Three of seven campuses meet standard
by Jennifer Fry, staff writer
The Texas Education Agency published its accountability ratings today for school districts during the 2017-2018 school year. For Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District, the results are not good.
Of the seven campuses in its district, only three have met standard: Batesville School, Morales Junior High and Flores Elementary. Flores received distinctions in academic achievement in math, academic growth, and closing the gap.
The other four campuses – Dalton Early Childhood Center, Anthon Elementary, Robb Elementary and Uvalde High School – are listed as “improvement required.”
Overall, the district received a “F” on an A-F scale, which is similar to percentage grades students receive.
As recently as 2015, four campuses within the district received the “improvement required” rating – at that time, Dalton, Anthon, Robb and Batesville. Between 2015 and 2018, UHS met standard.
From 2015 to 2017, Morales and Benson Elementary received distinctions for student progress. In 2016, Batesville received a distinction in English language arts and reading. In 2017, Batesville received a distinction in science.
There are three categories of measurement within the accountability rating system: student achievement, school progress and closing the gaps. Though campuses still receive a “met standard” or “improvement required” rating, school districts now get a letter grade based on these three domains.
For student achievement, TEA compares how much all students know and can do by the end of the year in tested subjects. At the high school and district levels, what is also factored in are how many graduates are prepared for college, a career, or the military.
School progress looks at how much better students are doing this year than last year, as well as how much better they are doing than their peers in similar schools.
The “closing the gaps” domain looks at how well students of different demographics are performing on standardized tests.
In addition to an overall grade, districts also receive a letter grade in each category of measurement.
The overall letter grade is calculated using the better of either the student achievement or school progress assessment, which is weighted 70 percent of the total score, plus the assessment from the closing the gaps domain, weighted at 30 percent. TEA then arrives at a numerical grade which corresponds to a given letter.
According to TEA’s informative website, poverty has little effect on the overall outcome.
“While poverty is a moderate factor, there’s not a strong relationship between student poverty and an overall A-F rating,” said a spokesman for the agency. “There are hundreds of high-poverty school districts in Texas with strong teaching and curriculum where all students are achieving at high rates.
“With strong levels of teaching and curriculum, many high-poverty schools achieve high levels of growth and high STAAR scores outright.”
Ratings by Campus
Campuses received a number grade on a scale of 0-100. A grade of 60 or above signifies “met standard” while grades of 59 or below is considered “improvement required.”
The process for determining the overall numerical grade for campuses is the same as that for districts. Schools are assigned a numerical grade in each of the domains previously outlined, which then contribute to the campus’ overall grade.
Dalton, Anthon, and Robb all received an overall 56 numerical grade. UHS also received a 56 overall.
Dalton and Anthon were not measured using the aforementioned domains because they are linked together with Robb. Robb received a 54 in student achievement, 57 in school progress, and 52 in closing the gaps.
UHS received a 61 in student achievement, 65 in school progress, and 36 in closing the gaps.
Of the campuses that received the “met standard rating,” Flores came in highest on the overall numerical scale, at 76. Morales received a 67 overall and Batesville received a 64.
Flores earned a 69 in the student achievement domain; 75 in school progress; and 77 in closing the gaps. Morales received a 56 in student achievement, 66 in school progress, and a 69 in closing the gaps.
Batesville received a 51 in student achievement, 65 in school progress and 62 in closing the gaps.
Right to Appeal
Districts and campuses may appeal the newly-released ratings. Final ratings, which are contingent upon outcomes of the appeals, will be released in December.
This is the first year that school districts have received a letter grade as way of communicating how well they are doing as a district. Individual campuses will begin receiving performance-based letter grades beginning the fall of 2019.