TEA Accountability Ratings Spark Changes in Area Schools - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |


TEA Accountability Ratings Spark Changes in Area Schools

CENTRAL TEXAS, TX (KXXV) - The Texas Education Agency released accountability ratings for public schools is sparking some changes in some school administrations.

Two Waco Independent School District principals will be reassigned after student performance dropped in their schools.

Cesar Chavez Middle School Principal Beau Sanchez, will go to Indian Spring Middle School to fill a similar role to assistant principal.

Hillcrest Elementary School Principal Lisa Cain will be an assistant principal at University High School. Hillcrest fell behind for the first time in years.

The 2014 ratings are based on four indicators: STARR test scores results, student progress, closing performance gaps and post-secondary readiness. A school must meet these four areas to meet the state standard.

Waco ISD has 10 schools falling behind state standards, which is two more than last year.

The elementary schools include: Alta Vista, Brook Avenue, Cedar Ridge, Hillcrest, J.H. Hines, Lake Air and South Waco Elementary School.

The middle schools include: Cesar Chavez, Carver and Indian Spring Middle School.

This year, Hector Garcia Elementary did not meet state standards. Last year, Lamar Middle School and Raye-Allen Elementary fell behind.

At Killeen ISD, Willow Springs Elementary did not meet state standards this year. In 2013, Eastern Hills Middle School fell behind.

Waco ISD Superintendent, Dr. Bonny Cain, said these numbers can be deceiving when school districts are so different.

For instance, in Waco ISD, 91 percent of students live in poverty. She said it may not be fair to compare this district with others, where students may have more resources and more involved parents.

"It's not like they don't love their children the same. When you worry is it going to be a home for them. Do I have to get two jobs?” said Cain. “You are not always to do that homework check so we need to make up that difference."

She said students improved this year because most of them passed the STAAR test. However, they did not improve at the rate expected.

"The state of Texas, their standards are going up faster than we are improving. We are improving but it is not a direct fit in the jumps that the state is making,” said Cain.

Waco ISD plans to assist teachers in planning their classes. Targeted intervention for students is also on the table to get higher scores.

Temple ISD only had one school that needs improvement, but the district will appeal that decision.

Assistant Superintendent for curriculum and instruction, Dr. Bobby Ott, said Hector Garcia Elementary did not meet the post-secondary education readiness index. However, he said the students made significant improvements in other areas.

Even though the district will appeal the decision, it plans to continue improving. Ott said the district will add other components to its literacy program. Teachers will also focus on higher order skills, such as processing information.

"[This is] a success but we still need to improve. We are always looking to improve. We want to an accountability rating that shows every campus meeting standards,” said Ott.

Killeen ISD administrators said they will continue to use the state assessment data to track the progress of the district's curriculum and programs.

“KISD is excited to see areas of growth and the district will continue to analyze the data in the future in an effort to identify areas in need of improvement. We appreciate the hard work and dedication of our teachers, staff and students and we are proud of their accomplishments,” according to a KISD statement.

To view the accountability report for these districts, you can visit: http://ritter.tea.state.tx.us/perfreport/account/2014/statelist.pdf
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