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Killeen school board reviews district ratings

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Posted: Wednesday, August 13, 2014 4:30 am

While the Killeen Independent School District met state standards in the recent rounds of Texas Education Agency accountability ratings, Willow Springs Elementary School did not.

School board members and Killeen ISD staff set aside time at their regular meeting Tuesday to chew over the district’s yearly accountability ratings — which were released Friday — glancing at each of its 51 campus-by-campus scores and learning how performance indexes were calculated.

The TEA, the regulatory arm of government for all schools in Texas, annually grades all campuses and districts on four performance indexes for accountability and statewide comparison purposes.

“In order to receive a rating of met standards, a campus and a district has to meet standards on all four of those indexes … but the targets are different depending on what level (of campus),” said Teresa Daugherty, the Killeen ISD official in charge of testing administration.

If a campus did not meet any of the four performance index requirements, it received a “improvement required” rating, she said.

The four performance indexes include student achievement, student progress, closing performance gap and post-secondary readiness.

With a minimum required score for each campus or district set by the state, index scores are determined by calculating standardized test scores, past test scores, determining differences in subpopulation test scores and the graduation rate, among other factors.

“All of our campuses minus one met the standard,” Daughtery said, referring to Willow Springs Elementary. “Because they missed (the closing performance gap) target by two students, they received a rating of ‘improvement required.’”

The closing performance gap index specifically measures how subdemographics, such as economically disadvantaged students and minority students, compared to the school’s majority student demographic population, which is often white.

Willow Spring Elementary School has more than 69 percent of its student population classified as economically disadvantaged, according to a TEA report.

Willow Springs Elementary School joins 750 of 8,028 total statewide campuses considered “improvement required” teaching establishments.

The TEA also awarded 73 distinction designations to 24 Killeen ISD campuses. Distinction designations are awarded to campuses when students score in the top 25 percent compared to 40 other similar statewide campuses in certain subjects.

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