Study: Conroe ISD ranked 8th in TexasConroe ISD has been ranked eighth among large school districts in Texas for high overall school performance after earning an A score in a recent study conducted by Children at Risk, a children’s research and advocacy group based in Texas.

Children at Risk conducts an annual ranking of Texas schools and districts and assigns each school and district a letter grade. The grades range from A to F.

LaPorcha Carter, assistant director of the Center for Social Measurement and Evaluation at Children at Risk, said the organization looks for certain indicators when determining which grade a school receives.

“For elementary and middle schools we look at student achievement, campus performance and growth from year to year with test scores,” Carter said. “For high schools we look at all of these things plus college readiness of students, such as how many students participate in SAT and ACT testing.”

Carter said factors for rating schools include advanced State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness test scores, high SAT, ACT and Advanced Placement test participation and scoring and identifying schools that meet or go above certain expectations based on the number of students at the school. Additional rating considerations include the number of economically disadvantaged students as well.

“Conroe ISD overall has high performance schools, so that’s why the district received an A,” Carter said. “They had a couple elementary schools that received an F rating, but a lot of factors play into that performance. There’s not one thing you could point to. Both those schools did do worse than expected, but CISD schools as a whole performed better than expected.”

Carter said Austin and Houston elementary schools both received F scores. The reasons they scored poorly could have included testing data of the students for that year, the larger number of economically disadvantaged students and the limited growth in test scores from year to year at the campuses.

John Husbands, president of the CISD board of trustees, said the reason many of the district’s schools are rated highly in the study is because of the teachers and administrators who are doing their jobs well.

“The standing rule is to add somehow to each child each day—it’s constant improvement,” Husbands said. “Value added every day to a child’s life is the reason why we are successful.”

Husbands said struggling students are offered specific training to address learning issues. Also, additional funding is given to schools with a higher rate of economically disadvantaged students.

CISD Superintendent Don Stockton said several steps could be taken to help struggling students and provide support for economically disadvantaged students.

“First thing to do is analyze where students are struggling and why,” Stockton said. “Not all kids learn the same. We also provide support for all of our students. We use all assessment data to make for improvements.”

Stockton said he hopes to continue to be a top district while making individual schools even better.

“We can continue to improve in all areas, and we want to fill gaps and go to higher heights,” he said. “The ranking we received just confirms the hard work of our teachers and students, and we’re on the right track.”v