Poor scores, ratings put 7 schools on state's list: Ranking's primary purpose is to notify parents transfer is available

Published on Friday, 10 January 2014 20:10 - Written by By Emily Guevara eguevara@tylerpaper.com

 Seven Tyler ISD campuses landed on a list of the state’s lowest-performing schools based on state assessment results and ratings in the past three years.

The Public Education Grant list, released annually, considers the passing percentages on state assessments in each of the tested subjects as well as state ratings.

Although Robert E. Lee High School met state standards during the 2013 and 2012 testing seasons, an academically unacceptable rating from 2011 kept the school on the list.

John Tyler High School made the list because of an academically unacceptable rating in 2011 and because fewer than 50 percent of its students passed the writing assessment in 2013.

Also on the list were Douglas, Griffin, Orr and Peete elementary schools as well as the Wayne D. Boshears Center for Exceptional Programs.

“We’re not surprised by it,” Kim Tunnell, TISD’s chief leadership and academic performance officer, said. “We’re not pleased with it. We’re not happy with where our students are … and so we know there’s improvement that needs to happen.”

The primary purpose of the Public Education Grant list is to notify parents of students at these campuses that they can request a transfer for the 2014-15 school year.

Under the transfer provision, a parent of a student enrolled at any of the listed campuses can apply for their child to attend another campus in the same district, in this case TISD, or a campus in any other school district for the 2014-15 school year.

A student may only transfer to a school that is not on the Public Education Grant list, according to the Texas Education Agency.

If they apply to an out-of-district school, the school district to which they apply can either accept or reject the application provided their criteria for doing so is nondiscriminatory, according to state information.

School districts must notify parents of the listed schools by Feb. 1.

 MAKING THE LIST

There are two factors that can place a campus on the list. One is the percent of students who passed the state assessments in each of the tested subject areas. The other is the state rating for the campus.

If 50 percent or fewer students at a campus pass the state assessment in a particular subject area for any two of the past three years, that school is on the list.

Also, if a school received the state’s lowest rating of Improvement Required (previously Academically Unacceptable) any one of the previous three years, the school is on the list.

No schools received a rating in 2012 because of the state’s new accountability system, but the standardized test performance still was measured that year.

At Douglas Elementary School, a 2013 rating of Improvement Required and poor performance on writing placed it on the list.

Griffin Elementary received an Improvement Required rating in 2013. Orr and Peete elementary schools saw science performance and an Improvement Required rating in 2013 put them on the list.

The Wayne D. Boshears Center for Exceptional Programs, which serves Tyler ISD students with special needs, made the list because of reading, math, science and social studies performance as well as an Improvement Required rating in 2013.

The district received the performance reports for the campus’s 2013 testing season last year so officials have made plans to address the weak areas.

The school board is actually scheduled to vote on improvement plans for Douglas, Griffin, Orr, Peete and Boshears at its Monday meeting. Because each of those campus’ received the Improvement Required rating last year, the district has to create more extensive campus improvement plans, Ms. Tunnell said.

 INCREASE SEEN STATEWIDE

Last year, TISD had only two schools on the list, Lee and John Tyler, and they were there because of a poor 2011 state rating.

The increase in TISD schools on the list this year reflected a statewide trend. In Texas, 456 public schools made the list released in January 2013. Almost twice that amount, 892, made this year’s list.

“Historically, we’ve seen an increase when we change the testing program and the accountability system,” Texas Education Agency spokeswoman DeEtta Culbertson said.

Texas changed its testing program in 2012 and unveiled its new accountability system in 2013.

Ms. Tunnell said the ultimate goal is to work on student achievement and make sure all students are performing at higher levels.

“We’re going to continue to focus on student progress and learning the new accountability system so we can make sure we’re doing the best for kids, and we’re not on these lists,” she said

EAST TEXAS SCHOOLS ON THE LIST AND THE FACTORS THAT PLACED THEM THERE

The state’s Public Education Grant list includes schools with poor standardized test performance in one or more subject areas and/or the lowest state ratings in the past three years. East Texas schools on the list and the factors that placed them there are below.

Alto ISD - Alto ES, Improvement Required rating, 2013

Carlisle ISD - Carlisle School, Academically Unacceptable rating, 2011

Cross Roads ISD - Cross Roads HS, writing and Improvement Required rating, 2013

Gilmer ISD - Gilmer ES, Academically Unacceptable rating, 2011

Longview ISD - Forest Park Magnet School, writing, social studies and Improvement Required rating, 2013; J.L. Everhart Magnet ES, science and Academically Unacceptable rating, 2011, science, 2013; Johnston-McQueen ES, Improvement Required rating, 2013; Longview HS, Academically Unacceptable rating, 2011; writing, 2013; South Ward ES, Academically Unacceptable rating, 2011; science, 2013; Ware ES, Academically Unacceptable rating, 2011; Improvement Required rating, 2013

Overton ISD - Overton ES, Academically Unacceptable rating, 2011; science, 2013; Overton HS, Academically Unacceptable rating, 2011

Palestine ISD, Palestine MS, Academically Unacceptable rating, 2011

Pine Tree ISD, Pine Tree Intermediate, Academically Unacceptable rating, 2011

Tatum ISD, Tatum HS, Improvement Required rating, 2013

Trinidad ISD, Trinidad School, Academically Unacceptable rating, 2011; writing, 2013

Tyler ISD - Douglas ES, writing, Academically Unacceptable rating, 2013; Griffin ES, Academically Unacceptable rating, 2013; John Tyler HS, Academically Unacceptable rating, 2011; writing, 2013; Orr ES, science, Academically Unacceptable rating, 2013; Peete ES, science, Academically Unacceptable rating, 2013; Robert E. Lee HS, Academically Unacceptable rating, 2011; Wayne D. Boshears Center for Exceptional Programs, reading, math, social studies, science, Academically Unacceptable rating, 2013

Union Grove ISD, Union Grove HS, Improvement Required rating, 2013

West Rusk County Consolidated, West Rusk Intermediate, Academically Unacceptable rating, 2011; West Rusk Middle, Academically Unacceptable rating, 2011

White Oak ISD, White Oak HS, Improvement Required rating, 2013