• December 7, 2019

Superintendent reports on what he’s learned from the community - Odessa American: News

e-Edition Subscribe

Superintendent reports on what he’s learned from the community

Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Tuesday, October 15, 2019 9:45 pm

Ector County ISD Superintendent Scott Muri presented a report on the Look, Listen and Learn tour he’s been on since he started in July that included some alarming statistics and feedback from the community, including parents, teachers and students.

Sixty-six percent of third graders read below grade level in 2019.

Some 16.3 percent of students didn’t graduate with their class in 2018. The percentage went to 20.8 for English learners and 29.5 percent for special education students, Muri said.

Career and technical education students stood an 89.7 percent change of graduating.

First-year principals are more likely to be hired to fill a vacancy at a low performing school.

Based on where a student lives, they may only attend a failing school.

Most teachers decide to leave the school district after their fifth year, which is not unusual throughout the state. Millennials usually last about five years in a given career.

The district has to figure out how to keep teachers on between year five and six.

Although most teachers are traditionally certified, a growing number are getting alternative certifications.

There is an 18.6 percent chance that a teacher won’t come back the following year, but 56 percent want to stay in the profession.

Forty-six percent of teachers rated the amount and quality of feedback they received as favorable.

Fifty-one percent of students were living in poverty last year, but in student performance there are poorer districts that do better.

AVID students and those involved in fine arts and athletics have a higher chance of graduating and perform better on tests.

Six and a half percent of ECISD students who graduated in 2013 had earned a post-secondary degree or certificate after six years, but 70 percent of the jobs in Texas require post secondary credentials.

Fifty-five percent of the class of 2018 enrolled in college, but there is a 44 percent chance they might not be ready for college, career or the military.

In 2019, 65 percent of kindergarten students were not ready for kindergarten and 57 percent of students who attended prekindergarten weren’t ready for kindergarten in 2019.

Muri also talked about community perception. He said people here think of their fellow citizens as kind, caring and hardworking.

They said there was a lack of vision for the city; crime is a concern; and deep-rooted traditions can be a benefit and a hindrance. A benefit is pride, but hindrances can be the status quo and the Odessa-Midland rivalry, Muri said.

The community is known for its boom and bust cycle and the current growth has put a strain on infrastructure, such as housing and transportation.

People also feel the city has low expectations of itself, that some feel education is not a priority and underrepresented communities are disengaged. But Muri said people feel there are good higher education opportunities and that the quality of fine arts has increased.

Muri said the community as a whole wants to be part of the district. They feel that sometimes vacancies are filled by under qualified people and that there has been a void of leadership.

School safety and crime also are a concern.

“But there are new passionate leaders choosing our district,” Muri said.

Bright spots are AVID and the fine arts, but people are also concerned about the lack of focus on career and technical education, technology and special education.

In the past, some say, the district has been driven by athletics rather than academics. There is a lack of parental involvement; school buildings are falling apart; there is too much focus on standardized testing and not enough focus on preparing students for the future Muri said.

Muri said students, staff and the community agree on the last point.

The community says if the district asks big, it can expect big and the community will deliver.

“Everybody believes we have an opportunity to be really good for our kids. It’s going to take a lot of blood, sweat and tears,” Muri said.

The next part is to finish the strategic plan, which will be rolled out in the spring semester, Muri said.

Reference Links

Odessa, TX

Current Conditions

Humidity: 51%
Winds: S at 12mph
Feels Like: 50°

Your Extended Forecast


High 66°/Low 46°
A few clouds. Lows overnight in the mid 40s.


High 77°/Low 55°
Mix of sun and clouds. Highs in the upper 70s and lows in the mid 50s.


High 62°/Low 35°
Afternoon rain developing. Highs in the low 60s and lows in the mid 30s.
Online Features

Pet Central


Having a pet is a lot of responsibility, and we’ll help by giving you lots of tips and tricks! More >>



Our fitness articles will help teach you how to work out with gym- and home-based exercises. More >>



Enjoy the crosswords challenge in our free daily puzzles, from the harder Sunday crossword to the quicker daily. More >>



Every Sudoku has a unique solution that can be reached logically. Enter numbers into the blank spaces so that each row, column and 3x3 box contains the numbers 1 to 9. More >>

  • ALL-ACCESS: Subscribe to our e-edition and premium website at myoaoa.com.
    You can read your daily newspaper without taking a walk to the driveway.
    Look back at yesterday's newspaper, or issues from months ago with our archive feature.
    Call circulation at 432-337-7314 to sign up today.