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.
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.