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Houston County Courier - Local News

Copyright 2011 - Polk County Publishing Company

Kennard ISD scores show improvement
Houston County Courier

By Lynda Jones
Managing Editor

When the Texas Education Agency released its accountability ratings of the state’s public school systems on Friday, July 29, the ratings for Houston County’s school districts ranged from Exemplary in Lovelady ISD to Academically Unacceptable in Grapeland ISD. Kennard ISD improved to Academically Acceptable, with Kennard High School earning Recognized honors. The ratings for each of Houston County’s five school districts are as follows: Crockett ISD, Academically Acceptable. Crockett High School, Academically Unacceptable; Pineywoods AEC of Choice, Academically Unacceptable; Crockett Junior High School, Academically Unacceptable; Crockett Elementary School, Academically Acceptable. Grapeland ISD, Academically Unacceptable. Grapeland High School, Academically Unacceptable; Grapeland Junior High School, Academically Acceptable; Grapeland Elementary School, Recognized. Kennard ISD, Academically Acceptable. Kennard High School, Recognized; Kennard Elementary School, Academically Acceptable. Latexo ISD, Recognized. Latexo High School, Academically Acceptable; Latexo Elementary School, Recognized. Lovelady ISD, Exemplary. Lovelady Junior High-High School, Academically Acceptable; Lovelady Elementary School, Recognized. Crockett ISD Assistant Superintendent Jeannie Julian said CISD plans to challenge its junior high school rating Monday morning. She explained CISD feels one of the numbers is inaccurate. A challenge to the high school rating also is possible, she said. This year, 2011, is the last year the accountability rating system will be based on Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) scores. When school starts in a few weeks, students will begin preparation for a new statewide standardized test. There were several changes in the accountability rating system this year that make comparisons of 2010 and 2011 ratings a bit like comparing apples to oranges. Signifi cant differences between the 2010 system and 2011 system are: • A new base indicator— Commended Performance— has been added to the 2011 accountability system. • Another base indicator— English Language Learners (ELL) Progress Indicator— has been added to the 2011 accountability system. • The new federal race and ethnicity defi nitions are used in determining student groups for the TAKS and annual dropout rate indicators. • A new Federal Race/Ethnicity Provision will be applied to the TAKS met standard indicator in determining TAKS performance. • In 2011, the TAKS indicator includes the performance on TAKS-Modifi ed (TAKS-M) and TAKS-Alternate (TAKS-Alt) for all grades and subjects. These are generally given to students with qualifying disabilities. Julian said she is very pleased with how CISD’s special education students performed, and that their scores did not hurt the district’s ratings at all. • The completion rate methodology has changed, resulting in more high schools receiving a completion rate. • The TAKS indicator standards for Academically Acceptable increase for mathematics and science by fi ve points each. • Use of the Texas Projection Measure (TPM) and the Texas Growth Index (TGI) has been discontinued for the 2011 accountability system. •The minimum performance fl oor required to apply the Exceptions Provision remains at fi ve points below the standard. This minimum changes, however, whenever there are changes to the standard. Therefore, the fl oor to use exceptions for Academically Acceptable increases by fi ve points for mathematics and science. TEA explains how an school’s overall rating can differ from its district’s rating. The TEA website states, “It is often the case that individual schools have higher ratings than their district. Any one of a number of situations may explain it: “First of all, there are fewer students at the school level. That is, while schools and districts are held accountable for the performance of all students, the individual student groups (African American, Hispanic, White and Economically Disadvantaged) must have at least 30 students to be considered in the ratings system. “For that reason, an elementary school might be judged on only seven or eight indicators because it had very few students taking (for example) fi fth grade TAKS science. “On the other hand, at the district level, where science is tested in grades 5, 8, 10 and 11, there may be enough students in each group, so the district is held accountable for the performance of every student group in science. “Second, students who move from campus to campus within the same district during the school year may have their results removed from each campus’s performance. “However, their results are included in the district’s performance. This is referred to as the Accountability Subset. “Third, elementary and middle schools are not accountable for the Completion Rate indicator. As a result, districts are more likely to be held accountable for all 40 indicators, while many schools are held accountable for fewer than 10 indicators. “Finally, a district’s rating is held to Academically Acceptable if any of its campuses are rated Academically Unacceptable or if certain problems are found with the quality of the district’s data leaver reporting.”


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