San Antonio Technology Education Coalition


     

Who We Are

Demographics || Needs Assessment || SAISD || NEISD



Demographics of Districts

San Antonio and North East Independent School Districts are two of the ten largest school districts in Texas. SAISD encompasses 79 square miles of the inner city of San Antonio and serves 60,716 students on 95 campuses. NEISD spans nearly twice the area of SAISD encompassing 140 square miles and serving 44,569 students on 52 campuses. SAISD's Sam Houston High School, Davis Middle School, and King Middle School serve students from low socioeconomic backgrounds and all have 100% of their students on the free lunch program. These schools have an average of 66% students that are at risk as defined by the Academic Excellence Indicator System (AEIS) in Texas. NEISD's Roosevelt High School, Krueger Middle School, and White Middle School also serve students from low socioeconomic backgrounds . These three schools have 50% of students that are at risk as determined by the AEIS System in Texas.

A majority of the students attending schools serviced by the San Antonio Technology in Education Coalition arrive the first day with several factors which put them at a distinct disadvantage:

In the six Coalition schools, over 50% of the population are economically disadvantaged based on the Texas Academic Excellence Indicator System (AEIS).

Large numbers cannot read at grade level; for example, 64% of sixth graders at Krueger Middle School enter reading below grade level.

Mathematics scores are low. Only 17% of students taking Algebra I in the San Antonio Technology in Education Coalition target schools passed the state-mandated End-of-Course Algebra I Exam in 1996.

These factors make it more important that we change curriculum and instruction from passive activities to active activities.



Needs Assessment in Coalition Cluster Schools

Students' performance in mathematics on the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills (TAAS) Exam was analyzed from the sixth grade through Exit Level at each of the middle and high schools in SAISD and NEISD. Though sixth grade students' academic performance was considerably higher than that of the seventh and eighth grade students, evidence indicates similar patterns of deficiencies for each grade level in the following areas:

  • Problem Solving Using Solution Strategies
  • Problem Solving Using Mathematics Representation
  • Evaluating the Reasonableness of a Solution
  • Problem Solving Using Multiplication
  • Problem Solving Using Division
  • Problem Solving Using Estimation

The analysis indicates that the TAAS scores mirror the results found in the End-of-Course Algebra I Exam data. Middle school students perform considerably higher than their counterparts at the high school level except in the case of King Middle School whose scores are very low. Although 50% of the middle school algebra students taking the End-of-Course Exam passed, less than 10% of the high school algebra students passed the same exam. Investigation found that the Algebra I exam has the same questions/problems at both the middle school and high school levels. One explanation for this difference in scores is that middle school students in both districts take Algebra in the eighth grade if they show an aptitude or a "liking" for mathematics; whereas, most high school students take the algebra class because it is required for graduation. Additionally, middle school students take algebra for one year; high school students take algebra for 18 weeks since they attend schools using a block schedule.

As a part of the needs assessment process, the algebra classes in the two high schools and the four middle schools were observed by mathematics teacher specialists for a period of 25-45 minutes. The purpose of these "snapshot" observations was to find the strengths and weaknesses within the classes. The following recommendations are based on the information obtained through the snapshots:

Traditional algebra should be taught in a real world context in order to increase meaningfulness to students.

  • Hands-on manipulative experiences must be increased for students to develop concepts more concretely.
  • The use of Texas Teachers Empowered for Achievement in Mathematics (TEXTEAM) activities must be increased to provide at least one problem solving and patterning activity daily. (TEXTEAM is the Texas Education Agency/Statewide Systemic Initiative in Mathematics and Science Education staff development program designed to implement the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills.)
  • Students should be involved in analysis and decision-making based on the compilation of data.


General Background: SAISD

In the San Antonio Independent School District, integration of technology in the classroom has begun by utilizing funding from a variety of sources. Sam Houston High School is designated the district magnet school for communications. At present, Sam Houston has a video conferencing center, a television station for in-house broadcasts, and a variety of classroom uses of technology. Each of the five algebra teachers has one computer in the classroom with access to the LAN, district WAN, and the Internet, and one of the algebra teachers has a pod of ten computers. There are aging labs at Houston dedicated to specific purposes such as microcomputer applications and advanced industrial applications (CAD-CAM).

Through the use of a variety of grants, both Davis and King Middle Schools have made commitments for equipment and software. State technology funding was used for computers for sixth grade classrooms at both schools during the 1996-1997 school year. Sixth grade language arts and social studies classrooms each have six computers, but mathematics and science classrooms have only one computer each. In addition, both Davis and King have seven computers in the library with connection to the Internet. During the spring and summer of 1997, Southwestern Bell and Internet Odyssey are wiring classrooms at King Middle School to the Internet and linking every classroom through school-wide E-mail, but Davis has no data lines installed in its classrooms. However, there remains a great need for additional graphing calculators for use in classrooms on all three campuses; and, the large majority of students do not have calculators available to them on a check-out basis. Though all three schools have some equipment in place, much of it stands idle and underutilized for instruction. This lack of use indicates a strong need for staff development in ways to integrate technology into the curriculum .



General Background: NEISD

Recently, the citizens passed a major bond issue to upgrade the older schools which make up the Roosevelt cluster (Krueger Middle School, Ed White Middle School and Roosevelt High School). The bond implementation for 1997-1998 allows more extensive use of technology in the classroom. At present, most classrooms (except for the dedicated labs) at these schools support no more than two computers in each classroom in terms of electrical load. Very few classrooms have data lines. All three NEISD schools in the Coalition have a variety of computer "lab" settings.

An increased emphasis on computers and other forms of technology is anticipated for Roosevelt since it has been designated a district magnet School for Technology and Design during the 1997-1998 school year. The technology curriculum at Roosevelt High School includes a wide range of computer classes. Previously, courses have been offered that teach "about" technology, but very few that teach "with" technology.

This year, Krueger Middle School acquired seven new IBM-compatible computers, four of which are dedicated to the Urban Systemic Initiative. Krueger also has a dedicated Computer Literacy Lab, two Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) Labs (for small classes of at-risk students with "marginal" TAAS scores), a Business Occupations Lab, an Industrial Technology Lab, and graphing calculators. Krueger's aging multi-disciplinary computer lab (IBM-compatible Dell's without CD-ROM/multimedia capability) focuses on TAAS remediation with the Brooks Intellitutor program in mathematics. Next year the Brooks "Reading and Writing in a Supportive Environment" program will be field tested at Krueger. This places further strain on Krueger's limited and aging computer resources. Also next year, Krueger's Reading Department plans to test the Accelerated Reader program.

Ed White Middle School has two aging computer literacy labs with a total of sixty-one IBM computers and a Business Occupations and Careers Laboratory with ten IBM PS-2 computers. There are thirty additional computers (IBM-compatible and Macintosh) scattered in classrooms. Only one algebra teacher has a computer in his/her classroom, and the school has three classroom sets of graphing calculators.

As a result of the differences in the status of modernization, funding commitments, construction in progress and electrical load capabilities, the amount of equipment and software support will vary from campus to campus throughout the Coalition.

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