Aggie Prof Gives CEP a Big Wet Kiss

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Dr. Roger D. Goddard of Texas A&M has completed his much-delayed investigation of Community Education Partners, the controversial private firm that operates two alternative schools packed with Houston ISD kids, and given it a glowing endorsement.

The report, obtained by Hair Balls through a public information request, says both campuses are "well organized to effectively manage behavior and deliver instruction with clear goals." And referring kids to CEP helps out a lot back at the home school (by removing the troublemakers.)

To go on: "CEP exceeded the standards for most quantitative contract indicators" which means the students who went there did better on their TAKS (Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills) scores that expected, says Goddard who was hired by HISD Superintendent Terry Grier to evaluate CEP. Grier had proposed ending the district's contract with CEP, but reversed himself last week.

Goddard also wrote that although standards were not met as regards disciplinary action rates (the unmet goal is that 70 percent of the students with the CEP experience should have fewer in-school and out-of school suspensions and other trouble markers) and attendance (CEP guarantees 80 percent attendance and fell short with 75 percent), CEP should get an asterisk here.

If the attendance of all students -- not just the ones sentenced to stays of 120 days or more -- had been considered, "CEP would have met those standards," Goddard wrote. (Of course some might argue that this shows the longer someone is at CEP, the less likely he or she is to embrace its benefits?)

And Goddard says, since the contract between the district and CEP allows CEP "an opportunity to remedy any performance issues," then really there's no violation here and everything is a-ok.

There's more (we invite you to look at the entire report) but be prepared for next Monday when some of the folks who oppose CEP are expected to present school board members with their own take on the statistics Goddard assembled.

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