Tyler ISD responds to "unacceptable" rating

Tyler ISD responds to
News

POSTED: Friday, July 29, 2011 - 2:37pm

UPDATED: Friday, July 29, 2011 - 6:55pm

State preliminary accountability ratings were released to the public on the Texas Education Agency website.  Final ratings are published in the fall after all appeals have been considered.  Tyler ISD received a rating of Academically Acceptable (AA) and posted ratings for 2 exemplary (EX), 4 Recognized (RE), 17 Academically Acceptable, 3 Academically Unacceptable campuses (AU), with 1 of the AU ratings pending appeal.

As the TAKS program ends and the transition is made to STAAR, the district is pleased with the progress made as reviewed at the June meeting of the Board of Trustees. Increased standards for math and science, the inclusion of scores for all special education students for the first time, and removal of the Texas Projection Measure (TPM) from the system were challenges faced.  For 2009-2010 state accountability, TPM included in the passing rates of students who did not meet state standards, but  were projected by their progress to meet standard in future grade levels.  This provision of the accountability system positively impacted ratings across the state. Its removal negatively impacts ratings 2010-2011.

TISD earned high marks on two new components of the state accountability system.  The ELL Progress measure tracks the progress of English Language Learners (ELL) as they gain academic skills and proficiency in English.  The state established a standard for the percent of students who show progress and nineteen of the twenty schools in Tyler who educate English Language Learners met the Exemplary standard for this measure.  Another new component in the system is the requirement that a certain percentage of students must meet an established standard for Commended Performance in reading and mathematics in order for a campus to receive a Recognized or Exemplary rating.  Even though performance on the standard accountability measures may not have met the Recognized or Exemplary standards, 23 of 25 campuses met the Commended Standard for Exemplary or Recognized in reading and 22 of 25 in math.  This is a great indication of the rigor of our instruction and the preparation we are making for the new STAAR test.  Superintendent, Dr. Randy Reid says, "We are disappointed that we finished the TAKS program with fewer Recognized and Exemplary campuses than we had hoped, but we are proud of the progress we are making.  I believe when you see statewide ratings, you will see a similar impact with the loss of TPM.  Our focus is on the growth that we are continuing to see, and planning for the transition to the more rigorous STAAR testing program." 

With the removal of TPM, both high schools posted Academically Unacceptable ratings.  The state accountability system aggregates performance for the ratings which means that schools can demonstrate improvement and have scores in subject areas and subgroups that meet the Recognized and Exemplary standards and still be rated Academically Unacceptable overall because of the performance of one or two subgroups in a single subject.  Dr. Reid says, "Our greatest challenge is 9th grade math for economically disadvantaged and African American students.  If the district can make significant improvements in that subject for these two groups, top ratings will result in the future."

As an example, John Tyler High School made Required Improvement in Math for All Students, Hispanic, and Economically Disadvantaged groups, and the scores in English Language Arts and Social Studies met the Recognized and Exemplary standards respectively for every student group.  In Science, scores for African American students improved dramatically, meeting the Recognized standard, while scores for all other groups were Acceptable.  Improvement was made in Math for African American students as well, but because the improvement did not meet the absolute or required improvement standard, the score for this group is Academically Unacceptable.  Therefore, under the current accountability system, if scores do not meet the mark in one area of the 25 possible subjects and student groups, the campus rating is determined by that one area, despite all of the improvement and above average performance.

Similarly, at Robert E. Lee High School scores in English Language Arts and Social Studies met the Recognized or Exemplary standards for each student group.  In Science scores for All Students met the Recognized standard and all other groups met the Recognized or Academically Acceptable standard.   In Mathematics, one group met Recognized, two groups met Academically Acceptable, and two groups failed to meet standard and were rated Academically Unacceptable.  As noted by Dr. Reid, the challenge is to help Economically Disadvantaged and African American students meet mathematics standards in the future.

The district has appealed the rating for Dogan Middle School, and based on preliminary conversations with TEA we believe that their rating will be elevated to Academically Acceptable in the coming weeks. The appeal was filed when the district discovered that the state had inaccurately counted a student's test scores due to a flaw in their accounting system. We feel certain that the error found will be resolved on appeal and that Dogan will receive the rating that acknowledges their students' hard work.    Improvements in math scores at Dogan ranged from 4 to 9 points across subgroups and improvement in science scores ranged from 7 to 32 points for all student groups.  The greatest improvement was for Hispanic students in Math and African American students in Science.

Information from Tyler ISD

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After forty years of integration and just as many years of affirmative action, the TISD superintendent finds it necessary to make excuses for African Americans.

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