2008 What Parents Want Award
The HEB ISD has once again been named in the top 16 percent of more than 15,000 school systems nationwide as a recipient of the 2008 national SchoolMatch What Parents Want Award.
An outstanding curriculum, academic test scores, class size and an above average expenditure on pupil instruction are the criteria for this prestigious award. HEB ISD won this award in 1992 and again every year from 1994 through 2008, for providing what parents want in a school district.
SchoolMatch, an independent, nationwide service, helps corporate employee families find schools that match the needs of their children. SchoolMatch also has conducted more than 1,000 Educational Effectiveness Audits of school systems throughout the country and assists corporations with site selection studies.
SchoolMatch selected school districts to receive the award based on the results of more than 95,000 parent questionnaires completed by SchoolMatch clients.
More than seven million parents accessed SchoolMatch services through a variety of website locations including national, regional, and local real estate firms, various multiple listing services, chambers of commerce, economic development offices, and other family oriented sites, as well as by personnally contacting SchoolMatch's Columbus (OH) office.
Corporations and consumers use SchoolMatch when moving across town, upgrading residences, relocating to a new area, when negotiating child custody issues and for general information about schools.
SchoolMatch maintains information on every public school system throughout the nation. The service is offered as an employee benefit by about 600 companies, including Office Depot, Ernst & Young, Hewlett Packard, KPMG Peat Marwick, Nationwide Insurance, and Cinergy Corporation.
District Recognized for Music Education
The NAMM Foundation has named HEB ISD to the prestigious listing of "Best Communities for Music Education" for the second year in a row. Only 10 Texas school districts received this national honor, and this designation once again illustrates the academic "edge" that the HEB ISD provides its students.
"This is a wonderful tribute to the great teachers we have and to the support we get from administration, campus and community," Mark Chandler, director of Visual and Performing Arts, said of the award.
The 2008 roster of "Best Communities" includes school districts from 29 states that are committed to quality music education programs and providing access to music education. The districts were measured across a variety of program support, curricular and programmatic criteria.
Thousands of participants filled out an extensive survey of questions about funding, enrollment, student-teacher ratios, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, support for the music program, private music lesson participation, and other factors in their communities' music education program.
The responses were verified with school district officials, and the sponsoring organizations reviewed the data. Each school district was then scored, and the "Best Communities" districts were then selected for this year's roster.
The "Best Communities" survey was sponsored by the NAMM Foundation and a partnership of leading national associations working to promote the benefits of active participation in music and music education. NAMM is the association of the international music products industry.
District Receives Superior State Financial Rating
For the sixth year in a
row, the District has received a "Superior" Rating in the state FIRST
program, the financial accountability rating system. School FIRST (Financial
Integrity Rating System of Texas) reports public school district financial
accountability ratings, as authorized by Senate Bill (SB) 218 of the 77th
Legislature in 2001.
is the highest possible in this assessment and reflects the District's low
spending on administrative costs and its focus on instructional spending; low
student-teacher ratios; and low ratios of students to total staff.
The rating was based on audit information from the 2006-2007 fiscal year.
The system requires the Texas Education Agency to review the audited financial
reports from all districts and assign financial management ratings based on how
the data conform to 24 established indicators.
Texas school districts are now required to prepare an annual financial
management report that includes the district's financial management performance
rating from TEA and the district's previous performance on the rating
indicators. District staff presented the FIRST results at the October 21 board
HEB ISD SPENDS LESS ON ADMINISTRATION
In particular, the "Superior" rating reflects the District's low
spending on administrative costs. State law sets a cap on the percentage of
their budget that Texas school districts can spend on administration. The state
compares administrative costs to instructional costs.
Question 18 on the list of state indicators examines whether the administrative
cost ratio is less than the standard in TEA and state law. The state standard
is 11.05 percent for administrative costs. The HEB ISD cost ratio was 6.69
HEB ISD HAS LOW STUDENT-TEACHER RATIOS
Question 19 looks at whether the ratio of students to teachers is within state
ranges. This indicator measures a school district's pupil-teacher ratio to
ensure that it is within recommended ranges for districts of various student
population ranges. For districts with more than 10,000 students, the ranges for
ratios are: Low 13.5 - High 22.
As cited in the study, "HEB's ratio of students per teacher was 15.8 for
fiscal year 2006-2007. Any ratio between 13.5 and 22 students per teacher meets
the state standard."
HEB ISD HAS LOW STUDENT-STAFF RATIOS
Question 20 examines whether the ratio of students to total staff is within
This indicator measures pupil-staff ratio to ensure that it is within
TEA-recommended ranges for districts of various student population ranges. For
districts with more than 10,000 students, the ranges for ratios are: Low 7 -
High 14 students per staff member.
As cited in the study, "HEB's ratio of students to total staff was 8.4 for
fiscal year 2006-2007. Any ratio between 7 and 14 students to total staff meets
the state standard."
HEB ISD Named Top District in the State
Education Resource Group (ERG), a company that annually examines the
student performance and operating efficiency of the 200 largest Texas
public school districts, has named the HEB ISD the top school district
in the state, based on state test data and financial audit information
from the 2006-2007 school year.
analyzes the 200 largest districts, which enroll the majority of
students who attend Texas public schools. The ERG analysis measures the
relationship between operating expenditures and student achievement.
Based on their most recent analysis, HEB ISD was the only district in
Texas to receive the highest honor.
HEB ISD was named what
Education Resource Group designates as a "Best Practices" district.
Superintendent Dr. Gene Buinger said this honor means the district is
serving students, parents, and the greater HEB community.
combination of increasing student performance and low operating costs
means that HEB ISD is giving parents and taxpayers the most bang for
the buck," Buinger said.
ERG uses academic, demographic,
staffing, and financial information to determine "Best Practices"
districts. The academic information includes TAKS pass rate; graduation
rates; SAT scores; and ACT scores.
The company uses financial
data to measure operating costs in relation to student demographics.
The financial data make adjustments for regional cost differences in
ERG uses an accountability matrix to determine school
district rankings across the largest 200 districts. There are four
levels in the Academic Performance Index and four levels in Operating
Efficiency. Level One in each area results in the highest rankings.
four other school districts achieved a Level One in academics and in
finance, HEB ISD had the highest Level One score in the state, closest
to the bottom left corner of the data chart (pdf).