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Public meeting positive, BSISD officials remark

September 13, 2011

Big Spring Independent School District Superintendent Steven Saldivar, center left, addresses the audience at a public meeting at the high school board room Monday evening. (HERALD photo/Steve Reagan)

Big Spring independent School District officials got what they wanted Monday evening.

The district hosted a public meeting to solicit citizens' input on a variety of issues, and an overflow crowd accepted the invitation.

The major topics of conversation were the district's recent sub-par academic ranking from the Texas Education Agency, and — more importantly to the audience — what the district was going to do to correct the situation.

Along with 87 other school districts in Texas, BSISD was rated “academically unacceptable” by TEA earlier this year, mostly because student scores in critical areas of the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) standardized test failed to meet state passage standards.

While stating that students' test scores are only “a piece of the pie” in the educational process, Saldivar said the district will do everything possible to rid itself of the “unacceptable” tag.

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Public Meeting with BSISD

September 14, 2011 by newsrider (not verified), 3 years 49 weeks ago
Comment: 69

This must be another Herald first! Yes, I would be very interested in what the school district will do to improve the test scores of our children, but hell, why don't they just build a new sports complex and that should solve the problem. It always did before. Why not now? Or perhaps, they could actually convince parents to enforce proper study habits on their children. Or, is it true that BSISD teachers have the same disease all other teachers in America have? That is to say, they know not nor have not the inspirations to teach, or know anything about the subject they are attempting to teach. How dare I suggest such a scurrilous thing!
Not that many years ago, I can remember teachers in the BSISD who inspired students to read and learn. One science teacher, a chemistry teacher, inspired students with many kinds of demonstrations and classroom participation lessons. Students couldn’t wait to get to class and see what was next. Many in my class discussed textbook readings and experiments outside of class. Some of us would call our classmates and discuss the same things after school.
It was not only science where BSISD teachers excelled. I recall an English teacher Mrs. Puckett, who was the most talented teacher of the English language and literature of any I met subsequently or should ever meet. She inspired me so much; it made my 32-year career in classical music soar with the inspiration of how the written and spoken English language related to the great master works of music.
I will never forget the two history teachers I had in High School. They were husband and wife. He was my world history teacher, if I remember correctly. He told the class one day that communism was far better for people than capitalism. This was back in the day, obviously. But this type of teaching in our schools is viral and just as delusional as ever before. I don’t recall if the shocking statement was to spur our virgin minds or just one of his egotistic tirades. He was given to those types of verbal demonstrations in class. But it didn’t matter to anyone; he was a football coach. A coach of the great Big Spring Steers football team, you know, the team of great football wonders. It’s a wonder they survived a game.
Indeed, it is true BSISD had some of the most talented teachers anywhere. Why cannot BSISD find them now? Where is the talent? Are the salaries competitive? Or, does the BSISD rely on “education” majors with high academic averages who cannot spell the subject they feign to teach.
It would be good to acknowledge the blame for all of this failure is not solely the fault of the school board. Parents must suck it up and take their responsibility for the blame as well. Inspire your children to behave, have respect for learning, pay attention in class, discover the wonders of life, and get excited about it.
These lame achievement tests are not difficult. Not if you learn and read, because if you do, you will realize there is much more to learning and achieving than what you can learn in class. There are no colleges, universities, or any other place a young person can learn better than being curious, paying attention to what is going on in the world, getting excited about learning, and doing the things to obtain the experience it takes to be successful. Our children must get inspired to take the initiative to learn and achieve. They must be encouraged, and if it comes to this, forced to pay attention, learn, and succeed.
I don’t remember any teacher during my matriculation in the BSISD that wasn’t the most inspiring teacher I ever had. I have two doctorate degrees; one is honorary. I have met some of our nation’s most honorable and prominent figures. But the teachers of BSISD in my day top my list as the best.

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