Houston County Courier - Local News
Stories Added - August 2008
Copyright 2008 - Polk County Publishing Company
All Houston County School Districts Successful
Houston County Courier - August 2008
By Sharron Randall
Texas Education Agency released 2008 Accountability Ratings Friday, Aug. 1, and all five Houston County school districts achieved an "acceptable" or better rating.
The Texas accountability system provides for districts and individual campuses to receive one of four annual performance ratings: "Academically Unacceptable, Academically Acceptable, Recognized and Exemplary."
The ratings are based on student performance on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) spread across grade levels, subjects, and demographic groups.
In all there are 24 possible rated categories, and campuses and districts must meet specific standards in all 24 to attain higher ratings.
The system is designed such that if any student group doesn't meet a categorical standard, the entire campus (or district) rating will be affected, regardless of the performance of other student groups.
Thus, mathematically, as in Houston County, one student sub-group's failure to meet a categorical standard on any one campus could possibly place a district's ratings askew.
Because of students' TAKS scores in some subgroups or subject areas, one or more campuses or districts in the county received an unacceptable rating for 2005, 2006, or 2007.
However, Latexo Independent School District continued to receive acceptable or recognized ratings.
Crockett ISD Superintendent Dr. Bill Like announced in his weekly column the accountability ratings for all schools in his district. Last year Crockett High School was unacceptable; this year, an improved "Academically Acceptable;" Crockett Junior High was rated "acceptable last year; but in 2008, because of math and science scores, CJH received "Academically Unacceptable."
Crockett Elementary School improved from acceptable to "Recognized" and the accountability rating earned for the entire district for 2008 is "Academically Acceptable."
Grapeland ISD Superintendent Buddy Sumrall expressed his pleasure about GISD's improvement over last year. The high school, junior high school and elementary school all received acceptable ratings.
He said, "We are very pleased and happy with every campus. Everyone worked very, very hard on improvement.
"Congratulations to the teachers and students on their achievement."
Gary Jacobs, Kennard ISD superintendent, voiced his excitement. He said, "We're not satisfied where we are, but we are going to continue to improve."
Kennard High School and Kennard Elementary School both received acceptable ratings also.
Superintendent John Reynolds of Lovelady ISD was unavailable for comment, so Elementary Principal Debbie Harrelson spoke for the district.
"We're very proud of our students and teachers," she said. "It took a tremendous amount of effort for everyone to bring both campuses and our district up to the Recognized standing."
Lovelady ISD is the only district in the county that received a "Recognized" rating.
Roy Tucker, superintendent of Latexo ISD said, "We're so proud of the teachers, students, and campus and central administrators.
"The high school was so close to being recognized. They needed one percentage point in science, which earned an acceptable rating, but the elementary school was recognized.
"We'll use these scores as a tool to move forward in achieving greater success on the TAKS."
In the 2008 Accountability System State Summary as of Aug. 1, there were 29 school districts or 2.8 percent rated Exemplary; 287 districts or 27.8 percent rated Recognized (Lovelady ISD); 704 districts or 68.3 percent rated Academically Acceptable (Crockett, Grapeland, Kennard and Latexo school districts).
Excluding Charter Campuses, there were 978 campuses rated Exemplary or 12.4 percent; 2,746 campuses Recognized or 35.1 percent (Lovelady High School, Lovelady Elementary, Latexo Elementary, Crockett Elementary); 3, 284 campuses rated Academically Acceptable or 42.0 percent and 177 or 2.3 percent rated Academically Unacceptable (Crockett Junior High School).