May 25, 2001
TO THE ADMINISTRATOR ADDRESSED:
I am sure you are aware by now of the outstanding performance of
all our students on the most recent administration of the TAAS test
this spring. A record 82 percent of students passed all tests taken.
This is a remarkable achievement when you consider that in 1994,
only 53 percent passed all tests. In addition, minority students
continue to make significant gains at virtually every level. These
results constitute clear evidence that our students and our
educators are rising to the challenge to ensure that all children
In a letter to you last month, I addressed some concerns
regarding the use of inappropriate rewards for TAAS performance.
Some have misinterpreted this letter to apply to end-of-school
academic awards, A-B Honor Rolls, and other awards for academic
achievement. That was not my intent. Most certainly, students and
teachers should be recognized in very positive ways for academic
achievement at all levels. Schools wishing to recognize and
celebrate outstanding performance on the TAAS should include all
students. In this way we celebrate the success of the school as
opposed to singling out individual students.
During my tenure as Commissioner, I have become convinced that we
have the finest educators in the nation. I am extremely impressed by
the tremendous effort our teachers and administrators make on behalf
of the children of Texas. As I travel across this state, I continue
to see dedicated people working tirelessly to make a difference in
the lives of our children. Please convey my sincere appreciation to
these men and women for a job well done.
As summer approaches, I hope each of you has an opportunity to
spend some quality time with your family, and that you return in the
fall with a renewed spirit and dedication to the task at hand.
Again, thank you for all you do for children, and best wishes for a
|A MS Word Version of this letter is available for download.|