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School Accountability Grades are in for Houston County

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County Districts Receive 1 A, 3 B’s, 1 C

By Will Johnson

Messenger Reporter

EAST TEXAS – The wait is over for Texas school districts as the Texas Education Agency released its accountability grades for the 2018-2019 school year on Thursday, Aug. 15.

The latest and greatest school accountability system was established in 2017 by the 85th Texas Legislature with the passage of House Bill (HB) 22. Under HB 22, it was codified that public school districts would be measured on three domains to determine the academic performance of districts and campuses. The three domains set forth by the legislature were: student achievement, school progress and closing the gaps.

The legislation also called for districts and campuses to “… receive a rating of A, B, C, D, or F for overall performance, as well as for performance in each domain.”

During the 2018-2019 school year, there were 1,022 public school districts across the state of Texas. Of these 1,022 districts: 257 (25%) received an A; 622 (61%) received a B; 114 (11%) received a C; 21 (2%) received a D; six (> 1%) received an F; and two (>1%) were not rated.    

For charter schools in the 2018-2019 school year, 179 schools were graded. The breakdown showed: 44 (25%) receiving an A; 55 (31%) receiving a B; 40 (22%) receiving a C; 22 (12%) receiving a D; 8 (4%) receiving an F; and 10 (6%) were not rated.

Locally, of the 12 school districts located Houston and Anderson Counties, five received an A, six received a B and one received a C.   

In Houston County, Crockett ISD barely missed receiving a B as the district received an overall score of 79 out of a 100 point scoring system. The scores reflect how well the district prepared students for success, both in school and after high school in college, a career, or the military.

Concerning the score, the TEA states, “Districts or schools earn a C (70–79) for acceptable performance when they serve many students well, but there are still many other students who need more support to succeed academically.”

The three domains used to arrive at the score saw CISD record a 75 in student achievement, an 80 in school progress and a 76 on closing the gap. 

According to the TEA website, “Student achievement shows how much students know and are able to do at the end of the school year. School progress shows how students perform over time and how that growth compares to similar schools, while the closing the gaps domain tells us how well different populations of students in a district are performing.”

The overall score is determined by determining the better grade between student achievement and school progress. This score is weighted as 70% of the overall grade. Next, the closing the gap score is weighted at 30%. These two scores are added together to determine the overall score.

In the case of CISD, the district received an 80 on school progress compared to a 75 in student achievement. So, using the 80 school progress score weighted at 70%, CISD garnered 56 points. The closing the gaps score of 76 – weighted at 30% – earned the district 22.8 points. The combined total resulted in a rounded score of 79

It should be noted, CISD increased its score from the 2017-2018 school year by five points.

“We feel like the longer we can keep the students the better off they are,” Crockett ISD Superintendent Terry Myers said. 

Grapeland ISD showed a major jump in its score as it went from a D (63) in the 2017-2018 school year to a B in the 2018-2019 school year with a score of 82.

Concerning the score, the TEA states, “Districts or schools earn a B (80–89) for recognized performance when they serve many students well, encouraging high academic achievement and/or appropriate academic growth for most students.”   

The three domains used to arrive at the score saw GISD record an 82 in student achievement, an 85 in school progress and a 76 on closing the gap.

In the case of GISD, the district received an 85 on school progress compared to an 82 in student achievement. So, using the 85 school progress score weighted at 70%, GISD received 59.5 points. The closing the gaps score of 76 – weighted at 30% – earned the district 22.8 points. The combined total resulted in a rounded score of 82.

“It was a combined effort,” Grapeland Superintendent Don Jackson said. “We are excited to receive a B, especially coming from a D last year. What we did was we didn’t make excuses. We sat down as a team and tried to put together a plan. It was like an action plan for every six weeks of the school year. We had specific things we wanted to do. At the end of the six-weeks, we re-formulated the plan and it worked!”

Jackson added it took a lot of effort and hard work on the part of the teachers, administration, parents and students.

“It really does take a village but we still have work to do. We are not going to be satisfied until all of our kids are successful,” he said.        

 Kennard ISD also showed a major jump in its score as it went from a D (65) in the 2017-2018 school year to a B in the 2018-2019 school year with a score of 89. 

Concerning the score, the TEA states, “Districts or schools earn a B (80–89) for recognized performance when they serve many students well, encouraging high academic achievement and/or appropriate academic growth for most students.”   

The three domains used to arrive at the score saw KISD record an 89 in student achievement, a 91 in school progress and an 85 on closing the gap.

In the case of KISD, the district received an 89 on student progress compared to a 91 in student achievement. So, using the 91 school progress score weighted at 70%, KISD received 63.7 points. The closing the gaps score of 85 – weighted at 30% – earned the district 25.5 points. The combined total resulted in a rounded score of 89.

Latexo ISD, also showed a jump in its score as it went from a C (79) in the 2017-2018 school year to a B in the 2018-2019 school year with a score of 85.

Concerning the score, the TEA states, “Districts or schools earn a B (80–89) for recognized performance when they serve many students well, encouraging high academic achievement and/or appropriate academic growth for most students.”      

The three domains used to arrive at the score saw Latexo ISD record an 86 in student achievement, an 82 in school progress and an 81 on closing the gap.

In the case of Latexo ISD, the district received an 86 on student achievement compared to an 82 in school progress. So, using the 86 student achievement score weighted at 70%, Latexo ISD received 60.2 points. The closing the gaps score of 81 – weighted at 30% – earned the district 24.3 points. The combined total resulted in a rounded score of 85.

Closing out the Houston County schools, Lovelady ISD recorded the county’s only A as it went from a B (89) in the 2017-2018 school year to an A in the 2018-2019 school year with a score of 91. 

Concerning the score, the TEA states, “Districts or schools earn an A (90–100) for exemplary performance when they serve most students well, encouraging high academic achievement and/or appropriate academic growth for almost all students. Most students will be prepared for eventual success in college, a career, or the military. “

The three domains used to arrive at the score saw Lovelady ISD record a 92 in student achievement, a 91 in school progress and an 89 on closing the gap.

In the case of Lovelady ISD, the district received a 92 on student achievement compared to a 91 in school progress. So, using the 92 student achievement score weighted at 70%, Lovelady ISD received 64.4 points. The closing the gaps score of 89 – weighted at 30% – earned the district 26.7 points. The combined total resulted in a rounded score of 91.

Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at wjohnson@messenger-news.com.