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The 4x200 Relay at the State Track Meet

The Anton track season ended May 10, but it ended with a bang! The Anton track team was very successful at area and regionals; however, only the girls 4x200 meter relay team would advance to the state track meet for the second year in a row. The relay consisted of Amparo Flores handing off to Alani Juarez handing off to Mariah Jimenez who handed it to the lone senior and anchor, Layna Clardy. The girls finished 2nd with a time of . . . read more

The Little Dawgs Play Well

On May 9, Both the Fifth Grade Beginning Band and the Middle School Band earned Division I ratings in both their concert and sightreading performances. They also had 44 solo and ensemble competition entries. Ten received Division II ratings and 34 earned Division I ratings. In addition to the young band kid’s success, the high school . . . read more

End of School Letter 2014

Dear Parents, Community and Friends of Anton Independent School District,

You will soon be receiving the results of your child's state assessment for the current school year. These results are only one of many instruments the district uses to measure your child's growth throughout the school year. The results of the STAAR and End of Course assessments are not the most reliable way to measure what students learn in the classroom. Instead, they constitute a punitive, test and punish, one size fits all, high stakes testing system that does not reflect the progress each student makes.  As educators, we view your child as we do our own, and each of them is worth much more than a bar-coded, once a year, bubble in test.

It is impossible for this single test to measure what we know about your child. Many of our students are involved in extracurricular and co-curricular activities including sports, band, agriculture, and amazing art projects. We have students living in poverty and working jobs at night in order to help support their families. Some of our students are forced to sacrifice study time to be the main caregivers for their younger siblings.  
The state assessment does not measure leadership, work ethic, integrity, character, or perseverance.  These are the principles our teachers integrate in the classroom each and every day.  Through modeling and teaching The Leader in Me concepts, these principles are instilled in your child. Our teachers also serve as role models for your child. These precepts are making meaningful changes in how your child views life, how they respond and react to others, how they make choices in their lives, and most importantly, how they view themselves.  

Unfortunately, the state mandated tests do not measure any of these intangible elements.  Your child's growth and love of learning are our main goals at AISD. Our students, not the state assessment, will continue to be our primary focus. Our instructional goals are to prepare each child to be lifelong learners, able to make meaningful decisions that go far beyond a pencil and paper test.  When we look back on our schooling, we remember the intangible concepts and attributes that our teachers taught us.  We also remember how teachers made us feel. Our teachers at Anton ISD strive to make each student feel safe, secure, loved, and appreciated.  

I recently read some research on factors that contribute to students’ success in public schools.  I was shocked to learn that it did not directly relate to a person’s IQ.  Research on juniors in the Chicago public schools indicated that “Grit” not standardized test scores, IQ, ACT scores, nor family income were the main indicators of student success.  Grit is defined as passion, perseverance, stamina, sticking to a future goal, and living life consistently as if it is a marathon, not a sprint.  The STAAR and EOC tests results do not measure any of these attributes!  Our staff is working diligently to instill “Grit” into each and every child that attends Anton ISD.  If research is accurate, Grit will carry our students much further than results from a standardized test and hopefully make them a genuine STAAR.

High stakes standardized test are not best for kids, but they are the law. Our district will continue to use them to help us know when to offer intervention, as well as enrichment, to all students. Let us not forget to celebrate the accomplishments and successes the students of AISD achieved this school year. These include the best football season since 2005. The cross country team won district and finished 6th at the regional meet. The band achieved division one ratings from 5th grade through High School. Both boys and girls basketball teams won district, with the girls advancing to the regional finals. The boys and girls junior high track teams won district. The girls varsity track team were back to back area track meet champions, with the 800 relay finishing second at the state track meet.  It has been a great school year!  

Jim Knight
Superintendent Anton ISD        

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