The Sunny Side of the District

The 'I am AISD' report paints a rosy picture of Austin schools

Been wondering what AISD has been doing with its $731 million budget, or what the district has planned for its $500 million in new bond money? Wonder no more: Get yourself a copy of "I Am AISD," the colorful annual report the district released last week. Brimming with facts, figures, and bullet lists detailing the district's accomplishments in test scores, the arts, citizenship, safety, and facilities, "I Am AISD" includes what Superintendent Pat Forgione described as "every type of relevant data in a clear and concise format."

More or less, anyway. Like any annual report, "I Am AISD" plays up the district's strengths while putting a positive spin on its weaknesses. For example, in the "Arts" section, the district touts the bands and theatre groups that have won regional awards and competitions, and leaves out the dismally low participation rates in extracurricular arts at many of its schools. Or, while charts show the test scores of African-American and Hispanic students lagging well below those of their white peers, particularly in science and math, the district more prominently declares that these are the groups who made the most progress in the test-score game last year.

In presenting the report, Forgione took pains to point out that the annual report is not the state-mandated Academic Excellence Indicator System report, which comes out at the end of each year, and includes much of the state data. If "I Am AISD" is perhaps a bit heavy on the sunshine and butterflies, the state reports tend more toward the thunderstorms and funnel clouds – teacher and student demographic and performance data in stark black and white, without giving the district its fair chance to toot its horn about the good it's managing to do in a large, urban district that has a lot more challenges to meet than funds with which to meet them.

The district will distribute the report to schools, chambers of commerce, real estate agents, pediatricians' offices, and other public locations. If, after all that, you still don't manage to trip over a copy, they're available on the AISD Web site:

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More by Rachel Proctor May
Chartering Middle School
Chartering Middle School
Hoping to reach middle-schoolers who could go off track in a regular school setting, district moves forward with charter school plans

June 2, 2006

TAKS Scores Show Both Improvement and Trouble for AISD
TAKS Scores Show Both Improvement and Trouble for AISD
Numbers down for the crucial third and 11th grades

May 26, 2006


I am AISD, Pat Forgione, annual report, Academic Excellence Indicator System

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle