, curriculum staff and a few principals all explained how the district is currently teaching students.
Board member Katherine McGregor read off comments from teachers saying they are having to find their own materials to teach. But several principals answered saying that is not true and that the current curriculum in place is working.
“Teachers have zero material and have to find/buy everything they use. Extreme frustration. I do believe scores will never get better without comprehensive curriculum,” McGregor said.
“The curriculum that we use for our program does have that flexibility and that individualism and it makes a difference,” Yolanda Lewis.
Back and forth all meeting long. For more than two hours, WFISD board members asking questions and reading off comments they’ve received.
“I’m sure that you’ve heard we have no textbooks or workbooks of any kind for any subject. This has been happening for the last couple of years and it doesn’t seem to be working for students. Teachers aren’t being allowed to do what they think is best for students,” McGregor said.
And local principals and administrators answering back with how they see students progressing daily.
“I totally get where you’re coming from as far as needing a curriculum but personally, I like the flexibility of being able to utilize some of these programs, softwares, what have you, as a supplemental resource,” Lamar Elementary Principal Amanda Garcia said.
Low STAAR test results sparked major concern amongst several board members.
After a walkout last week, board member Katherine Mcgregor said she has been pushing for a large in-depth discussion about the results and what is being done about them. And, she certainly got it on Tuesday night.
“To have no foundation that goes through our district so that you’re gonna teach the same thing she’s gonna teach other than finding it on the TEEKS list, there’s just no consistency and without consistency how do we change that,” McGregor said.
“Even if we had something that was lockstep, I think our scores would be worse because you’re going to be leaving out a majority of your students because they’re not all on the same level,” Curriculum Specialist Kellie Hare, Curriculum said.
Board members say they understand the problems and want to help any way they can. But principals say the current plan is working.
“Our walking down scores were double what they were projected to be at the beginning of the year. I think we’re just expecting everyone to run regardless of the length of the race. That’s why STAAR is giving you an inaccurate picture because it’s just the finish line,” Kate Burgess Elementary Principal Jeff Hill said.
“We gotta support all of them because if we can support these guys, they’ll support the teachers. They support the teachers, they support the students, and then they’re gonna support all the parents and the community because, in the end, it’s our community that needs to rise up to the occasion,” WFISD Associate Superintendent Dr. Peter Griffiths said.
A very passionate discussion to make sure students are equipped for the future.
Principals also say they don’t need more materials but more personnel. Click here to learn more.