Cleburne Times-Review, Cleburne, TX

Local News

February 19, 2014

Ratings system asks district to self-evaluate

Committees to be set up to help each school

Cleburne ISD trustees discussed a self-evaluation of the district’s performance in community and student engagement, a new accountability rating of House Bill 5, at Monday’s regular meeting. 

Assistant Superintendent Tammy Bright presented the report to the board. In 2011 and 2013, the Legislature said there was an over-emphasis on standardized testing in the school districts based on reports from parents, school staff, students and more. With this new accountability rating, Bright said, the Legislature is asking school districts to reduce the over-emphasis of standardized tests because those scores do not provide a comprehensive view of all that students are learning and achieving.

Bright said the new ruling requires evaluation of the district’s performance and each campus to ensure community and student engagement and policy compliance. The code requires districts to assign themselves and each campus a rating of exemplary, recognized, acceptable or unacceptable for overall performance. A district must rate itself, send ratings to the Texas Education Agency and make the ratings public in August of each year.

According to the code, districts must use criteria developed by a local committee to evaluate. Bright told the board each campus would have a local committee rate the campus, then those ratings will be submitted to the district site base, which will come up with an overall rating of the whole district.

Board President Brent Easdon asked if a large amount of residents in the community would be on the committees.

Bright said because the Legislature did not specify who should be on the committee, that decision depends on each campus. However, Bright said, this would give campuses the opportunity to have diverse members of the community such as teachers, parents and local business owners.

Board member Elizabeth Childress said she had a problem with the district self-evaluating because it brought up the question of fairness. She said she didn’t want to see each campus with an exemplary rating when clearly there needs to be improvements. 

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