By BOBBY HORN JR.
CHAMBERS/ LIBERTY COUNTY A report issued by the Texas Education Agency last week has given Barbers Hill ISD a reason to celebrate, while Dayton officials are looking at mixed results.
The accountability report was based on Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) tests conducted at each campus.
BARBERS HILL HIGH
As a district, Barbers Hill was designated as recognized with three of its campuses also earning recognized status while a fourth was found to be exemplary.
The high school was the sole academically acceptable campus. Despite the ranking the school showed well on the tests, averaging a 94% passage rate in reading, 94% in social science, 80% in math and 79% in science. The state average for math and science is around 60%. The district did see slight declines in their math and science subgroups. This was balanced with a 20% increase in African-American students passing the science part of the tests.
The TEA, in assigning rankings, looks at not only the overall student population but at subpopulations of African American, White, Hispanic and Economically Disadvantaged.
The middle school earned a recognized status this year.
Students averaged a 94% rate in reading, 98% in writing, 96% in social science and 88% in math. The school saw improvements over 2006-2007 in nearly every subgroup. Standing out was African-American Math passage, which was up 26% from last year.
The intermediate school was named exemplary, the highest rating available.
They had a 97% in reading, 98% in math and 97% in science. The only subgroup to fall under the 90% floor was Africa-American students in science, which was an 88%. However, due to the low number of students taking the test the state did not include this group in their analysis.
PRIMARY AND ELEMENTARY
The primary and elementary campuses were combined for test purposes, thus earning both campuses a recognized label.
The schools recorded a 95% passage rate in reading, 97% in writing and 94% in math.
The schools also saw improvements in nearly every subgroup from last year. This included double-digit improvements in Hispanic and Economically Disadvantaged students in math.
With the exception of Nottingham Middle School, every campus in the district was rated as acceptable this year. The district was also rated as acceptable as a whole.
Dayton High School shed its academically unacceptable ranking from 2006. Moving up to acceptable this year.
Most remarkable was the change in the special education students. These students are measured differently from other students, using the State-Developed Alternative Assessment II (SDAAII). Dayton High saw a 42% increase in the number of students passing the test this year over 2006-07.
As a whole students had a 90% passage in reading, 90% in social science, 68% in math and 62 percent in science. Students also showed a marked improvement in math, with a nine-percent or more increase in every subgroup.
Students at Wilson averaged a 76% in reading, 84% in writing, 80% in social science and 57% in math. While there were drops in social science tests, the campus saw improvements in reading, writing and math.
District officials were shocked to learn that the campus was found unacceptable. After all, they ranked high in every test and subgroup. The campus was also one subgroup from reaching the 75% mark required to be recognized.
Then came the SDAAII ratings. In 2006-07 the school had 37 of 46 students pass the test or 80%. This year, the state report shows 5 of 33 students passing or 15%.
Due to the sudden large dip in the passage rate, there are those at the district who believe that the report does not accurately portray the tests administered.
There has been speculation that the district would appeal the report. However District Superintendent Greg Hayman was unavailable for comment this week.
As whole Austin, Richter, Colbert and Kimmie Brown did well on the tests. Because of the grade level separation Richter and Colbert are combined for testing purposes.
Both Austin and Richter/Colbert just missed the 75% level required to be recognized. In each school the passage rate for Hispanic math was 74% or the difference of one student.
Brown showed mixed results. While African American Science was up 25% and the Economically Disadvantaged was up 10%, Hispanic students were down 11%.
By BOBBY HORN JR.