Leander ISD trustees may remove standardized test goals from annual improvement plan

(Brian Perdue, Community Impact Newspaper)
(Brian Perdue, Community Impact Newspaper)

(Brian Perdue, Community Impact Newspaper)

Leander’s ISD staff is recommending the board of trustees approve six of seven objectives in the district improvement and campus improvement plans at the Nov. 7 workshop meeting—deviating from what is typically a procedural vote held each year.

Trustees annually approve goals for a district improvement plan, which is a broad list of goals for the school year, according to LISD documents. This year, some campuses are required to also address the academic performance of “certain student groups” which is included in the plan.

Gone from the staff’s recommendation for the Nov. 7 meeting is the first objective—which sets percentage improvement goals in standardized test scores for reading and math.

The value of using standardized test scores to measure learning was discussed at the Oct. 17 meeting, when the improvement plans were last presented.

Superintendent Bruce Gearing suggested then that the standardized test objectives be removed, prompting a robust discussion about the value of standardized tests when it comes to measuring a student’s learning.


Gearing, who started at as LISD’s superintendent Aug. 15, said the rapidly evolving world requires a unique capability to learn and that “state accountability [tests and assessments] will not get them there.”

Trustee Aaron Johnson disagreed with Gearing’s strong criticism of standardized scores.

“If we can’t measure our core competency, what are we doing?” Johnson asked.

Trustees also plan to discuss the annual demographic report, which tracks population and development trends in LISD.

The meeting is scheduled for 6:15 p.m. at the Support Services Complex, 1900 Cougar Country Drive, Cedar Park.
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By Brian Perdue

A native of Virginia's Appalachian Mountains, Brian Perdue has been a journalist since 1992, living and working in Virginia, Washington D.C., Hawaii's Big Island, Southern California and Florida before moving to Austin in 2019.


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