October 19, 2022


State Accountability shows GISD improvements

By KATHERINE ANTHONY

An overview on student performance in the 2022 State Accountability System was presented Monday to Georgetown ISD trustees. The update was given by Wes Vanicek, GISD chief strategist for assessment. 

Key summary points, he said, are that GISD continues to be rated a B in 2022. 

This year, two schools are rated NR — Not Rated — for any section or overall STAAR score less than 70. In 2019, four schools were rated an F and two were rated a D. Due to Covid-19, the Texas Education Agency did not rate campuses in 2019 through 2021. 

While Cooper Elementary is NR, it improved its overall accountability score by 12 points. Wagner Middle School, also NR, improved its overall accountability score by 2 points.

Fourteen of 16 GISD schools either maintained or improved letter grade rating from 2019. Nine of 16 schools improved letter grade rating from 2019. Twelve of 16 schools increased their overall numerical accountability score from 2019. Williams Elementary was excluded from total school count since 2022 is the first year the school was rated.

Mr. Vanicek also presented a district summary of STAAR test and End-of-Course test performance.

Average change in STAAR reading indicators in grades 3-8 show a 9 percent increase.

Average change in STAAR math indicators grades 3-8 shows a 2 percent increase.

Of all 15 “passing” indicators grades 3-8 (all subjects), 14 of 15 increased from 2021; one indicator remained unchanged.

About 71 percent of performance indicators for STAAR/EOC math maintained or improved from 2021. About 79 percent of performance indicators for STAAR/EOC reading maintained or improved from 2021. About 44 percent of performance indicators for STAAR/EOC science maintained or improved from 2021. About 50 percent of performance indicators for STAAR/EOC social studies maintained or improved from 2021.

In looking at the data, Mr. Vanicek said areas of focus for 2022-23 include math, middle school instruction, special education and English language learners.

He noted some measures as steps to continued improvement in the State assessments. 

• Elementary math, language arts and Spanish language arts learning labs are having a positive impact. 

• Focused training for Special Education resource teachers

• Reading training for fourth and fifth grade and middle school English Language Arts and Reading.

• Adjustments to Dual Language for more Spanish instruction and more time for Math.

• Additional collaboration with Special Education to create alignment in supporting inclusion/resource students. 

• Modified, individualized staffing allocations.

• Continue to support specific campus learning needs identified in collaboration with campus leadership.

• Title III money used for tutoring Bilingual and ESL students

Campus Improvement Plans

Trustees on Monday unanimously approved 2022-23 Campus Improvement Plans for all 17 GISD schools. However, trustees Jen Mauldin and Stephanie Blanck said they had concerns about “a lack of measurable goals” in the plan.

“Goal setting helps students and teachers develop a vision for self-improvement,”  Ms. Blanck said. “Without clear SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound) goals, there is no clear and agreed-upon direction for learning. Improvement plans focus on priorities, clear timelines, milestones, metrics and they ask owners to address the root causes of low performance.”

Campus Improvement plans reflect goals centered around academic achievement; college, career and military readiness; community-based accountability; personalized learning; community engagement; leadership development; and professional learning.

Ms. Mauldin said she has been “concerned about the lack of measurable goals” in the campus plans since they were presented to trustees in an October 4 board workshop. 

Mr. Vanicek said there are different interpretations of goals in the various plans and that

they “don’t represent the full breadth of the work schools are undertaking.”

Ms. Mauldin said she would vote to approve the plans out of respect for campus’s staff members’ work in their creation. Ms. Blanck initially said she was undecided about approving the plans but did vote for approval.

The District Improvement Plan will be presented to trustees at their next meeting, November 14, Mr. Vancek said.

Other board actions

• Trustees held a public hearing on its FIRST — Financial Integrity Rating of Texas — report for 2022. FIRST is a TEA rating system for financial accountability by school districts. It’s based upon 20 indicators established by TEA. GISD received a B rating, Above Standard Achievement, based upon scoring of 88 out of 100 indicators.

• Trustees approved GISD’s annual audit for the year ending June 30, 2022. The audit was conducted by the accounting firm of Patillo, Brown & Hill LLP.