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Coahoma trustees eye rule waiver

April 18, 2012

COAHOMA — School trustees are expected to approve a resolution setting aside the “15 percent rule” for a year when they hold their monthly meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday in the administration building board room.

The “15 percent rule” is a buzz phrase much used in public school circles lately and relates to a requirement of the new state standardized test, the STAAR (State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness).

Simply put, the rule states that STAAR end of course test scores for high school students will count for 15 percent of their total grade in that class.

There have been a few hiccups implementing the rule, however.
Coahoma Independent School District Superintendent Amy Jacobs said the major roadblock to implementing the rule this year is that nobody yet knows exactly what the passing standard on the STAAR test will be.

“They can't tell you, for example, that if you get 40 of 52 test questions right, whether you passed,” Jacobs said. “There's just so many unknowns with the STAAR right now.”

In response to the problem, Texas Education Agency officials are allowing school districts to defer the 15 percent rule for this school year only.

The resolution is expected to pass easily.

“I don't know any school districts that haven't approved (the resolution),” Jacobs said.

Also Thursday, trustees may act to fill three teaching vacancies at Coahoma High School. Jacobs said the school board will go into closed session to consider hiring two social studies teachers and a health instructor. All three individuals also will have athletic coaching responsibilities.

In other business, trustees will consider:

• The district's financial statement and investment report.
• Revenue and expenditure reports.

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