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Jan 13 2017

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TEA releases preliminary school ratings

By DINA ARÉVALO
Port Isabel-South Padre Press
editor@portisabelsouthpadre.com

The Texas Education Agency (TEA) recently released preliminary ratings for every school in the state as part of an overhaul to how the state holds schools and school districts accountable. But the rankings, which are formatted like letter grades, from A through F, have many educators across Texas speaking out.

“It’s very preliminary information based on some data that’s as much as two years old and it’s not a true reflection of what’s taking place in the district today,” Point Isabel Superintendent of Schools Dr. Lisa Garcia said Tuesday.

Indeed, under the preliminary rankings, Point Isabel ISD’s scores are less than ideal. The District received letter grades of C, D and 2 Bs on the four categories, or domains, assessed by the new system so far. Similar scores have been assigned to dozens of other schools and districts throughout the state.

The seemingly low grades caused ripples of shock across the education community. “Our opinion would join the majority of the state of Texas … it shouldn’t have been released publicly. It should have stayed as an opportunity for us to look at areas where we need to grow and work on those for the next two years,” Dr. Garcia said.

The system overhaul came about after the 84th Legislature passed House Bill 2804. “The law requires schools and districts to be issued grades based on five different areas of performance or ‘domains,’ and those five grades must be combined into a single overall rating,” reads the preliminary report released by TEA earlier this month. However, the final assessment methodologies aren’t set to go into effect until August 2018.

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