TEA Announces Austin ISD’s 2010 Campus Accountability Ratings
July 30, 2010 - The Texas Education Agency today confirmed the Austin Independent School District’s earlier projection that 109 Austin campuses — or 99 percent of regular campuses — met or exceeded the challenges of the state’s increasing accountability standards for 2010.
Among them, a total of 68 campuses earned Exemplary or Recognized ratings — more than ever before — as reported by the Texas Education Agency. This represents 62 percent of AISD’s 110 regular campuses.
Thirty-two Austin schools were rated Exemplary, eight more than in 2009. Thirty-six Austin schools were rated Recognized, six more than in 2009. The number of Austin’s regular campuses rated Acceptable was 41. From 2009 to 2010, 37 Austin campuses improved their ratings, with three advancing by two levels.
Eastside Green Tech High School was the only Austin school rated Academically Unacceptable by TEA in 2010. Last year, AISD had eight schools rated “AU,” including Pearce Middle School and Reagan High School. Both achieved Academically Acceptable ratings in 2010.
AISD’s Chief Performance Officer Bill Caritj had presented his projected Accountability Ratings to the AISD Board of Trustees on June 14. Those projections were confirmed today by TEA.
“These results are evidence of the hard work of AISD students, families, and staff,” Superintendent Meria Carstarphen said. “Everyone should be proud of these results, but keep in mind that these assessments are only one piece of the achievement picture. We must continue to work hard to improve student attendance, close the achievement gap, enhance the effectiveness of instruction for English Language Learners, and increase our graduation rates.
“I have the utmost confidence that our schools can and will meet these challenges, ensuring that our students graduate on time and ready for college or career.”
With District passing rates in each content area well above the continually-rising state standards, AISD was also rated Academically Acceptable in 2010 by TEA — as it has each year since the current system was implemented in 2003. Two components of the state accountability system prevented AISD from being rated a Recognized school district: there was one “AU” campus, and one student group fell one percentage point short from the required 80 percent passing rate in one subject.
Ratings are based on students’ performance on a battery of the Texas Assessment of Knowledge & Skills (TAKS) tests, administered annually in the Spring. Students in third through eleventh grades are tested in Reading, Math, Writing, Social Studies, and Science. (Not all grades are tested in every subject.)
Campuses must achieve a passing rate in every test and every student group (All Students, African American, Hispanic, White, and Economically Disadvantaged) to be rated at least Acceptable. At the District level, AISD achieved the Recognized level for every subject and student group, except for the African American student group in Math, which fell one-point short.
Completion rates for high schools and dropout rates for middle schools are also accountability factors. (Also see ‘What the TAKS is All About’ at the end of this Statement.)
“We are committed to success for all students. The accountability bar is set high and will continue to increase, but we welcome these challenges. These ratings for 2010 show us where our hard work has paid off, and where more work is needed,” Dr. Carstarphen said.
Austin’s 68 top-rated campuses for 2010 are:
Among the 68 Exemplary and Recognized schools are 35 campuses which are high-need, schools with high-poverty student populations. These are Andrews, Becker, Blanton, Brooke, Cook, Dawson, Galindo, Graham, Harris, Hart, Houston, Jordan, Joslin, Linder, McBee, Metz, Norman, Oak Springs, Ortega, Overton, Palm, Perez, Pickle, Reilly, Ridgetop, Sanchez, Sims, St. Elmo, Sunset Valley, Travis Heights, Winn, Wooten and Zavala elementary schools, along with Dobie and Paredes middle schools.
“A child’s socioeconomic status is not a barrier to academic success,” Dr. Carstarphen said. “As our results affirm, poverty does not and should not limit academic achievement for Austin students. We commend the staff and students of these schools for setting high expectations and achieving them.”
As earlier projected, seven campuses that were rated Academically Unacceptable last year — Garcia, Lamar, Martin, Mendez, and Pearce middle schools; and LBJ and Reagan high schools — rose to an Academically Acceptable rating in 2010.
Three campuses — Becker, Oak Springs, and Sims elementaries — rose two levels to an Exemplary rating in 2010.
Impact of the Texas Projection Measure
The Texas Projection Measure (TPM), as applied by the Texas Education Agency, provides a means of measuring student progress over time, and predicts whether a student is likely to pass the TAKS at a future high-stakes grade level (e.g. grade 5, 8, or 11). In January 2009, the U.S. Department of Education approved the use of the Texas Projection Measure in determining state and federal accountability ratings. (See http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index4.aspx?id=3518)
Campuses may now move to a higher accountability rating if they meet “Required Improvement (RI) or Exceptions” criteria, as in the past, or if a sufficient number of students meet the TPM standard, which was used for the first time in 2009.
Application of TPM allowed three Austin middle schools that were rated as Academically Unacceptable in 2009 to achieve a rating of Academically Acceptable in 2010. They are Garcia, Mendez and Pearce.
What the TAKS is All About
The Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) is comprised of tests that are more rigorous and challenge students’ knowledge in more subjects and grades than the previous Texas Assessment of Academic Skills (TAAS) tests of 1994 through 2002. This is the eighth year that students across Texas have taken TAKS tests, and the seventh year for campuses to receive a rating under the state’s current accountability system.
TAKS tests were administered on several dates to students in third through eleventh grades. Subjects tested were Reading (grades 3-9), English Language Arts (10-11), Mathematics (3-11), Writing (4 & 7), Science (5, 8, 10 & 11), and Social Studies (8, 10 & 11).
Fifth and eighth grade students are required to pass both Reading and Math to be promoted to the next grade. In addition, eleventh grade students are required to pass four separate tests to graduate (English/Language Arts; Math; Science; and Social Studies).
TAKS will be administered for the final time in the spring of 2011. The State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) will replace TAKS as the state’s official student-assessment system in the 2011–2012 school year. End-of-course exams are a key component of the STAAR system, which is designed to help students meet college-readiness standards.
Students in the graduating Class of 2015, who are eighth graders in school year 2010-11, will be the first class who will have to meet the new end-of-course requirements in order to graduate.
Performance standards for state rating levels in 2010 are: