Tyler Independent School District expects to move up a full letter grade when the state releases accountability ratings later this week.
Tyler ISD will go from a “C” rating last year to a “B” with some big gains on many campuses for the 2018-19 school year, according to a news release from the district. Hogg Middle School will be under the state’s “Improvement Required” status after some setbacks, Superintendent Marty Crawford said.
Overall the district’s score is up 7 points, moving from a 78 to an 85. Under the Texas Education Agency’s Accountability Ratings, a “C” is considered average. Seven campuses went up a letter grade, 13 maintained their score from last year and six went down. Hogg is the only campus that moved into “Improvement Required” status. Over the past five years the district went from 11 campuses considered “Improvement Required” to zero last year.
Crawford said with the small student body at Hogg, at just over 300 students, one group of students experiencing setbacks can have a major impact on the school’s rating. Crawford also said midyear personnel changes contributed to the middle school’s rating trending downward.
“Hogg does look like it’s going to be improvement required by 1 point this year,” Crawford said. “We understand those challenges and we’ll get them back up to speed next year.”
Every campus in the district also saw changes to attendance zones, as the district worked to even out student populations at its most crowded schools. Despite the changes, the district saw more gains than losses, especially in the category that measures college readiness.
“We’re pretty proud of that,” Crawford said. “It certainly has been a community effort to get there.” Part of that boost comes from increases in College, Career and Military Readiness scores, which are considered lag data, meaning they run a year behind. Some examples of the data considered includes student performance on Advanced Placement exams, dual credit course completion and career certifications. Last year, Tyler ISD outperformed state averages in 19 of its 26 Advanced Placement courses. The district also saw huge gains in terms of Career and Technology Education Certifications and increased Dual Credit courses thanks to its Career and Technology Center and Early College High School.
Crawford said the district was particularly proud of how well Moore Middle School did, with changes to its attendance zone and taking most of the students who previously attended Dogan Middle School, which was shut down after the 2017-18 school year. Dogan had been on the state’s Improvement Required list for four straight years, coming off the list its final year of operation.
Moore will have a “B” rating, with a decline of one point.
Birdwell, Bonner, Bell, Andy Woods and Owens Elementary Schools and Caldwell Arts Academy are expected to earn a “B” rating while Jack Elementary School will maintain its “A” rating.
Crawford said all of the high schools did well, with John Tyler moving up 12 points, Robert E. Lee moving up 1 point and Early College High School maintaining its score of 97. RISE Academy, a specialized high school for credit recovery and dropout prevention, rose about 25 points.
The TEA grading system uses three domains for measuring the academic performance of districts and campuses: Student Achievement, School Progress, and Closing the Gaps, according to the news release. Districts and campuses receive a rating for overall performance, as well as for performance in each domain.
Distinctions for areas where the campuses have excelled will be released on Thursday.