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Panola County school districts' A-F ratings remain the same in 2019

Panola County schools maintained districtwide A-F accountability scores, earning the same letter scores in 2019 as they did in 2018, according to the Texas Education Agency.

Beckville ISD earned the county’s only A rating, followed by Carthage ISD and Panola Charter Schools’ B ratings. Gary ISD, which was not officially given a letter grade last year but earned a score in C range, was given a C rating this year.

The Texas Education Agency released 2019 state accountability ratings on Thursday for approximately 1,200 districts and charter schools. The ratings provide A-F scores for both districts as a whole and, for the first time this year, individual campuses.

A-F scores are based on three performance measures:

  • student achievement, which is based on students’ STAAR results as well as factors like college and career readiness and graduation rates
  • school progress, which compares how students perform over time and how that compares with similar schools
  • closing the gaps, which compares how students in different groups perform within a school

Seventy percent of a score is based on student achievement and student progress, with the other 30 percent based on closing the gaps.

Statewide, about 25 percent of districts earned an A rating, about 57 percent earned a B rating, about 13 percent earned a C rating and about 4 percent earned a D rating. One percent of districts earned an F rating

“Performance continues to improve in Texas schools because of the tireless effort of Texas teachers, administrators and staff. I am particularly proud of the educators at the 296 high-poverty schools that achieved an A rating this year,” Education Commissioner Mike Morath said in a press release. “With resources on TXschools.gov, educators and parents are empowered as they never have been before to support even greater improvements in the future.”

Carthage ISD

Carthage ISD received a B rating: 86 points out of 100, up from 80 last year. It also received B ratings for all three performance measures: 87 on student achievement, 89 on school progress and 80 on closing the gaps.

Allen Koch, the district’s Chief Learning Officer, told officials at Monday’s school board meeting that the A-F ratings don’t represent the collective efforts of staff, noting that much of it is based on students’ STAAR results.

Koch said the ratings were a starting point.

“It gives us a lot of data and a lot of information,” he said. “Prior to the A-F system, you were either “meets standard” or “unacceptable.” Now the way A-F works, it allows us to have a lot of different data points to look at so that we can pinpoint where we need to get better. That’s the whole point for what we’re trying to achieve: to get better at every level.”

Carthage Primary and Libby Elementary School are paired together in ratings, earning a C with 76 total points. Primary was not rated on performance measures, while Libby earned a C, or 77 points, on student achievement; a B, or 81 points, on school progress; and a D, or 65 points, on closing the gaps.

Baker-Koonce Intermediate School received a D rating: 61 points out of 100. It earned a C for student achievement, with 71 points; a D for school progress, with 65 points; and an F on closing the gaps, with 39 points.

Carthage Junior High School earned a B rating, 80 points out of 100. The campus earned C ratings on student achievement (79 points) and closing the gaps (77 points) and a B on school progress with 81 points. The campus earned a distinction for academic achievement in social studies.

Carthage High School earned a B rating, 88 points out of 100. It also earned B ratings for all three performance measures, 89 for student achievement, 86 for school progress and 85 for closing the gaps. The school earned distinctions for academic achievement in science, academic achievement in math, top 25 percent for comparative academic growth and top 25 percent for comparative closing the gaps.

Superintendent John Wink noted that although Libby earned a C rating, the campus also grew nine points within the last calendar year.

“While they did not receive distinctions or things of that nature, that is truly tremendous,” he said, adding Carthage ISD had improvements throughout the district.” We saw tremendous gains in the 2018-19 school year and so we’re very proud of that.”

Going into the 2019-20 school year, Koch said the district has a “Plus 10” initiative to get every student to grow by 10 points.

To do that, Koch said the district would be giving formative assessments every six weeks to monitor students’ progress and identify if students need remedial help or if a change in instruction is needed. Koch said the district would also work with students to have them set their own goals.

When it comes to closing the gaps and making sure every student succeeded regardless of things like race or economic status, Koch said the district has “consistent expectations of all of our kids.”

“That when we do tests and we do notice that kids need help that we find ways to remediate them: before school, after school, in school and small-group work,” he said.

But the biggest part is making sure staff build positive relationships with students, Koch said.

“You build close, positive, productive relationships with these kids, then you’re more likely to reach them and to push them to reach those high expectations,” he said.

Beckville ISD

Beckville ISD received an A rating: 92 points out of 100, down from 94 last year. It also received A ratings for student achievement (93 points) and school progress (91 points) and a B on closing the gaps (88 points).

Beckville Sunset Elementary School earned a B rating with 85 points. It earned a B, or 88 points, on student achievement; a B, or 83 points, on school progress; and a C, or 78 points, on closing the gaps.

Beckville Junior-Senior High School earned a B rating with 88 points. On performance measures, it earned an A, or 91 points, on student achievement; a B, or 87 points, on school progress; and a B, or 81 points, on closing the gaps.

No Beckville campus earned individual distinctions.

Gary ISD

Gary ISD received a C rating: 75 points out of 100, down from 78 last year. It also received a C rating for all three performance measures: 76 for student achievement, 73 for school progress and 73 for closing the gaps.

Gary did not have individual campus ratings or individual campus distinctions because of its size.

Panola Charter Schools

Panola Charter Schools received a B rating: 86 points out of 100, down from 88 last year. The district also received B ratings for all three performance measures: 88 on student achievement, 89 on school progress and 80 on closing the gaps.

Panola Charter High School, using alternative scores the TEA said, was rated a B campus, earning 87 out of 100 points. The campus earned a B, or 87 points, on student achievement and a D, or 66 points, on school progress. It was not rated on the closing the gaps measure.

Panola Early College High School earned an A rating, with 93 points out of 100. It earned an A rating, or 93 points, on student achievement and a B rating, or 89 points, on school progress. It was not rated on the closing the gaps measure. The campus earned distinctions for academic achievement in science and post-secondary readiness.


 

The Carthage High School Class of 1979 celebrated its 40th class reunion at The Alamo Bar on Aug. 10. It was a fun evening for those in attendance.