TEA releases 2015 accountability ratings

Published 10:59 pm Friday, August 7, 2015

NISD, PN-GISD climb to top; PAISD left with to-do list

As teachers in Mid- and South County prepare for back-to-school inservice sessions, the district superintendents are updating their convocation speeches to reflect new public school accountability ratings.

The 2015 accountability ratings — released by the Texas Education Agency Friday morning — provide a comprehensive evaluation of district and campus effectiveness by measuring the quality of learning from different perspectives.

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The different indices of success provide snapshots of student performance across all subjects, measure year-to-year student improvement, emphasize the academic achievement of certain student groups and the importance of a high school diploma for success in life after secondary school.

In the 2015 report, the Texas Education Agency provided ratings for more than 8,600 campuses in more than 1,200 school districts and charters throughout the state.

Each district or charter school received a rating of Met Standard, Met Alternative Standard or Improvement Required. Additionally, each district and charter — and their individual campuses — could receive distinctions in specific areas of student achievement.

The independent school districts of Nederland, Port Neches-Groves and Port Arthur all met TEA standards, but the prevalence of distinctions awarded varied throughout Mid- and South County.


Nederland ISD exceeded target scores on all indices — student achievement, student progress, closing performance gaps and postsecondary readiness. All NISD campuses evaluated met TEA standards on their own, and six of the district’s seven schools were awarded a combination of 23 academic distinctions.

Three of the district’s elementary schools — Langham, Hillcrest and Highland Park — received four of out four distinctions, and Nederland HIgh School received six out of seven distinctions. C.O. Wilson Middle School was the only NISD campus that did not receive any academic distinctions.

“We’re absolutely ecstatic about these ratings,” Stuart Kieschnick, NISD assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, said Friday. “In fact, I don’t think you’ll see any better ratings in the area, and we’re very proud of that. But, of course, we’re looking at the areas we can improve in to further our student success.”

Kieschnick said the TEA also provides state system safeguards to ensure that substandard performance in one or more areas or by one or more student groups is not disguised by higher performance in other areas or by other student groups.

The system safeguards evaluation does not impact the district’s overall rating, he said, but it gives districts more insight about what they should work on in the future.

“In our state system safeguards, we met standards in 57 out of 58 criteria,” Kieschnick said. “The one we didn’t make was special education science, so we’re going to look at that program and see what we can do to improve our student success in that area. Another thing we’ll look at is our student progress — how they do year-to-year — because it was the only index of the four that we did not improve on compared to last year’s accountability ratings report.

“And, of course, Nederland High School has something to work for,” he added, laughing. “I mean, for a diverse high school, Nederland High School’s scores are just outstanding. Look at those distinctions — six out of seven. But I bet they want all seven.”


Port Neches-Groves ISD exceeded target scores on all four indices and met 47 out of 49 state system safeguards. All PN-GISD campuses evaluated met TEA standards on their own, and eight of the district’s nine schools were awarded a combination of 15 academic distinctions.

Each of the district’s elementary schools were awarded distinctions, but Van Buren Elementary rose to the top with three out of three. Port Neches-Groves High School and Groves Middle School each earned one out of seven distinctions. Port Neches Middle School was the only PN-GISD campus that did not receive any academic distinctions.

“We’re very pleased with our ratings and, of course, we’re very proud of our staff, our students and our parents,” Rodney Cavness, PN-GISD superintendent, said Friday. “We’ve got academic distinctions at eight out of nine schools, with 15 distinctions overall. It’s great news before our convocation.”

Cavness said he would delve deeper into the new accountability ratings next week in order to target particular class subjects, student populations and campuses for improvement.

“Overall, it’s a good, positive perspective to take with us as we begin school Aug. 24,” he said. “We’re proud of everybody and hope to find ways to build on this success next year.”


Port Arthur ISD exceeded target scores on all four indices and met 43 out of 61 state system safeguards. Nine of the district’s 13 evaluated campuses met TEA standards, while the remaining four ranked Improvement Required.

Memorial High School and DeQueen Elementary School did not meet standards on student achievement or closing performance gaps between student groups. Booker T. Washington Elementary School was paired with DeQueen and received the same rating.

Sam Houston Elementary School did not meet standards on student achievement, closing performance gaps or postsecondary readiness.

Three of the district’s 13 campuses were awarded a total of four academic distinctions: William B. Travis Elementary received two out of five, Dick Dowling Elementary received one out of five, and Thomas Jefferson Middle School received one out of seven.

“We are happy to learn that the PAISD achieved the rating of Met Standard,” Mark Porterie, PAISD superintendent, said Friday. “We are equally happy that some of our schools earned distinctions in student progress, achievement in science and postsecondary readiness.

“We understand where there are gaps and we have a plan in place to address those gaps. We have taken the entire summer looking at the data and devising a plan which we feel will strengthen the delivery of instruction as well as assist students in becoming successful.”

To view the 2015 state accountability ratings, visit the Texas Education Agency website.

Twitter: @crhenderson90