Amid various concerns voiced in the community after poor showings in the Children at Risk school rankings and mixed scores on the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness exams, Killeen Independent School District officials said Tuesday the district is projected to meet all standards required by the Texas Education Agency on the district’s academic accountability ratings for the 2016-17 school year.
District officials explained that the projected results are not final, and will still need to be verified by TEA.
On Aug. 7, KISD should receive their final results, and Aug. 15 the TEA will publish the results online.
The projected results from the academic accountability ratings were presented by KISD’s director of Assessment and Accountability, Teresa Daughtery, during Tuesday’s district board workshop.
The results — based on a four categories: Student Achievement, Student Progress, Closing Performance Gaps and Post Secondary Readiness — are weighted equally through the TEA’s evaluation.
STAAR exam results showed that out of 64,723 exams taken in KISD in 2016-17, 47,268 received passing grades — a rate of 73 percent.
The presentation also broke down student progress districtwide. According to the results, 58 percent of all students achieved their expected academic progress, while 17 percent of students earned an accelerated progress rate districtwide.
The district also received a score of 93 on the district’s graduation rate which correlates to the postsecondary readiness rating based on how well prepared students are for life after high school.
Also, just over 45 percent of all KISD students earned a “meets grade level or above” in two STAAR-tested subjects— which represents a major portion of the “closing the gap” category.
In three of the categories, not including post secondary readiness of all students, the district reached its district target and met TEA’s standards.
KISD Superintendent John Craft said that while the statewide standards seem to be increasing each year, the district continues to find a way to excel.
“We are excited to see the finalized results in a few weeks, and we feel comfortable knowing that our progress on these ratings are improving,” Craft said Tuesday.
“We only had one school not meet a standard set by the state, and all of our faculty and staff should feel proud about that,” Craft said.
East Ward Elementary School fell short of the state standard in the category of Student Achievement.
In other action Tuesday, the district discussed renewing its agreement with Central Texas College to provide specialty coursework for 54 students interested in hospitality management and culinary arts.
The program will cost the district just over $62,500 and is expected to be a one year agreement.
If approved, the agreement will last until July 2018. The program includes 12 separate courses.
Also the district discussed a lease agreement with Communities in School to continue their connections program at East Ward Elementary. The agreement has been ongoing since 2004.
Both items were information items and can be voted on at the next public meeting on Aug. 8.