PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

Nederland

January 22, 2014

NISD will host HB 5 meeting

NEDERLAND — NISD will host HB 5 meeting

By Erinn Callahan

The News staff writer

NEDERLAND — In an effort to ease the transitory period in Texas education, the Nederland Independent School District will host a parent meting at 6:30 p.m. Thursday in the Nederland High School Performing Arts Center, 2101 18th St.

Region 5 educational specialists Monica Malfouz and Candyce Tompkins will present an overview of the updated Public School Academic Accountability System and the new graduation plans being implemented in accordance with House Bill 5.

The new accountability system allows for a broader analysis of student groups, in addition to monitoring student progress, Stuart Kieschnick, NISD assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, said.

“It's gone from a death by single cell, which meant you were graded on lowest performing subgroup, to a four index system where all student groups are what you're graded on,” Kieschnick said. “And student progress is now part of the index.”

Signed by Gov. Rick Perry in June, House Bill 5 lowers the number of end-of-course exams students are required to pass before graduation from 15 to five. It also provides more pathways to post-secondary education by shifting away from the current “4 by 4” plan.

Under HB 5, Kieshnick said, all student will operate on a minimum foundation plan requiring 22 credits for graduation. On top of that, they have the option of five areas of endorsement — STEM (science, technology engineering and mathematics), business and industry, public services, fine arts/humanities and multidisciplinary studies.

“They can pick the route they want to go based on what they foresee themselves doing after high school,” Kieschnick said. “I like the flexibility, and that it gives students options.”

Kieschnick said that any parent who attends the meeting will come away with a better understanding of the graduation process.

“They’ll know what to expect, and they’ll know the rules of the game,” he said.

Email: ecallahan@panews.com

Twitter: @ErinnPA

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