— By SALLY SEXTON
Earlier this month, the Texas Education Agency released copies of the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, making the assessments available for viewing on the agency’s website.
“We know that we are asking more of our students and educators under the STAAR program,” said Commissioner of Education Michael L. Williams. “Our students and teachers are still adjusting to the new expectations, but it is clear we must improve instruction to meet 21st century demands.”
The 2012-13 school year was the second since the STAAR was implemented.
Campuses were rated on four indexes: Index 1 for Student Achievement; Index 2 for Student Progress; Index 3 for Closing Performance Gaps; and Index 4 for post-secondary readiness.
Aledo ISD presented its results to the board at last week’s trustee meeting.
The high school campus, Don Daniel Ninth Grade Center, Aledo Middle School, McAnally Intermediate, Coder Elementary, McCall Elementary, Stuard Elementary and Vandagriff Elementary all received a Met Standard, the highest rating awarded by the state.
The high school also received a Top 25 Percent Student Progress distinction, while the Ninth Grade Center received distinctions in Top 25 Percent and English/Language Arts.
“We are pleased with the results released from TEA regarding the performance of Aledo ISD on the recent STAAR test administration,” Aledo superintendent Derek Citty said. “All of our campuses worked hard to meet and exceed the requirements of this performance milestone. While we are pleased with the results, Aledo ISD will use these results as a benchmark for continued improvement in the future.”
For Springtown ISD, the district as a whole received Met Standard.
Springtown High School, Springtown Middle School, Reno Elementary and Springtown Elementary all received Met Standard, with Springtown Intermediate receiving a distinction in mathematics.
“The new system certainly included some positive areas, not the least of which was Springtown Intermediate’s ‘Distinction Earned’ award for Academic Achievement in Mathematics,” Springtown superintendent Michael Kelley said. “As a campus, the staff there really focused on bringing up the math scores from 2012’s assessment. Their hard work, coupled with committed students and parents, allowed significant achievement to occur. Now they’ll face the challenge of maintaining that positive momentum, and I believe that they’ll meet it.”
Goshen Elementary received an Improvement Required rating, which is assigned to a district or campus that did not meet one or more performance index targets in 2013. Due to the transitional issues in the first two years of the new accountability system, Required Improvement calculations will not be applied in 2013.
“I’m pleased that the district received confirmation that we ‘Met Standards,’ but disappointed that scores from Goshen Creek didn’t reflect the hard work I’ve witnessed. We’re going to use the test results as diagnostic data and develop instruction that will meet the unique needs of all our learners,” Kelley said. “I am completely confident that this year’s results were an anomaly. That campus and those students will rebound, and in August of next year we’ll be talking about Goshen Creek’s ‘Distinction’ awards.”
Peaster ISD received Met Standard as a district. One campus, Peaster High School, received a distinction in mathematic achievement,
“We are extremely proud of our achievements and the progress we are making,” Peaster superintendent Matt Adams said.
All three Millsap campuses received a Met Standard rating.
“All of our scores on each index were well above the state targets,” Millsap superintendent David Belding said. “This is exciting for our community and a testament to the quality of our teachers, students, and staff.”
Millsap High School earning a distinction in academic achievement for mathematics.
“The high school’s distinction in math, displays a strength of our instructional program when compared to other schools similar to Millsap High School. We are excited about this accomplishment,” Belding said. “We are also pleased with our score on Index 4 which is post-secondary readiness. This score looks at graduation rates and the percentage of students who are graduating on the Recommended and Distinguished plans. This shows that our students graduating high school have completed a rigorous academic program.”
Poolville ISD received Met Standard as a district, with all three of its campuses earning distinctions.
Poolville High School received a distinction in achievement for mathematics, while Poolville Junior High and Poolville Elementary received a Top 25 Percent Student Progress distinction.
“The distinctions received by our schools recognize outstanding achievement in mathematics and student progress,” Poolville superintendent Jimmie Dobbs said. “The district averaged 18.5 points above the state targets across all four indexes, which is an indication that we are performing acceptable within the scope of the new system, and we will continue to improve as we always have.”
To see a complete list of STAAR accountability ratings for 2012-13, visit the TEA website at ritter.tea.state.tx.us/perfreport/account/2013/index.html.