WALNUT BEND — The other of two school districts in Cooke County rated “unacceptable” by the state last year made an academic turnaround according to early exam results.

Walnut Bend School, based on preliminary Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) scores, is rated “academically acceptable” by the Texas Education Agency (TEA). Last year, the school was rated “academically unacceptable.”

Gainesville High School was the other school in Cooke County which was rated “unacceptable” last year. They, too, have improved to “acceptable” status this year, according to early results.

“Of course this is all preliminary,” explained Tommy Tucker, superintendent of the small school district in northeast Cooke County off FM 371. “But right now it’s looking really good.”

According to numbers provided by Tucker, Walnut Bend ISD grades 3 through 8 made a marked improvement over last year.

One hundred percent of students passed the Social Studies portion of the exam, compared to 75 percent last year — an improvement of 25 percentage points.

On the Reading, 89 percent of WBISD students passed that section of the test, compared to 60 percent last year — gaining 24 percentage points. The acceptable level is 65 percent.

On the Math exam, 66 percent of students, compared to 26 percent in spring 2006, passed — a gain of 37 percentage points.

The Writing exam also yielded an improvement of 26 percentage points, with 75 percent of students passing, compared to 57 last year.

Sixty percent of students passed the Science exam, compared to 50 percent last year.

Tucker said he attributes the improvement to an after school tutoring program for students.

“The teachers and the students worked really hard,” Tucker said.

He said a Saturday morning tutoring session did not work as well for parents or students, and attendance was low.

The optional after school program, however, had about a 75 percent attendance of students.

He said the Walnut Bend ISD campus intervention team is scheduled to meet next Thursday to discuss the results in full. Tucker said the district is still under close scrutiny of the TEA, so improvements must still be made.

Walnut Bend ISD may be reached at 665-5990.

Reporter Andy Hogue may be contacted at andyhoguegdr@ntin.net

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