By Holly Wise
The Cove Herald
LAMPASAS - A data-input error rendered the Lampasas Independent School District academically unacceptable, LISD Superintendent Randall Hoyer told board members Monday night.
Hoyer said the rating will be appealed but the likelihood of getting it reversed is slim.
"Data input is not a correctable error," he said, according to the appeals guidelines of the Texas Education Agency.
Thirteen seventh- and eighth-grade students were categorized as dropping out in the 2008-09 school year – the error, which resulted in the academically unacceptable rating. In reality, 10 moved out of state, one passed away and two moved out of the country.
"It should have been zero drop out," Hoyer said. "This is a straight up data error."
The appeal deadline is Aug. 13 and a decision will be released in mid-October, TEA spokesperson DeEtta Culbertson said.
"There are no guaranteed outcomes," she said.
Once the appeal is received, the agency will evaluate it and prepare a recommendation, she explained. An independent external three-member panel will review the compiled information and make a recommendation to Texas Commissioner of Education Robert Scott who will make the final decision.
Preliminary TEA reports rated Taylor Creek Elementary as exemplary; Lampasas High School and Hanna Springs Elementary as recognized and Kline Whitis Elementary as academically acceptable. Had the coding error not occurred, the district would have received a rating of recognized and the Middle School would have been ranked academically acceptable.
"As the superintendent I take full responsibility for this error," Hoyer said. "I am deeply apologetic to the community and to the school for it. It won't happen again."
"It's a shame that the punishment doesn't fit the crime," LISD board president James Briggs said. "I hope we don't let it undo or dampen the tremendous improvements we've made."
Hoyer said he wants the hard work of the teachers to be recognized and that the academically unacceptable rating is "not a true reflection of Lampasas Independent School District."
Contact Holly Wise at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7474.