DR. JESUS B. ACOSTA — Great on their behalf approach needed for student growth

Published 12:22 am Friday, September 29, 2023

Every year we ask students to read during the summer.

I always try to make it a point to read a few books during the summer too. One of the books I read this summer is “Great on Their Behalf” by A.J. Crabill.

The book is about the work school boards must do to help improve student outcomes. One of the themes throughout the book is that school systems exist to improve student outcomes.

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Everything we do in schools must be geared toward improving student outcomes. There are many ways to measure student outcomes, but for the most part in the state of Texas student outcomes are determined by the accountability system.

The accountability system measures student outcomes and provides schools with an A-F rating.

At the k-8 level, this rating is based 100 percent on how students perform on the STAAR exams. While at the High School level, it is based on a formula that includes 40 percent Student performance, 40 percent College, Career and Military Readiness (CCMR) and 20 percent Graduation Rate.

Within the 40 percent of student performance, there is a formula that would make any mathematician giddy with excitement. It includes three Domains with each domain having five to seven areas that are scored, and then an overall score and grade is assigned based on those 18 areas.

Another interesting fact is that the state does not tell you ahead of time what score you need to “pass” these tests. The state determines the passing rate or cut score after schools have taken the tests.

For High School they determine the CCMR and Graduation rate based on the graduating class from two years ago. This year the state decided to raise the CCMR cut score after the students graduated.

This is equivalent to the adage “The horse has already left the barn.” There is nothing schools can do to improve student performance once they have graduated.

Imagine taking a test and they tell you, “We will determine if you passed after everyone takes the test.”

We will wait until everyone takes the test and then we will determine what will be the passing score.

The state has decided that this year will be a “refresh” year. This means that ratings will be going down for many schools and districts. Some districts are suing.

As our CEO Dr. Bobby Lopez says, we will have our blinders on! We focus on what we do.

Are our student outcomes better this year than they were last year?

The answer for us is a resounding YES!

Our students performed better this year than they have in the last two previous years. At the end, it is about the students, our student outcomes have continued to improve, regardless of the assigned ratings and we will continue to strive to be GREAT ON THEIR BEHALF!


Dr. Jesús B. Acosta is the campus director of Bob Hope High School in Port Arthur. He can be reached at jesus.acosta@bobhopeschool.org.