Community offers guidance on Georgetown ISD true accountability system

Georgetown ISD
In the first of two public input sessions, community members listed and prioritized all of the attributes and skills they want their students to have when they graduate Feb. 27. (Ali Linan/Community Impact Newspaper)

In the first of two public input sessions, community members listed and prioritized all of the attributes and skills they want their students to have when they graduate Feb. 27. (Ali Linan/Community Impact Newspaper)

Image description
In the first of two public input sessions, community members listed and prioritized all of the attributes and skills they want their students to have when they graduate Feb. 27. (Ali Linan/Community Impact Newspaper)
Image description
In the first of two public input sessions, community members listed and prioritized all of the attributes and skills they want their students to have when they graduate Feb. 27. (Ali Linan/Community Impact Newspaper)
Image description
In the first of two public input sessions, community members listed and prioritized all of the attributes and skills they want their students to have when they graduate Feb. 27. (Ali Linan/Community Impact Newspaper)
Georgetown ISD asked students, teachers and community members on Feb. 27 to share their hopes and dreams for students as it works to establish a district true accountability system—one that will expand on the current Texas education accountability system.

The current accountability system gives districts and schools A-F ratings based on three domains—Student Achievement, which rates how much a student can do at the end of the school year; School Progress, which rates how students perform over time and compare to similar schools; and Closing the Gaps, which rates how well different groups of students are performing, according to the Texas Education Agency website.

In its 2019 ratings, GISD received an overall B, while four individual schools received an F rating, two received a D and no school received an A.

“One of the things that we face and challenges of accountability is there's so much more about our students that demand them to be successful, skills they need that a system doesn't measure,” GISD Superintendent Fred Brent said. “That's why we believe there's more.”

District officials have frequently stated that the current system does not portray an accurate representation of student personal growth. For example, the board of trustees has prioritized student social-emotional learning, which does not appear on a standardized test. The district also offers all juniors the opportunity to take the SAT for free. If students received a certain score, they can opt out of the STAAR exam, which in turn affects the districts overall STAAR scores with its brightest students not taking the state standardized test.


The number of students who test out of the STAAR exam is not currently taken into consideration for the state accountability ratings, district officials have said.

This led GISD to create a true accountability system that expands on the current system and holds the district accountable to the local community and its idea of success of its students, more so than state outcomes. Serious discussion on the formation and implementation of the true accountability system began in 2017, said Wes Vanicek, GISD's chief strategist for feedback and assessment.

About 60 districts across the state have joined this system, but each district will have its own goals customized to community desires, he added.

“The concept is not how will you compare to your neighbors, [but] how well you compare to what you aspire to become,” Vanicek said.

In the first of two public input sessions, community members listed and prioritized all of the attributes and skills they want their students to have when they graduate, including empathy and acceptance of differences, personal responsibility, ability to differentiate accurate and fake sources, and students recognizing their own skills and how they can contribute and collaborate effectively.

The district will take a prioritized list, refine it and determine ways to monitor growth, Vanicek said. The district will then ask for final approval from community members before it is implemented, he added.

Vanicek said the true accountability system will offer quarterly and annual reports on progress and adjust accordingly.

“This is about Georgetown education—your schools, your kids, your money,” Vanicek said. “This about your hope what students become.”

A second session will be held March 2 at 6 p.m. at the Hammerlun Center for Leadership and Learning, 507 E. University Ave., Georgetown.


MOST RECENT

The grant will give Southwestern University the ability to fund more programs for S-STEM scholars than the university was previously able to do. (Community Impact Newspaper file photo)
Southwestern University receives $1.5 million grant to help students pursue STEM fields

Southwestern University is receiving $1.5 million from the National Science Foundation to support low-income students and students of color pursuing STEM fields.

Crust Pizza Co. is opening soon in Montgomery and Willis. (Courtesy Crust Pizza Co.)
CI TEXAS ROUNDUP: 5 businesses coming to McKinney; Crust Pizza Co. to open two locations in Montgomery, Willis and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas in Texas as of Nov. 30.

Williamson County district courts and county courts at law resumed in-person jury trials March 2021 after a period of virtual proceedings due to the pandemic. (Community Impact Newspaper)
Williamson County district courts and county courts at law reach milestone jury selection

Williamson County district courts and county courts at law continue in-person jury trials after nearly a year of virtual proceedings.

Giving Tuesday is Nov. 30. The program encourages locals to donate to nonprofits, such as Living Grace Canine Ranch in Georgetown. (Community Impact Newspaper File Photo)
Giving Tuesday encourages holiday donations to Georgetown nonprofits

The global initiative aims to highlight nonprofits during the holiday season.

I Live Here I Give Here encourages individuals to donate to nonprofit organizations in their community. (Courtesy I Live Here I Give Here)
I Live Here I Give Here encourages Austinites to donate to local organizations Nov. 30

The nonprofit is encouraging the community to donate for Giving Tuesday on Nov. 30.

The median home price in the Round Rock, Pflugerville and Hutto area has risen considerably since last October. (Brian Rash/Community Impact Newspaper)
CI TEXAS ROUNDUP: Home sales, costs in Round Rock, Pflugerville and Hutto remain hotter than Greater Austin; Halal Guys opens in Pearland and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas in Texas as of Nov. 29.

The Austin Trail of Lights will open nighly from Nov. 28 through Dec. 31. (Courtesy Trail of Lights Foundation)
PHOTOS: Austin Trail of Lights returns to Zilker Park this week

The traditional holiday light show is open from Nov. 28 through New Year's Eve.

The proposed redraw of the Williamson County redistricting map. (Courtesy Williamson County)
Williamson County commissioners approve new precinct maps

After a decade of record growth, Williamson County found itself having to redistrict its four precincts following the completion of the 2020 census, a task it completed in November and will take effect on Jan. 1.

Commissioners on Nov. 22 voted to approve a density change to preliminary plans for The Preserve, a neighborhood that city documents said could include 565 single-family homes at the northeast corner of Teel and Panther Creek Parkways. (Courtesy city of Frisco)
CI TEXAS ROUNDUP: Neighborhood near PGA Frisco could see larger lots; ERCOT says Texas power grid ready for expected winter demand and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas in Texas as of Nov. 24.

Local and state officials have made statements welcoming Samsung to Taylor following the announcement that the city will be home to its new $17 billion semiconductor fabrication plant. (Courtesy KXAN)
State, local officials react to Texas governor, Samsung joint announcement

Local and state officials have made statements welcoming Samsung to Taylor following the announcement that the city will be home to its new $17 billion semiconductor fabrication plant. 

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott sits beside Samsung CEO Dr. Kinam Kim as he announces the company is brining a $17 billion facility to Taylor. (Screnshot via KXAN)
Samsung makes it official: Announcement from Governor's Mansion confirms $17B facility coming to Taylor

Nearly a year after Williamson County officials began pitching Samsung to bring a megafacility to the area, the electronics giant has made it official.