New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - June 12, 2007, New Braunfels, Texas
Page 6 — Herald-Zeitung — Tuesday, June 12, 2007
State rolls out new steps to prevent cheating on the TARS
AUSTIN (AP) — State education officials announced Monday a new security plan designed to prevent cheating on standardized tests.
The plan includes assigning test monitors to campuses with previous security problems. using multiple versions of tests and mandatory seating charts at test sites.
The security measures would apply to the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills test, also called rIAKS. and other state testing programs.
“Texas has always taken test security seriously,” said state Education Commissioner Shirley Neeley. “But as the stakes surrounding testing have become higher, some
have questioned whether we are doing all we can to prevent cheating on our tests and to prosecute those who betray our students and schools in this way.”
A recent analysis by The Dallas Morning News found that tens of thousands of students across Texas continue to cheat on the TAKS test,
despite claims by the Texas Education Agency that cheating on the standardized exam is a rarity.
The suspected cheating was concentrated in the Dallas and Houston school districts and charter schools.
The TEA announced 14 steps to prevent or identify cheating, including:
■Analyze scrambled blocks of test questions to detect answer copying.
■ Contract with a national expert for independent review.
■ Require students to sign honor pledges not to cheat.
■ Develop ways to identify statistically irregular patterns of test answers that may indicate cheating.
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Driver had not been charged as of Monday
Based on preliminary evidence, Alvarez said I lerring and Gage were sitting in the back seats and were not wearing seatbelts.
Alvarez said Monday Hanly, an incoming senior at Smithson Valley High School, had not been charged in the accident.
“That’s way down the road,” he said.
“We will put all the evidence together and take it to the District Attorney’s office for review.
They will decide whether or not to take it to a grand jury.”
Hanly, was treated for minor injuries and
McKenna Memorial Hospital on Saturday, officials with the hospital said.
Based on the outcome of the investigation, Alvarez said Hanly could face charges ranging from reckless driving — a class B misdemeanor — to manslaughter, a second-degree felony.
Hanly also could face criminal neg-ligent homicide and aggravated assault charges, he said.
Suzanne Ashe can be reached at sashe @ herald-zeitung.com.
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Six area residents interviews for seats
vacationing in I lawaii and the May resignation of Kirk Kistner, who is moving outside of the city limits.
The seven-member industrial development board, known as the 4B board, evaluates proposals for sales tax revenue Rinding and makes recommendations to the city council.
Zipp and Stamps join Matthew Harrison, Monroe Miller, Bill Morton, John Malik and Julie Martinez who are serving two-year terms.
Harrison and Miller’s terms expire in October 2008; Morton, Malik and Martinez’s tenns expire in October.
Suzanne Ashe can be reached at sashe @ herald-zeitung com.
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Plan sets limits on certain agreements
in the area it was collected.
“I am proud to sign this legislation because it will help Texas build roads we need to manage our state’s tremendous population growth,” Perry said.
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Vendors can sell unlicensed team-related clothing
Kurtz sells some T-shirts that aren’t required to be licensed. They are clever sayings or gimmick shirts, he said.
“Like shirts that say, Got Tony?’ or ’Got Manu?,”’ he said. “They are made by a guy who travels around and goes to local print shops to have them print them up. Sometimes people don’t want a shirt that says Western Conference Finals, they want something different.”
In 2005, when the Spurs won the NBA Finals, Kurtz was on the same New Braunfels »corner selling Spurs merchandise. He said i he made $40,000 to $50,000 that year but I said then his merchandise was more varied. : “Fused to get vnwswra arid rtrnmt^ms \
The compromise bill also imposes limits on comprehensive development agreements, used in contracts for private-public road building.
Additionally, it sets up a process to determine a road’s market value and makes it easier for local authorities to take on projects in their areas.
Comprehensive development agreements, or CDAs, are a relatively new tool
meant to let the Texas Department of Transportation complete road-building projects more quickly and cheaply by using a single contract for design and construction.
Those agreements have attracted the attention of multinational consortiums willing to pay large sums up front for the right to operate roads and pocket the tolls for decades to come.
Spurs fans who are looking to purchase official NBA merchandise from area vendors should look for the following:
I Metallic sticker with NBA logo behind another image of a basketball.
I Official Spurs merchandise will have the Spurs or NBA Finals logo on it.
used to have an awesome looking display,” he said. “Now, we mainly have T-shirts."
Kurtz blames the decline in merchandise to big business running out the little guys.
“Now a lot of stuff is owned by the NBA so they’re starting to monopolize,” he said.
“It’s coming down to running out the small guy. You don’t see as many vendors out here.”
Suzanne Ashe can be reached at sashe @herald-zeitvmg.com
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New structure will have sidewalk, rails
for next year’s (tubing) season.” Currently, the only barrier between the pedestrian walkway and the road are yellow raised lane markers in the concrete and the low bridge is closed when the river flows above 3,000 cubic feet per second. Recently shut down for two weeks, the Gruene Road bridge again was closed about 4 p.m. Monday, New Braunfels Police Department officials said.
“We’re open year-round but, with the bridge closure the last few weeks, it felt like we were in our winter months,” said J.D. Kiefer, manager at Ornamental Iron Works, which is the first business past the bridge in Gmene. “It’ll be nice once this is all behind us.”
Local first responders also voiced their approval of a new bridge.
“As it is, the bridge doesn’t cause us many issues—except when it is closed,” Capt. Wayne Rousseau of the New Braunfels Fire Department said. “I know this has been in the works for a long time. The new bridge shouldn’t affect our response times.”
Hans for a replacement have been discussed for about IO years, with city and county officials citing safety concerns and traffic jams as some of the rea-
sons for replacement. In August 2003, Comal County Commissioners passed a resolution urg-ing TxDOT to replace the bridge.
“Each year, TxDOT annually inspects bridges in cities and counties around the state,” Malatek said. “This one was chosen in ’97 or ’98 and it had to first ‘compete’ with other bridges. We approached New Braunfels city leaders who approved the city paying IO percent of the construction costs, as well as 1(X) percent of the costs for utility adjustments and right of way access.”
While the bridge remains structurally sound, geometrically, it is a different story, Malatek said.
“That it goes under water was one factor, yes, but the lack of a pedestrian walkway and a bridge railing were predominant factors in wanting to replace the bridge,” he said. “It’s been a long process, but we’re ready to go. We were ready last year, but with the (road improvement) project on Gruene Road, the city didn’t want both happening at the same time.”
Another setback was a historical one, he said. While part of the Gruene Historical District, the bridge is not a historical landmark. However, TxDOT performed an evaluation to clarify the issue, which pushed the $1.5 million project back from a 2006 start date, Malatek said.
“The public meeting on Monday will let people examine our environmental design
IF YOU GO
■ What: An open house and public meeting to discuss a proposal to replace the Gruene bridge will take place Monday in the New Braunfels city council chambers, 424 S.
Casten St.*The open house, which includes exhibits, begins at 5:30 p.m. with the hearing to follow at 6 p.m.
■ Information: 830-609-0707
plans for the bridge, including the crash-tested railings well be installing,” he said. ‘ There will be two 12-foot wide lanes with 3-foot shoulders and a 6-foot sidewalk along both sides for an overall width of 44 feet. Plus, the bridge will be raised 5 feet from its present height, so even when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers releases the maximum 5,000 cfs, it will remain open.”
Although many might be happy to put an end to their occasional detours to and from work or home, there was at least one person who said he will miss the old bridge.
With a steady trickle of traffic crossing the bridge over the rushing water, jell Harper of San Marcos, who works at the MagiColor photography booth next to the river, said he “can see why it needs to be done.” “But, it’s a little different having a low bridge like that around here,” I larper said. “I’ll be sad to see it go.”
Mark Koopmans can be reached at mkoopmans @ herald-zeitung.com.
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A motorist passes over the bridge in Gruene as the Guadalupe River laps at the underside of it Monday afternoon.