This was the second year that the Texas Education Agency released official ratings for the state’s school districts under the A-F accountability system. Scores were released Aug. 15.
As part of the new system, school districts earn letter grades similar to how student performance is measured in report cards.
In an email to Community Impact Newspaper, SMCISD Deputy Superintendent Monica Ruiz-Mills recognized the district’s improvement, but noted that there is room for “growth.”
"As a district we have showed growth, earning a 77 score, yet we know there is opportunity for growth. We will continue our focus on improving student outcomes and practices,” she wrote.
Districts were rated on the new A-F system last year but this year, campuses were also scored under the same system.
In SMCISD, Bonham Pre-K School and Crockett Elementary School earned the highest grades in the district, each receiving an 81, or a B.
Bowie Elementary School, De Zavala Elementary School, Hernandez Elementary School and Mendez Elementary School received a C in this year’s scores, along with San Marcos High School.
The three lowest-rated campuses in the district were Goodnight Middle School, Miller Miller School and Travis Elementary School. While the two middle schools in the district earned D ratings, Travis Elementary received an “F” with a score of 58.
Ruiz-Mills presented unofficial scores to the SMCISD school board in July with estimates on this year’s A-F ratings. During that presentation, she told board members that staff was expecting a decrease in scores at the district’s two middle schools.
Ratings were calculated based on three separate scores called “domains”—student achievement, student progress and closing the gaps. Each domain uses STAAR test scores at varying levels to determine a score.
Student achievement scores for elementary schools, for example, are purely based on STAAR test scores. For high schools and districts, the TEA takes into account graduation rates as well as college, career and military readiness to determine student achievement.
Out of the three domains, the state agency uses the highest score between student achievement and student progress to calculate 70% of the A-F rating.
SMCISD earned a 72 for student achievement, while it scored a 79 on student progress, meaning that the student achievement score was not used.
The third domain, closing the gaps, accounts for 30% of the letter grade, and is used to evaluate how well students from different economic and ethnicity groups are performing in a school district or campus. SMCISD earned a 73 in this domain.
School districts have an ability to appeal their scores to the state education agency if they feel that they have received an inaccurate score. The deadline to appeal a score is Sept. 13, and the agency is scheduled to release appeal decisions in December.