NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – It may be the start of the school year but grades are already in when it comes to school districts and campuses across the state. The Texas Education Agency released state accountability ratings on Thursday for about 1,200 school districts and charter schools.
They were assessed in three areas: student achievement, school progress, and closing the gaps. This is the first year that schools were given A through F letter grades. Irving ISD’s Superintendent learned of the district’s 7 point improvement from Education Commissioner Mike Morath himself.
“I was ecstatic,” Superintendent Magda Hernandez said. “I was very excited just to see our hard work in Irving ISD had paid off.”
Statewide, the number of districts that scored an A improved from 17 percent to 25 percent, and those with an F fell from 3 percent to 1 percent. Dallas ISD scored a B overall, and Fort Worth ISD scored a C. Commissioner Morath said the grades empower educators and parents alike.
“It is about constantly stepping up our game and making sure that we make public education, the reality of public education equivalent to the promise,” he said.
At Irving’s Brandenburg Elementary School, where more than 75% of the students qualify for free and reduced lunch, last year’s rating of 78% sparked motivation and a plan.
“Every teacher would either grow a student by five reading levels, no matter if they came at grade level or below grade level, or meet a growth standard with one of our standardized tests map,” said Principal NeTassha Rendon.
Administrators worked individually with teachers to meet their goals – which, she said, may be why their rating rose to a 90. But an A, she said, isn’t good enough.
“Our teachers, they’re actually not okay with a 90. We were all talking about how we want an A+ next year.”
The traditional ISD in North Texas with the lowest score was Milford ISD in Ellis County. It scored a 58, which is an F. The Superintendent said a new plan was implemented before the numbers were even released.