An annual report by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) shows only four out of 23 BISD schools that were preliminarily evaluated in 2012 met Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) standards.
“AYP is the federal accountability system under the No Child Left Behind Act,” said DeEtta Culbertson, spokesperson for the TEA. “When No Child Left Behind became effective, states were required to implement an accountability system based on federal requirements.”
The schools that did meet AYP standards include Amelia Elementary, Curtis Elementary, Fletcher Elementary and Smith Middle School.
When a school misses AYP the first year, it is placed on probation for a period, which gives it a chance to improve its status for the next year. However, if a school does not meet AYP requirements two years in a row, it is considered Stage 1, placing the school in School Improvement Status (SIS).
“School Improvement is a method or means of sanctions that are applied to Title I schools for failure to meet AYP requirements,” Culbertson said. “It begins with campuses having to do campus improvement plans and offering school choice for students to transfer to campuses that did meet AYP. If schools continue to miss the indicators, then the sanctions will increase in severity, up to and including state takeover.”
Culbertson said state takeover would involve the TEA putting a conservator in or a board of managers to run the campus.
“Basically we would have authority to put a team in place to run the campus … put a person in place to oversee those areas of deficiency and direct the campus,” she said. “We could also go in and close the school and reopen it as a charter school. Those would be the most severe sanctions.”
Culbertson said that state takeover has rarely ever happened under the current system.
According to Culbertson, each individual campus has to miss AYP standards two years in a row to go into SIS.
“Austin Middle School, for example, met AYP in 2011. So this is their first year to miss it,” Culbertson said. “If they miss the same indicator next year, then they will go into School Improvement.”
Also, according to Culbertson, a campus that is in SIS has to use a portion, 10 to 20 percent, of its Title I dollars to fund school choice, school tutoring or any of the other sanctions required.
There are three schools listed by TEA in SIS status: West Brook Senior High School, Caldwood Elementary, and Pietzsch/Mac Arthur Elementary School.
As a whole, BISD is listed in Stage 2 by TEA meaning the district has missed AYP standards three years in a row.
AYP evaluates math and reading skills, as well as graduation and attendance rates.
For the regular public meeting of the BISD Board of Trustees scheduled for 7:15 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 16, on the agenda is a report from the superintendent on the AYP report.
BISD Communications Specialist Ron Reynolds had not returned a phone call seeking comment as of press time Wednesday, Aug. 15.Little Cypress-Mauriceville CISD
The Texas Education Agency announced that only 44 percent of Texas campuses met Adequate Yearly Progress, and while Little Cypress-Mauriceville CISD was also not satisfied with the results, LC-M CISD community relations coordinator Sherry Combs was quick to address the matter in a press release.
“Little Cypress-Mauriceville CISD’s rating is not what we wanted, nor do we believe it to be reflective of the achievements that LCM students have attained this past year,” she wrote.
In the release, LC-M CISD Superintendent Dr. Pauline Hargrove reported, “In reading, the district had 88 percent of all students pass (AYP requires 87 percent) and in mathematics, the district had 82 percent of all students pass (AYP requires 83 percent). Though our student achievement is commendable, the district did not meet AYP due to federal limits on the number of students with special needs who can be tested on modified or alternative assessments. Any students tested above the federal cap are counted as having not passed the assessment, even when they have passed. Though the government does not recognize their success for accountability purposes, we do and we are very proud of them.”
At the campus level, Little Cypress Elementary, Little Cypress Intermediate, and Mauriceville Elementary all met the requirements for AYP in reading, math, attendance and participation rates. Little Cypress Junior High did not meet AYP in reading and math. Mauriceville Middle School met AYP in reading and missed AYP in math Little Cypress-Mauriceville High School met AYP in reading and missed AYP in math. The district attributed the shortfall at all three campuses to the performance of some students with special needs.
Kevin King can be reached at (409) 832-1400, ext. 225, or by e-mail at kevin [at] theexaminer [dot] com.