For the first time, the Texas Education Agency assigned A to F letter grades to evaluate school performance at Texas schools.
The state agency takes into account three domains: student achievement, school progress and closing the gaps.
Waco ISD, Temple ISD and Killeen ISD received a "C" for the overall performance of their districts.
"We feel that we still have a long way to go so we are celebrating the accomplishments but tomorrow we will be right at it and get ready to improve our student learning for every kid," Waco ISD Superintendent Dr. Marcus Nelson said.
Belton ISD received a "B" rating, which officials don't agree with.
"When I think of the quality of Belton ISD as one single letter grade, I can think of nothing less than an A. Significant evidence could be collected support such a rating. For example, Belton High School’s back-to-back National Champion construction trades TeamWorks teams, over 100 Advanced Placement Scholars, continued Superior Financial Accountability achievement, and over 25 percent of students achieving mastery, the highest level of academic performance, on all STAAR tests taken," Belton ISD Superintendent Dr. Susan Kincannon said.
Marlin ISD did not receive a letter grade but instead a “data integrity issues” was listed. According to TEA, the data integrity issues indicate data accuracy or integrity have compromised performance results, making it impossible to assign a rating. The label may be permanent or temporary pending investigation.
“We’re very proud of our teachers and school administrators for the great job they continue to do every day in making sure our students get a high-quality education,” Killeen ISD Superintendent John Craft said. “For all of our schools to be rated as Met Standard for three straight years is a testament to the hard work of our students and the dedication and tireless efforts of our teachers and staff.”
Lorena ISD, China Spring ISD and Midway ISD earned the highest mark.
"We're very excited in Lorena ISD to get an A but we think we are an A district all the time. In reality, we feel very strongly that we are doing good work for our kids. We work really hard to serve our kids and our community," Kucera said.
However, Kucera and Midway ISD Superintendent Dr. George Kazanas both agree one letter grade does not show the overall picture.
"We are proud of our students and their performance and we are proud of our teachers and their hard work. We are proud of how we've aligned our curriculum and how we teach to the standard but the A-F system also ranks district and it's not the proper use of a standardized test. A standardized test should not be used to rate and be the only indicator in order to sort and rank school districts," Kazanas said.
Below is a list of school districts in our area that were rated by the TEA:
Campuses didn’t receive letter grades but instead were rated depending on whether they met standards. Four out of five struggling schools in Waco ISD met standards. Alta Vista Elementary, G.W. Carver Middle, J.H. Hines Elementary and Indian Spring Middle met standards.
"I was very thrilled because we have been putting in the time," G.W. Carver Middle School Science Teacher Diane Buxkemper said. "I'm proud to be part of that staff that actually made this happen."
Brook Avenue Elementary was the only campus in Waco ISD that was listed as improvement required.
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