Somerville ISD Is Working to Improve TAKS Scores

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Somerville's elementary campus was among the 420 low-performing schools listed by the Texas Education Agency. That means under the states Public Education Grant program, or PEG, students are eligible to transfer to another district with better performing schools.

"Basically, when you lose students, it’s more of a concern than funds. The funds will always be there. We want to educate the children of Somerville and our district. We feel we're doing a good job," says Somerville Supt. Jerry Johnson.

The district is focusing on raising the bar to help boost test scores and get off the transfer list. To make the list, a school had to have more than 50 percent of its students fail the TAKS test two consecutive years.

Although they excelled at reading, writing and math, Somerville had exactly 50 percent fail the science portion. So the school district has been working to improve those numbers.

Somerville Elementary school principal Carol Williams is concentrating her efforts on raising test scores in key areas.

Williams adds, "In science, we have vertical teams where all teachers meet from K thru 5th grade to look at our science curriculum and make sure that every thing being taught is being taught so they will be successful on tests."

127 students statewide will be transferring under the PEG program for the 2005-06 school year. Nearly 10 percent of those students are from Somerville. With a district population of 650, the transfers cut deep.

But Somerville isn't alone; they are among nine Brazos Valley area schools cited by TEA where students could transfer.