TEA gives failing grades to three area schools
Polk County Enterprise, August 2007
By VALERIE REDDELL
LIVINGSTON — Four Polk County schools received “academically unacceptable ratings from the Texas Education Agency Wednesday.
The TEA report listed Livingston High School, Leggett Elementary and Goodrich Elementary with unacceptable ratings.
Higher ratings at other district campuses kept districtwide rating acceptable ratings for Livingston and Leggett. But Goodrich’s district rating was lowered to unacceptable.
All three of the affected districts have new superintendents.
Goodrich’s rating drop stems from TAKS test results. While the results dropped at the elementary, the high school was just two points away from earning a recognized rating.
Goodrich I.S.D. Superintendent Guylene Robertson, who arrived on at the disttrict in January, said the GISD has already implemented several measures to help students improve skills in core subjects.
The improvement plan includes tutorials, extended day afterschool sessions and Saturday workshops later in the fall.
Livingston has also set new, higher goals for the fall.
“I knew upon my joining LISD that raising our high school TAKS scores would be a major priority in 2007/2008 and we are going to do our very best to make sure that our school, does not fall into the Academically Unacceptable range again,” Livingston Superintendent Daryl Meyers said. “I think our parents are going to be pleasantly surprised with the amount of work and resources we have put into looking at everything top-to-bottom. We are going to be addressing everything from discipline to tutoring to ensure that our High School students are among the best in the state of Texas.”
Assistant Superintendent Shelly Hullihen said the state ratings often leave parents confused about how to ensure their child gets the best possible education.
“One of the common questions I receive from parents is ‘What do these ratings mean for my child? Is there a serious problem here?’,” Hullihen said.
“I think best way for parents to evaluate school ratings is to examine their own child’s level of success. Parents play a vital role in making sure their student is progressing and excelling in the classroom. It is important to stay up to date with test results and programs that can benefit your child and make sure your student is getting help they need to be successful,” she added.
Leggett school officials could not be reached for comment before press deadline.
All three districts suffered from low scores in key sub-populations that TEA uses for the ratings.
In Livingston, African-American, and economically disadvanted students had low passing rates in language arts areas. In math, only 45 percent of all students passed.
The completion rate is also a problem area for Livingston.
The completion rate among African American students is 81.6 percent. Records show six of the 38 students in that subpopulation did not graduate or show documents proving that they earned a GED.
Further analysis of the TEA ratings will be published in Sunday’s edition of the Enterprise.