New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - May 21, 1995, New Braunfels, Texas
Birthday wlshas from the Herald-Zeitung!
The New Braunfels Herald’ Zeitung extends birthday wishes to; Diana C. Rodriguez, Steve Serna, Stefany Serna, Bonnie Moreno, Elton Rosales (21 years), Amber Duncan (15 years) and Cheryl Koepp (tomorrow) and Dolly Havekost (tomorrow). Happy belated birthday to Silvia Morales Russell and Delana Rae Watson, and happy anniversary to Mr. and Mrs Manuel Camareno.
Partly cloudy skies, high around 90, low in the mid-60s.
Saturday night's winning mbhImms
4,7, 13,32, 33,37
Est $18 million jackpot
More than 150 positions available at Target
A New Braunfels Target job fair will be held from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. May 22-24 (8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on May 24) at the New Braunfels Civic Center. More than 150 managerial, supervisory and guest service positions will be filled. There will be free refreshments enter tainment and videos at the fair.
Parks/Roc Department to hold summer tennis lessons
New Braunfels Parks and Recreation Department is offering sum mer tennis lessons for youths. Peewee, Beginner and Advanced Beginner classes are offered for children age 8 t6 15. Classes begin June 5 and June 28. Registration for the classes beginning June will be accepted at the Landa Recreation Center through May 31. Registration for the classes beginning June 28 will be acceptee through June 23. For information, call 608-2167.
Bast Boss Award, Jaycoos Banquo! sot for Juno 8
The New Braunfels Jaycees will host the 1995 Boss of the Year and Jaycees Awards Banquet on June 8. The banquet will be held at Capparelli’s Restaurant at 1561 IH-35 N., exit 189.
Any employee within Comal county is eligible and all you need to do to enter your boss is to write a few lines indicating why you think your boss should be the Boss of the Year. Entries must be mailed to PO Box 310432, New Braunfels, TX 78131 by May 31. Treat your boss out for the night For more information, or for nomination by phone, call Sue Kolath at 620-6349 or Debbie Lopez at 625-9232.
Ksglss Auxillary to Install now offloors
The Past Presidents of the Eagles Auxiliary will meet at Laurel Plaza Monday, June 12 at 6 p.m. lnsta lation of new officers. Evelyn Schwab and Lorene Hollowe chairmen.
The Eagles Auxiliary will meet Wednesday, June 21 at 7:30 p.m Officers to meet at 7 p.m.
This newspaper is printed on recycled newsprint
Congratulations ‘95 Seniors!
A special Graduation section is featured in today’s Herald-Zeitung.
TAAS Debate Still Rages
Test designed to measure student, school district performance
By BUSAN FLYNT ENGLAND
The Texas Assessment of Academic Skills (TAAS) test can strike paralyzing fear in otherwise competent, dedicated students. It can inspire heated controversy between education professionals. It can also provide a safety net — to catch students that otherwise would pass through the school system without getting the basics of education.
The TAAS is meant to test both the school system and the student.
The state defines the TAAS as a measure of student achievement in vanous academic areas and a gauge for institutional accountability, said Karen Simpson, New Braunfels Independent School District Executive director of education services.
“For individual student diagnosis, the TAAS serves as a snap shot of performance on a given day,” she said. A high school student in Texas may not graduate, however, if he fails the TAAS.
The TAAS used to be easier than it is now, Simpson said. “It used to be a
test of minimal expectations, but now it is a test of academic expectations,” she said.
Students take the TAAS beginning in the third grade. They first take the “exit level” test during their sophomore year, Simpson said. Students can repeat por-
‘There are children that have a tough time passing any kind off test.’
— SVHS Principal Joe Rogers
tions of the test they don’t pass several more times dunng high school.
“The main thing is to make the schools more accountable,” Smithson Valley High School Principal Joe Rogers said.
lf there’s a hole in a student’s education, the TAAS can find the problem, Canyon Middle School English teacher Roger Barr said. Teachers can then adjust the student’s curriculum accordingly.
“It’s very fair for parents to expect us to provide a year’s growth in a school year,” Simpson said. The NB1SD offers students tutonals in grades three through 12 in areas the TAAS shows a weakness, she said.
The TAAS can, however, stir controversy. “My mother is a fifth grade teacher," Simpson said. “This is the one thing we have agreed we can not discuss.”
“The first time you take the test your sophomore year, the first thing the instruction says is ‘you must receive a passing grade to graduate from high school,’” a Canyon High School student said.
The emphasis placed on graduating can scare students into poor performance on the test, the student said. "I just think they stress people out too much.”
If they fail a part of the sophomore year TAAS, students have several chances to re-take that part. The student did so, missing the passing grade by one question the second to last time. The student failed by a much larger
margin on the last testing.
“My teacher took it to the principal and said, Mf this isn’t stress, I don’t know what is,’” the student said.
“We cannot guarantee that any kid’s going to pass that TAAS test,” Rogers said. “There are children that have a tough time passing any kind of test.”
The TAAS score can depend greatly on how an individual student reacts to pressure and on the circumstances of the particular testing day, Barr said.
“It is one tool of many — it’s just one of an assortment of tests,” Barr said. “I wouldn’t ever use it as the only tool. As part of a quiver of tools it would be fine,” he said.
Teachers can “teach to the test,” Bare said, but the best way for both teacher and student to prepare is to work hard on the cumculum throughout the whole year “TAAS doesn’t have to be the climax for the year,” he said.
Some teachers have spoken out about using the TAAS as an exit test. The state does listen to what teachers say, Simpson said. State education administrators arc considering end-of-coursc
testing rather than comprehensive tests that determine whether or not a student graduates.
“Eventually we’ll be out of the exit-level business," she said.
The Comal Independent School Dis-tnct Board of Education has called a special meeting tomorrow at 6 p.m. to discuss the TAAS.
Landa St traffic to change May 31
Landa Street, underneath the Missouri-Kansas-Texas (MKT) railroad, will be reduced to one lane of traffic on May 31, June I and June 2.
Texas Department of Transportation will be drilling test holes to check soil foundation for a new bndge at that location.
Road workers and a flag man will be present to direct traffic through the area.
Expected hours of closure are 8 am. to 5 p.m.
Leadership change at NBHS
See Page 8A for more on the new AD. Head coach named for Unicorns.
Bargain buys at Farmers' Market
See more photos on Page 1B.
A time to mourn
Friends and family of Lyndsay Keith, 17, a Smithson Valley High School junior who died Wednesday in a one-car accident in Canyon Lake, gathered for a memorial service in her honor Saturday morning at Canyon Dam. The service allowed Lindsay’s closest loved ones the chance to mourn together and honor her mefnory. At right, Zandi Harris (front) holds Dee Keith, Lyndsay’s mother. Below, Bob Harris wipes a tear from hie eye during the emotional morning gathering.
Herald-Zeitung photos by MICHAEL DARNALL
Union Street tuber exit nears finish
By SUSAN FLYNT ENGLAND
The Union Street tuber exit won’t be finished by Memorial Day weekend — but Comal River tubers won’t have to wait too long after that to use the new exit ramp.
“We’re shooting to get it done in the next couple of weeks,” a D & M Construction official said. D & M won the contract bid to construct the ramp for the city.
Although the concrete portion is •about finished, the ramp is still off limits, a D & M official said. “The ‘no trespassing’ signs are still up,” he said. “As far as we’re concerned, it’s still a
construction site. No one should be using that ramp.”
Neither the city of New Braunfels nor D & M will be liable if anyone is injured using the ramp while still under construction, he said.
The ramp will have rails and will be landscaped before it is open for public use. D & M is waiting for the metal railings to be delivered, the official said. Many factors beyond the contractor’s control affect the completion of construction jobs, he said.
The city is building the whcel-chair accessible tuber ramp to comply with the American Disabilities Act.
The cost will come in at around $200,000.
County veterans’ services get boost with court action
By DENISE DZIUK
County veterans wanting assistance in filing for benefits from the federal government will be able to get it on a fulltime basis beginning Monday.
Comal County Commissioner’s Court unanimously approved a request to extend the hours of the Veterans’ Service Office to a full-time position. Gus Culwell, veterans’ service officer, said the extended hours resulted from a need in the veterans community.
“I am busy enough where we can justify staying open full-time. Now we’ll be available longer,” Culwell said.
Cul well said he sees about six to IO people a day, and with extended hours, he will be able to serve them better.
The office helps veterans file claims
with the VA to receive benefits.
Culwell said this often means going to nursing homes or individual’s homes if they arc unable to come into die office to fill out the paperwork.
“I try to point them in the right direction when they call or come by. It’s more of an assistance office, than anything,” he said.
Culwell said he does not expect his work load to increase any. He said the extended hours will just give him extra time to spend with each individual.
"I used to do a lot of work at home. Now I can do that here and hopefully provide better services," he said.
Beginning Monday, the Veteran’s Service Office, located on the first floor of the old courthouse, will be open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Fnday.
For more information, call 620-5549.
Letters to the editor.....................5A,
New Braunfels SUNDAY
EL PASO, TX 79903-
Vol. 143, No. 136
46 Pages in four sections B Sunday, May 21,1995
Serving Comal County for more than 143 years BHome of DIANA C. RODRIGUEZReaders split on benefits of militias. See the Readers’ Poll results, page 4A