Five campuses in the Killeen and Copperas Cove school districts are part of a small group of Texas schools to earn multiple distinctions under the state’s new accountability ratings system.
Schools can earn “distinctions” in three areas: academic achievement in English and language arts, academic achievement in math, and student progress.
According to information from the Texas Education Agency, 759 of the state’s 3,600 schools earned all three distinctions for 2013.
Killeen Independent School District campuses that earned all three distinctions this year are Clifton Park Elementary, Pershing Park Elementary and Richard E. Cavazos Elementary.
In Copperas Cove Independent School District, Mae Stevens and Martin Walker elementary also earned all three distinctions.
The 2013 ratings are based on a revised system that uses indicators such as student achievement, student progress, closing student performance gaps and postsecondary readiness to assign ratings to school districts. Based on those criteria, Texas districts and individual schools received one of three ratings: met standard, met alternative standard or improvement required.
This year, all Cove campuses received a “met standard” rating. In Killeen ISD, Eastern Hills Middle School was the only campus with a “requires improvement” rating.
According to data from the agency, Eastern Hills received the rating because it failed to meet its goals in closing student performance gaps. Under the new system, campuses must make advancements in achievement for students classified as economically disadvantaged, as well as their two lowest performing racial/ethnic groups. Eastern Hills did, however, meet indicators in the areas of overall student achievement and student progress.
Even though Eastern Hills did not meet all requirements of the new rating system, it does not appear the campus will face any mandatory or punitive measures from the state.
According to TEA spokeswoman DeEtta Culbertson, only campuses that repeatedly failed to meet accountability standards would face such measures, which can include being required to develop a campus improvement plan.“If this is the first time they got a (“requires improvement”) rating, then there would not be any sanctions,” Culbertson said.
Since this is the first year for the new ratings, Culbertson said the state looked to ratings under the previous accountability system to make that determination. The last time schools received a rating was the 2011 school year. Eastern Hills received an “academically acceptable” rating in 2011, which was not considered a failing rating under the old system.
Texas districts did not receive ratings for the 2012 school year as the state switched to the new system.
Contact Chris McGuinness at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7568. Follow him on Twitter at ChrismKDH.