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Successful Appeal Confirms Crockett Elementary Met State Accountability Standards

Crockett Elementary in Bryan ISD received notice from the Texas Education Agency (TEA) that the school successfully earned a “Met Standard” rating for the 2013-2014 school year instead of being labeled “Improvement Required,” as it was prior to an appeal by Bryan ISD.

The results enhance the academic improvements underway in Bryan in support of the district’s primary goal to continually address instruction so all students reach their maximum potential. During the 2012-2013 school year, the district and five schools were rated improvement required. This year, with Crockett’s successful appeal, only one school missed an index, and only by a single point.

The district successfully appealed the unacceptable rating Crockett received for Index 4, post-secondary readiness, on the basis that a group of students included in the data for other indexes was excluded from calculation for Index 4. Some 15 English Language Learners (ELL) students in their second through fourth year in the country took the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STARR) exams in English, rather than their native language, and all performed exceptionally well.

However, in an interesting and confusing twist, TEA standards currently do not account for these students achieving high test results in their non-native language.  To simplify, schools were not given credit in their accountability ratings for Index 4 if students were making significant progress learning English and performing well on English versions of state exams.

The reversal of the “improvement required” rating brings Crockett into the category of “met standard,” the highest rating schools can receive.  After the successful appeal, only Milam Elementary is left narrowly missing Index 4.

“We appreciate the TEA’s willingness to do what’s right for children, and we thank them for considering our appeal,” said Superintendent Tommy Wallis. “To see the tears of joy from Crockett teachers and the celebration of the kids there confirms what we have always known—Crockett is a great school, with great kids and they’re working hard along with all of Bryan ISD to improve instruction and learning for every child.”

According to a letter from TEA informing the school the appeal was successful, the agency will update its website and accountability information in early December.

The reversal is a hopeful indicator that the state’s top education agency will reevaluate how it rewards achievement by ELL students who achieve academically and are successful on state standardized tests in English.

See the appeal approval letter (attached below).

Original Release:
Bryan ISD showed significant gains in academic scores and post-secondary readiness measures in the 2013-2014 TEA Accountability ratings—meeting all standards at the district level.

TEA ratings are based on four indexes, including:
1) Student achievement.
2) Student progress.
3) Closing performance gaps.
4) Post-secondary readiness. Index 4 is new this year for elementary and middle schools.

“We could not be more proud of the progress the children in Bryan ISD are making,” said Superintendent Tommy Wallis. “Their hard work and the dedication of our teachers and administrators made a very big difference in a very short time. We’re excited about the future and will continue placing children first, always.”

MC Harris, the district’s alternative school for over-aged and under-credited students, showed remarkable gains in post-secondary readiness, among other indexes, indicating that the school is preparing students well for life after high school.

Last year, five campuses and the district overall were designated by TEA as “Improvement Required.” This year, only two campuses are designated as improvement required; Crockett Elementary and Milam Elementary narrowly missed meeting standard for Index 4 (post-secondary readiness). NOTE: An appeal filed on Crockett’s behalf took into account data from high achieving students that was not previously considered by TEA. The appeal resulted in a reversal of the improvement required rating and a new rating of met standard.

In a substantial move forward academically, Jones Elementary met standard in all indexes, as did Bryan High School and Rudder High School—and all three schools earned distinctions. The district also met standard, thanks to district-wide improvements in academic rigor and performance. 

2013-2014 Campus Distinctions

Distinctions are awarded based on a comparison group of 40 closely matching schools throughout Texas and are based on excellence in these categories:
• Academic Achievement in Reading/English Language Arts (ELA)
• Academic Achievement in Mathematics
• Academic Achievement in Science
• Academic Achievement in Social Studies
• Top 25% Student Progress
• Post-secondary Readiness
• Closing Performance Gaps

Bryan Collegiate High School—Reading/ELA, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Closing Performance Gaps, Post-secondary Readiness
Bryan High—Reading/ELA, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Post-secondary Readiness
Rudder—Mathematics, Social Studies
SFA—Reading/ELA, Science, Social Studies
Long—Reading/ELA, Social Studies, Post-Secondary Readiness
Jones—Student Progress
Johnson—Reading/ELA, Student Progress, Closing Performance Gaps, Post-secondary Readiness
Ross—Student Progress
Houston—Reading/ELA, Science
Navarro—Mathematics, Science
Neal—Reading/ELA, Mathematics, Science, Student Progress, Closing Performance Gaps, Post-Secondary Readiness