As you know, the polls opened on February 20th for early voting and are open until March 2nd. You may also be aware that I along with our School Board have supported and encouraged our staff and eligible students to educate themselves on the issues and the candidates as well as to engage in the civic right and responsibility to vote---in all eligible elections large and small. For this, I won’t apologize nor will I cower to the bullies out there in our state and nation who are offended by the fact that public schools are encouraging citizens to become educated and engaged. In fact, supporting this sort of civic mindedness is the very essence for what public education was designed to do.
Allow me to illustrate with a few important facts and some opinions.
Fact #1: Texas Education Code 2A4.001 cites that the mission and purpose of public schools and “Educators will [be to] prepare students to be thoughtful, active citizens who have an appreciation for the basic values of our state and national heritage and who can understand and productively function in a free enterprise society.”
Opinion #1: Apparently, it is our job as educators to help prepare students to function in our society and to me, that includes understanding the importance of and having models who educate themselves and engage in the many aspects of voting, elections, and the overall ideals of our democracy.
Fact #2: It is Texas Law for Public High School Principals to ensure that all eligible students in high school register to vote. In 1983, State Rep. Paul Ragsdale authored novel legislation calling on our public schools to educate and engage our students in voting. This law required principals or other designated registrars to circulate voter registration forms and notices to eligible high schoolers at least twice a year.
Opinion #2: It seems to me that our own Texas legislators saw a need for and acted upon using our public schools to promote civic mindedness and especially to create a culture of voting in our young people.
I will close with an interpretation of these facts. Educators are to ensure that students learn academic content and this content includes Government. Our students begin learning about the ideals of our democracy as early as Kindergarten and continue to learn about our government, economy, and societal issues through the 12th grade. Teachers are responsible for not only teaching the facts about these concepts, but they must provide multiple real-world examples and scenarios in which the students develop a greater understanding of the complex and critical aspects of our government. Our teachers also serve as role models for our students in many ways; the least of which is how to educate themselves on the issues and how to engage in our government. We do this in many ways and one of the most crucial ways is ---voting. Therefore, it just makes sense that we would not only encourage our students to engage in civic mindedness, but we would encourage and even expect our educators to model this very same behavior. I also feel compelled to set the record straight. Pampa ISD has not used district resources in any way to promote certain candidates or political parties. We have merely encouraged our staff to educate themselves on the issues and the candidates and to engage in the process by voting---early and as often as we have the opportunity for our voices to be heard. See you at the polls!
Pampa ISD is sharing this information about the district as part of its obligations under the federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB). Federal Report Cards for the state, the district, and each of the district’s campuses are now available on the Texas Education Agency’s website at:
Federal Report Cards
Information on these report cards includes:
Part I: Percent Tested and Student Achievement by Proficiency Level – Provides the State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness (STAAR) performance results and participation for each subject area and grade level tested.
Participation reports also include reports of the participation of Children with Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) by assessment type.
Part II: Student Achievement and State Academic Annual Measurable Objectives (AMOs) – Provides the AMO outcomes and data table of STAAR performance results for each subject area tested in the accountability subset. This section also includes participation rates on STAAR for reading/English and mathematics, use of alternative assessments, plus four-year and five-year graduation rates.
Part III: Priority and Focus Schools – Priority schools are the lowest 5% of Title I served campuses based on performance in reading and mathematics and graduation rates. Focus schools are 10% of Title I served campuses, not already identified as priority schools, that have the widest gaps between student group performance and safeguard targets.
Part IV: Teacher Quality Data – Provides information on teacher quality in three parts.
Part A – Percent of Teachers by Highest Degree Held – Professional qualifications of all public elementary and secondary teachers in the Texas.
Part B and C – Teachers with Emergency/Provisional Credentials, Low Poverty/High Poverty Summary Reports – Percentage of all public elementary and secondary school teachers teaching with emergency or provisional credentials, disaggregated by high-poverty compared to low-poverty schools.
Part V: Graduates Enrolled in Texas Institution of Higher Education (IHE) – Provides the percentage of students who enroll and begin instruction at an institution of higher education in Texas during the school year (fall or spring semester) following high school graduation.
Part VI: Statewide National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) Results – Provides most recent NAEP results for Texas showing reading and mathematics performance results and participation rates, disaggregated by student group.
If you have difficulty accessing the information from the website, hard copies of the reports are available at the district or campus office. If you have questions about the information, please contact the campus principal.
Pampa ISD Superintendent
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Pampa Independent School District
1233 North Hobart
Pampa, Texas 79065
Copyright © pampa independent school district 2015. All rights reserved.
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