All but one of the county’s public school districts met the state’s standards in academics, according to state ratings provided by the schools on Thursday.

While the La Marque school district again was noted as having not met the state’s standards, the district showed improvement in many of the indexes the state uses to rate districts.

The Texas Education Agency is scheduled to make the results public today.

In order to meet state standards and receive a Met Standard rating by the state, districts must pass state minimum standards in four indexes used by the state to measure academic performance. Those four indexes are also used to measure individual campuses.

Districts that do not meet the state minimum in all four indexes are listed as Improvement Required.

A district can be rated as Met Standard even if a campus within the district receives an Improvement Required rating.

Index 1 is a snapshot of student performance across subjects, based on state exams. Index 2 measures whether students are showing required progress from one grade level to another.

Index 3 emphasizes advanced academic achievement of the schools’ economically disadvantaged students, while Index 4 is set to measure how prepared students are to go on to college, the workforce, a job training program or the military.

Creek, Dickinson, Friendswood excel

The Clear Creek, Friendswood and Dickinson school districts all were given Met Standard ratings by the TEA, as were each campus in those districts. In many cases, those districts also received Distinction ratings where students excelled in certain subject areas.

While the Galveston and Texas City school districts each received Met Standard ratings, each also had campuses that failed to meet the state minimum requirements and was listed as Improvement Required.

Galveston campuses need improvement

In Galveston, Central Middle School, Weis Intermediate and Morgan Elementary schools each received Improvement Required ratings.

Superintendent Larry Nichols noted that a year ago six of the district campuses failed to meet state standards.

“We are not discouraged, we are encouraged with the results,” Nichols said. “We are not where we want to be. We have a ways to go.”

Still, a closer look at the ratings show that Galveston is headed the right direction, he said.

In particular, 79 percent of the district’s Pre-K through fourth-grade students are reading at or above grade level. While still about 15 points below where the district would like to be, that score is an improvement, Nichols said.

All but one TC campus makes grade

In Texas City, Northside Elementary met all but one of the four indexes the state uses to measure campus performance. A district or campus must meet state minimum standards in all four indexes to receive a Met Standard rating.

Deputy Superintendent Susan Meyers said the less-than-ideal rating in Index No. 2 that measures student progress “is a one-year dip.” Meyers said the district already identified areas to improve and started to make changes before the ratings came out.

La Marque improves

At first glance, the Improvement Required rating for La Marque would signal major trouble for the district that already in on academic accreditation probation because of consecutive years of other poor academic or financial performance.

While a poor rating could see La Marque lose its accreditation, state officials insist that is not a guarantee. TEA officials have said that if La Marque shows enough improvement, the education commissioner could and would likely allow the district to continue under a probationary status for at least another year.

The initial data shows that the district only missed meeting state standards by one point in two indexes while meeting the standards in the other two. Based on that alone, Superintendent Terri Watkins said the district, which has been working under a state approved improvement plan since May, thinks the district has a shot at receiving a Met Standard’s rating.

Overall, a review of the state data showed that La Marque actually making strides. Watkins credited the district’s ability to stabilize its financial situation and stop what had been a year-to-year massive student enrollment drop, for the improvement.

The high school was also only one point shy of meeting the standard in Index No. 4.

The district’s Renaissance Academy was the shining star of the district, not only meeting state standards but also excelling in all four indexes by double digits.

La Marque Intermediate also met or exceeded state standards and when ratings are released to the public today will have a Met Standard rating. However, it and the junior high and elementary schools were thought to not be eligible for ratings this year, Watkins said.

The TEA is double-checking, but because of La Marque’s restructuring last school year of those three campuses, they were not supposed to receive ratings until next school year after benchmarks were set.

Should the state decide to give the campuses ratings, the junior high and elementary would have Improvement Required ratings, based on preliminary numbers.

Hitchcock rebounds

For the first time in five years the Hitchcock school district, which has been under a state monitor for two years was considered academically acceptable. It received a Met Standard rating from the state.

Interim Superintendent Carla Vickroy called the rating “great news” in an email to school board members Thursday.

The improved ratings come just two weeks after former Superintendent Barbara Derrick resigned after less than two years on the job. The improved rating come from results of performance under her watch.

All but the Primary School campus received Met Standard ratings. The Primary School received Improvement Required after missing to meet the standards in Index 4, Vickroy said.

Stewart Elementary also received distinction designations for its performance in science and postsecondary readiness.

The Santa Fe and High Island school districts did not provide their state ratings to The Daily News on Thursday.

Detailed ratings are scheduled to be released today, TEA officials said.

(5) comments

Walter Manuel

" TEA officials have said that if La Marque shows enough improvement, the education commissioner could and would likely allow the district to continue under a probationary status for at least another year".

Nonetheless, even IF TEA should decide to allow LMISD to continue operating another year despite receiving it's 4th straight year of "Academically Unacceptable" or what's now called "Improvement Required", TEA needs to immediately remove the current LMISD school board members and replace them with state monitors.

We're NOT playing horseshoes here where close is good enough, we're talking about each and EVERY child's education and the quality of life that a child will have long after they leave OUR schools!

It's time that WE ALL write the TEA Education Commissioner Michael Williams and demand that if TEA allows LMISD remain open another year despite not meeting standards, then TEA has an obligation to not only our students, but also to our community to remove the current school board members and replace them with state monitors.

Our community continues to die on the vine and has become stagnant in economical growth as a result of LMISD. We need to see that TEA is proactive in making sure that OUR children have NOT been forgotten or are being pawns used in the politics of their educational system.

I wouldn't count on TEA reversing their decision to change LMISD's accreditation status and I seriously doubt there's no longer a massive exodus of students leaving LMISD.

Parents of LMISD children need to keep moving their children to surrounding school districts where the test scores show exactly how well they are doing, not the advocates that keep begging the state for one more chance in order to keep their jobs and a paycheck!

The devil is still a LIE.....[yawn]

Carlos Ponce

"Hitchcock received a Met Standard rating from the state.The improved ratings come just two weeks after former Superintendent Barbara Derrick resigned after less than two years on the job. The improved rating come from results of performance under her watch."
Congratulations to Barbara Derrick's educational leadership. Let's see if Hitchcock can keep up the improvement she started.

Bulldog Granny

Congratulations to the Hitchcock Independent School District on their Met Standard rating from the State. In a conversation that took place in my presence, it was stated that Dr. Barbara Derrick had no academic leadership. I, entered the conversation, and stated that I thought the speaker was wrong in their opinion of Dr. Derrick's leadership ability. I am glad to see that the students and faculty of the Hitchcock Independent School District proved that I was correct in supporting Dr. Barbara Derrick in her leadership of the Hitchcock Independent School District.

Walter Manuel

BulldogGranny, obviously you were correct in your assessment of Dr. Barbara Derrick and her obvious leadership abilities that took Hitchcock off of TEA's radar for the time being. It's unfortunate that the Hitchcock school board members didn't see exactly what she had accomplished nor appreciate her leadership within the district.

On the other hand, whoever reported from LMISD that they have made "improvements" is either lazy or didn't want our community to know the truth surrounding LMISD and how they barely met standards in some areas and barely failed in others.

What this means at the end of the day for LMISD is that with TEA's low testing standards again this year because of their testing roll out, LMISD is obviously still struggling to hold their head above water academically and the test scores prove it. This year's testing will certainly be harder than last years, so the trend seems to indicate that LMISD continues to further decline rather than improving.

If any one wants a real eye opener, they need to dig deeper into the "numbers" based on the district as a whole, as well as, each campus and they will certainly find the "truth" rather than what district officials want you to believe.

Here's a link to go to in order to see exactly what I'm talking about and then you can judge for yourself just how much LMISD or any other school district for that matter has "improved".

Numbers don't lie....[wink]

George Croix

"All but one of the county’s public school districts met the state’s standards in academics, according to state ratings provided by the schools on Thursday."

As a graduate of LMHS looong ago, I WISH I would have had to read further than this first paragraph to find out what District was The One.

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