Proposed new textbooks available for public review

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Textbooks up for adoption under Proclamation 2017 are available for review and comment by any interested citizen. The textbooks will be available for input and written comments Jan. 11-13, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Birdville Center for Technology and Advanced Learning (BCTAL) located at 7020 Mid Cities Blvd. in North Richland Hills. Textbooks included in Proclamation 2017 are Career and Technology Education (CTE), World Languages, and Mathematics.

> View a complete listing of specific courses with textbooks up for adoption

2017 High School Musicals

 

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Birdville HS Fine Arts Department

presents

Mary Poppins

January 19-21 @ 7 p.m.

January 22 @ 2:30 p.m.

Birdville HS Auditorium

One of the most popular Disney movies of all time as a live musical by Disney and Cameron Mackintosh, and music composed by Richard M. Sherman, Robert B. Sherman and Julian Fellowes!  Bert, the jack-of-all trades, introduces us to England in 1910 and the troubled Banks family. Young Jane and Michael have sent many a nanny packing before Mary Poppins arrives on their doorstep. Using a combination of magic and common sense, she must teach the family members how to value each other again.


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Haltom HS Fine Arts Department

presents

Damn Yankees

January 21 & 23 @ 7 p.m.

January 22 @ 3 p.m.

Haltom HS Auditorium

A musical based on the novel “The Year the Yankees Lost the Pennant” by Douglass Wallop. Joe Boyd sells his soul to the devil, Mr. Applegate, for “one good Long ball hitter” for his team, the Washington Senators. Mr. Applegate grants his wish, turning him into a 22-year-old sports superstar who must go back to his wife before 9 p.m. on the final game day if he doesn’t want Mr. Applegate to get his soul.


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Richland HS Fine Arts Department

presents

Godspell

January 21 & 23 @ 7 p.m.

January 22 @ 2 p.m.

Richland HS Auditorium

A musical by Stephen Schwartz based on the Gospel according to St. Matthew.  A small group of people help Jesus tell different parables by using a wide variety of games, storytelling techniques and hefty doses of comic timing. An eclectic blend of songs, ranging in style from pop to vaudeville, is employed as the story of Jesus’ life dances across the stage. Dissolving hauntingly into the Last Supper and the Crucifixion, Jesus’ messages of kindness, tolerance and love come vibrantly to life.

A–F Ratings: It Will Not Define Us

afratings

 

Dear BISD Families,

On Friday, Jan. 6, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) will release provisional A–F ratings for districts and campuses based on data from the 2015–16 school year as required by HB 2804 passed by the Texas Legislature in 2015.

While Birdville ISD believes that schools and districts should be held accountable for providing the highest quality education for students, we encourage parents and community members to use caution when interpreting these provisional A–F ratings for the following reasons:

  1. Birdville ISD and all BISD campuses received the highest rating (Met Standard) on the current accountability system. We are proud of our students and teachers for their performance in those areas.
  1. The A-F rating system is still a work in progress. The TEA will make several changes to the system before the first official ratings are released in August 2018. The current ratings are based on incomplete data from the 2015–16 school year and do not include several components that will be included in the ratings in 2018.

Although an A–F grading system seems simple and understandable to most people, the calculations needed to determine each letter grade are extremely complicated and lack transparency. In fact, TEA did not release information to districts on exactly how the calculations were to be made until December 16, 2016. Therefore, it is recommended that parents and community members keep in mind the work-in-progress nature of the A–F rating system.

  1. TEA has limited the number of schools and districts that may be rated as A or B. According to this system, the most common rating across the state is a C. Thus, these provisional ratings reflect performance as compared to all other schools, rather than whether or not schools have met certain predetermined standards.
  1. Ratings for Domains I, II, and III are based entirely on STAAR results. No school’s performance can accurately be reduced to a letter grade based on one test, given on one day. Several problems with administration of STAAR across the state in 2015–2016 have raised questions about the accuracy of scores and validity of test results.
  1. Ratings for Domain IV for elementary schools are based entirely on the percentage of students who are absent more than 10 percent of the time. Attendance at small schools may be negatively impacted by only a few students who do not attend regularly. For example, the rating for a school of 300 students may drop from a C to an F if only three additional students are chronically absent (i.e., the number of chronically absent students increases from 22 to 25). Because elementary students usually depend on family members to get to school each day, our schools are being rated on a factor that may be beyond their control.

Regardless of the new labeling system, we have high standards in Birdville ISD. The new system will inform us, but it will not define us. Plans are already in place that continue to make us an innovative district that is responsive to the needs of our students. In addition, it is important for us to continue to tell our story of excellence every chance we get.

What You Ought to Know About the State’s New A–F Ratings

afratings

Birdville ISD believes in a fair accountability system, one in which Texas students are served by a comprehensive community-based accountability system that looks beyond high-stakes, multiple-choice tests to meaningful assessments that have value for students, parents, and teachers; a system that measures what each community considers important in promoting college and career readiness.

But, a comprehensive community-based accountability system is not what parents and communities across the state are getting with the new A–F rating system. This new rating system will not reflect how well a school or district is educating students. In fact, it is quite the opposite.

Beginning with the 2017–18 school year, the Texas commissioner of education will assign each public school district and campus with a rating in the form of an A–F letter grade to comply with House Bill 2804, passed by the 84th Texas Legislature in 2015. Don’t be fooled by the apparent simplicity of these new ratings. They may not accurately represent how well a school and district are performing.

Birdville ISD, along with school districts across the state, opposes this A–F rating system which is clouded by complicated rules and calculations rather than clear and concise data that everyone can understand. The legislature does not want a community-based accountability system. Instead, they want a rating system that appears to be simple, but in fact, includes five areas of focus (“domains”), each with its own set of criterion, and complicated data formulations that will not truly reflect the quality of a school or district.

Also, ratings will be based on a bell-type curve where 10 percent of the schools/districts receive an A, 35 percent receive a B, 40 percent receive a C, 10 percent receive a D (Needs Improvement), and five percent receive an F (Needs Improvement). If ratings are based on this type of curve, how will schools and districts ever be able to improve when 15 percent must always fail?

Here is what is currently known about A–F rating systems:

  • A–F rating systems are based predominately on once-per-year standardized test scores;
  • A–F rating systems have not worked in other states;
  • To reduce the many measures of school and district performance to a single grade, A–F rating systems rely on pages upon pages of complicated rules and calculations;
  • A–F systems fail to account for varying socioeconomic conditions that influence performance;
  • Grades in an A–F system will align with wealth or poverty and likely punish poor schools for being poor;
  • A–F rating systems provide no sense of what schools must do to improve; and
  • A–F rating systems create false impressions about entire neighborhoods of children and shame

(Source: A–F Talking Points 2017, Texas Association of School Administrators)

In January 2017, TEA will release preliminary ratings based on 2016 data. It is important to remember, these are just sample ratings based on flawed data from the 2016 STAAR tests. The first official ratings are scheduled to be released August 15, 2018.

If you have questions on the complexity of the new A–F rating system, contact your elected officials in Austin. Ask them to explain the five domains and how ratings will be determined for each.