WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — It’s been a bit of a frustrating year so far for Wichita Falls Independent School District’s Superintendent, Dr. Donny Lee.
STAAR results were delayed yet again amid a special session starting in October in Austin regarding ‘school choice’. A session Lee thinks is playing a part in why the Texas Education Agency, TEA, hasn’t released scores yet.
“Politics is at play here, and there’s going to be a lot of that unraveled here in October,” Lee said. “Latest comments from the governor were, he said, ‘We’re going to go back into special session in October and we’re going to get vouchers the easy way or the hard way.’ And that’s a quote from him.”
Kirby Middle School stands the most to gain or lose as all Lee can do is hurry and wait. The junior high is in year five of required improvement and faces either closure or state takeover.
The district has raw scores from May, but the TEA has proposed changes to how scores are measured without school district administrators knowing how that will look.
“It’s letting us as a district down, not understanding where we sit today,” Lee continued. “We were supposed to know that information in August, by August 15th, and it’s not projected that we’ll know that information till November. So it’s very difficult for us.”
With no results, it poses a difficult plan on how to prepare students for testing in May. And, with results expected in November, Lee says it could be too late.
“That type of intervention and remediation is going to be very difficult to do when we’re literally halfway through the year so that it’s a wash,” Lee said. “And so that is the reason why we need them so soon in August because we do a lot of staff planning for the rest of the year.”
Despite the need, Lee said all he and the district can do is wait to see what’s next for WFISD and especially Kirby students.