Katy ISD administrator reflects on 2019 TEA ratings: ‘It comes down to our staff in place’

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The day after Katy ISD students returned for the 2019-20 school year, the Texas Education Agency released the 2018-19 accountability ratings, and KISD learned it had improved its score by two points to receive a 92, or an A rating.

According to a press release, out of the 10 largest school districts in Texas, KISD was the only one to receive an overall A rating from the TEA.

“There are complex calculations that lead to the final overall 92 score,” said Allison Matney, the executive director of research, assessment and accountability. “But ultimately, it comes down to our staff in place, who place a great deal of focus and importance on student achievement.”

Overall grades are calculated based on performance in three domains: Student Achievement, School Progress and Closing the Gaps, according to the TEA. Each campus is also given an overall score based on the performance of the three domains.

KISD received an 89 in student achievement, or a B, which is a decrease from last year’s score of 91. Matney said the district received this score because one campus—Bear Creek Elementary School—received a D rating in this domain.

“TEA rules prohibit a district from receiving higher than an 89 in a domain where a campus has a D or F,” Matney said. “Therefore, Katy ISD is rated an 89. If this was not the case, the true number would be a 91 again for 2018-19.”

Meanwhile, the district was able to increase its School Progress domain score year over year from 89 to 91. Matney said KISD has campus support programs to help schools improve student growth.

KISD’s biggest gain was in the Closing the Gaps domain, which increased year over year from 89 to 95. Matney said last year’s score was given because Raines High School had received an rating in this domain that prevented the district from earning a score higher than 89.

Campus-level view

In total, KISD had 17 campuses that received all A’s across the three domains, and only two schools—Nottingham Country and Bear Creek elementary schools—received a D rating in one or more domains.

For schools that need improvement, the district works to help them better their student outcomes, Matney said.

“Katy ISD has a structure in place with a triangle of support for these campuses—from the assistant superintendents, curriculum and instruction staff, and the accountability and school improvement staff,” she said. “These teams actively work with campus leadership on effective strategies for school improvement.”

Matney said the district saw great improvements in four campuses in particular:

  • Wolfe Elementary School, which increased its overall score from 64 to 72;
  • Bryant Elementary School, which increased its overall score from 87 to 94;
  • Stockdick Junior High School, which increased its overall score from 74 to 80; and
  • Paetow High School School, which increased its overall score from 83 to 89.

To maintain and improve its overall 92 score, KISD plans to implement a local accountability system this school year, Mattney said.

“This is a specific result from our strategic design process and will provide an even more comprehensive data analysis on the items that our community values,” she said.

She added: “Katy ISD is constantly focused on student growth, and every year the district makes it a priority to improve by growing students academically from one year to the next. Having students improve their learning is crucial to their overall success in Katy ISD and postsecondary endeavors.”

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Jen Para
Jen joined Community Impact Newspaper in fall 2018 as the editor of the Katy edition. A graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism, Jen has written about business, politics and education since 2013. Prior to CI, Jen was the web producer at Houston Business Journal.
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