Number of HISD Exemplary and Recognized Schools Drops in Preliminary TAKS Results

Categories: Education

taks052511.jpg
HISD results go backwards
Houston ISD has fewer exemplary and recognized schools, stayed exactly the same in the number of acceptable schools and increased in the number of its unacceptable schools, according to state accountability ratings based on preliminary TAKS results.

Houston ISD Superintendent Terry Grier has called for a news conference at 11 a.m. Thursday to release the district's results from student scores on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills. The Texas Education Agency uses these scores in rating the public schools throughout the state, with "exemplary" being the highest rating.

Hair Balls got an early look at the data developed by HISD and thought our readers would like to get the public information as soon as possible as well.

The district has embarked upon a "transformation," to try to improve standardized tests and college readiness, especially in the low-performing Apollo 20 turnaround schools. Grier has emphasized repeatedly that if teachers and administrators aren't doing their jobs, he'll get rid of them. With his urging, HISD trustees voted this year to add students' test scores to the criteria used to evaluate teacher performance.

Comparing the 2011 preliminary scores to the unofficial 2010 scores without the Texas Projection Measure (which uses a statistical calculation to decide if a student who failed the TAKS is likely to pass it in the future) showed the district went from 56 to 50 exemplary schools, 113 to 95 recognized schools, stayed level at 91 acceptable schools and increased from 17 to 26 unacceptable schools.

The exemplary gap widens if the 2011 preliminary scores are compared to the final 2010 scores with TPM added -- by which 101 schools were determined to be exemplary.

Comparing the district's results to its accountability ratings in 2008 showed growth in exemplary schools from 14 to 19 percent, a decrease in recognized schools from 44 to 36 percent and a decrease in acceptable schools from 38 to 35 percent. There was an increase in unacceptable schools from 4 percent to 10 percent.

Hair Balls will update, of course, with any new information from Thursday's press conference as well as any statements made by the superintendent and his administration.

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Gc
Gc

How can anyone from HISD legitimately claim that Dr. Grier should not be held accountable for the inclusion of special education TAKS scores?  This is the same Dr. Grier that recommended last summer that HISD should reduce the special education budget by $21.6 million dollars BEFORE any special education audit was complete.  This is the same superintendent who KNEW when he made this recommendation to the board that HISD would be held accountable for special education TAKS scores this year.  Instead, HISD layed off hundereds of special education staff and proceeded with a systematic effort to reduce services and mainstream students.   Parents complained in writing, at meetings, and to auditors.   This is the same Dr. Grier who sent out a letter to principals warning them that it was illegal to tell parents that HISD would not provide services obligated by law.  Dr. Grier made no mention about the practice of denying services to students only that you couldn't tell parents you were doing so.  The cookie cutter staffing ratios were forced on students regarless of need.  These TAKS scores are the result of Dr. Grier's recommendations, practices, and leadership over the past 18 months.  He must be held accountable for HISD's decline. 

Jkaa1
Jkaa1

Even if you agreed with Spencer's position-that the combination of higher standards and no TPM is the cause of the slip, the fact remains that HISD is essentially running in place interns of student performance.

bell wether
bell wether

Ms. Downing:  You and the Press have now been publicly, officially, insulted by HISD.  You may take your places over with Principal Wheat and the others.

Mr. Spencer:  Houston Press readers and the greater Houston community have much information on which to judge "HISD's academic performance."  TAKS results are but one part of this evaluation, regardless of the "context" HISD's 120+ communications department employees may provide.    

Guest
Guest

How did the Apollo Schools do?  Jones HS, Kashmere....others?

leslie
leslie

If Grier would hold himself as accountable as he is holding everyone else, maybe he could do us all a favor and fire Terry Grier.  Instead, if the Chron article is to be believed, he'll blame special education students and find some crazy way to read "improvement" into these disappointing numbers.   And then he'll insist if we just centralize curriculum, we'll be able to turn it all around.  But in reality, we're going to "centralize" ourselves out of anything that's working at those few schools remaining exemplary (look for big changes to magnet schools as the next step).

In the meantime, teachers, principals, and magnet coordinators are all under supreme stress.   These scores are just the dead canary in the coalmine.

pelican lover
pelican lover

I think the context that Mr Spencer would like for us to overlook is that under his boss's watch, HISD's state rankings aren't doing so well. Count on spin and obfuscation at tomorrow's press conference. Expect blame to fall on teachers and principals.

Jason Spencer
Jason Spencer

Ms. Downing: I wish I could say that I'm shocked at the Houston Press's failure to adhere to the most basic journalistic principles  by publishing a news story about an internal HISD document without first giving HISD the opportunity to put it into context. If you had asked us about the document, we would have pointed you to another document that has been publicly available on HISD's website for two weeks.  Here's a link for you to share with your readers: http://www.houstonisd.org/Rese... The document explains the multitude of changes to the Texas accountability system that anyone who follows Texas education would tell you will result in scores of schools in Houston and elsewhere seeing a dip in their ratings this year. One of the changes is that the minimum passing rates for math and science increased 5 percentage points for schools to be considered acceptable. The dropout rate calculation also got tougher, and the scores of students in special education are a bigger factor now than before. You can read more about the changes by clicking the link. Houston Press readers should reserve judgement on HISD's academic performance until all the numbers are released tomorrow.  Jason SpencerSenior Manager, HISD Media Relations

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