State issues annual School Ratings

tea-logo-header-2Local districts get passing grades in new reporting system

The Texas Education Agency issued its report card for schools and districts last Friday, with almost all districts in this area getting a passing grade.

The ratings were based on new criteria, and also results were stated in a new simplified method. Either a school “Met Standard” or “Improvement Required”.

Schools were rated in four Accountability categories:

1. Student Achievement, based on STAAR test scores for the year.

2. Student Progress, in subjects like math and reading from year to year. (High Schools were not graded in this category, because they did not take STAAR tests last year.)

3. Closing Performance Gaps, or emphasis on high level achievement of the lowest performing students.

4. Postsecondary Readiness, or graduation rates and diploma plans.

In this area, school districts such as Galena Park, Channelview, and Sheldon all had every school meet the Pass category, or “Met Standard.”

However, Houston ISD had one school that didn’t, Furr High School, which was deficient in Postsecondary Readiness, graduation rates and diploma plans.

The state’s third largest district, Cypress-Fairbanks, earned the honor of being the biggest district in the state in which all campuses met the “pass” standard.

Although there were four accountability categories, in general they were all based on STAAR test scores. If a school did not pass in one of these four categories, it was listed as “improvement required” and this affected the district rating.

Districts complained that the rating system was very complex, and therefore difficult to find out how to improve their scores.

Channelview ISD Statement on Ratings:

For the second year in a row, the Channelview Independent School District and all of its campuses earned the approval rating of “Met Standard” under the state’s accountability system. Under the Texas Education Agency’s new State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness (STAAR) testing system, districts and schools are ranked either “Met Standard” or “Improvement Required.”

“We are very proud of all of our campuses,” said Greg Ollis, Channelview ISD superintendent. “I know our students, teachers, principals and administrators have worked very hard this past year as they made positive academic strides in many areas.”

Five Channelview campuses also received special recognition for their performance in different academic areas. Hamblen Elementary earned Distinction Designations in five out of six categories, including Reading/English Language Arts, Mathematics, Student Progress, Closing Performance Gaps and Post Secondary Awareness.

In addition, Alice Johnson Junior High was awarded Distinction Designations in Social Studies and for Closing Performance Gaps. Recognitions were given to Aguirre Junior High in Mathematics, Brown Elementary in Reading/English Language Arts and Channelview High School for Post Secondary Awareness.

“Continuous improvement is always our goal, and we are encouraged by the progress of our students,” Ollis said. “There will always be new challenges that lie ahead, but by working together, we will give them the knowledge and resources they will need to be successful.”

In Aldine, which last year had 20 schools that did not meet standards, this year only 8 schools were rated low. However, these included two of their five main high schools, Nimitz and Eisenhower. To bring the overall ratings up from last year, Aldine said that principals studied data and created improvement plans and implemented them with more staff training.

Spokesperson Jason Spencer said they are pleased with the progress, admit there is more work to be done.