Cy-Fair ISD falls in TEA ranking
Superintendent Mark Henry said Cypress Fairbanks Independent School District will appeal the rating of unacceptable received by one of its campuses, which bumped the district from recognized to academically acceptable in the recently released state accountability ratings.
His comments appear in a letter written to CFISD residents after the July 29 release of preliminary 2011 ratings by the Texas Education Agency.
The ratings are based mostly on student performance on state tests known as the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills. Graduation and dropout rates also apply. This is the last year TAKS will be used as the basis of school accountability. The state is moving to end-of-course testing, known as State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness.
In CFISD, Dean Middle School, 14104 Reo St., was ranked unacceptable based on student performance on the science portion of TAKS. Under TEA rules, academically acceptable is the highest ranking a district can receive if any of its campuses are rated unacceptable.
"We will be appealing this campus rating to the state with consideration of the data we are providing," wrote Henry, who joined CFISD last month. "We should have a final decision later this fall. It is regrettable that we have a campus with this rating due to one indicator, even if it is for a short period of time before a ruling on our appeal is received."
Math and science standards were raised this year. Test scores by special-education students also were counted. In addition, the Texas Projection Measure, a growth model used in 2009 and 2010 to give credit for predicted improvement, was removed.
Because of the changes, school administrators statewide are scrambling to explain what appears to be a decline in school quality.
For example, the number of recognized districts dropped from 607 in 2010 to 422 this year, while the number of acceptable ones rose from 342 to 655.
In his letter, Henry removes the projection model used last year in order to compare "apples to apples" and states, "we have a greater percentage of our campuses earning exemplary or recognized status in 2011 compared to 2010." He said comparing 2011 to 2010 without TPM gives the district a more accurate picture of its ratings gains.
Overall, 98 percent of elementary campuses are ranked in the top two categories, he said. The 2011 report shows CyFair has 15 exemplary campuses, 46 recognized and 16 acceptable. The district has a total of 80 schools. None of the district's high schools is ranked exemplary, and Hamilton is the lone middle school with the top ranking.
CyFair students continue to equal or outperform their peers statewide, Henry wrote.
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