On Thursday, the accountability ratings for schools was released by the TEA (Texas Education Agency). This year is the first year for the new system, which measures four main aspects: student achievement, student progress, closing performance gaps and postsecondary readiness.
Sweetwater ISD (Independent School District), along with all of the district schools, obtained the "Met Standard" accountability rating, which is the highest of the two rankings within the new system, according to Sweetwater ISD Superintendent Terry Pittman.
"We are very optimistic about the scores," Pittman stated. "The new system is complicated and does judge us in areas that we have not been judged on before, so we will strive to learn as much as we can as quickly as we can."
SISD earned a 76 for student achievement, 28 on student progress, 65 on closing performance gaps and 85 for postsecondary readiness. Thus, the district exceeded the target index scores of 50, 21, 55, and 75, respectively.
The district is also analyzed by four system safeguards, which are then given an overall average. Meeting 49 out of 53 indicators, SISD earned a 92%.
In addition, two district schools received distinction: Sweetwater Middle School (SMS) and East Ridge Elementary. The latter campus earned the honor for Reading, while SMS received a distinction for Math.
SMS was only measured on the first three aspects, which were met or exceeded. They earned a 73 for student achievement, 29 on student progress, and 64 on closing performance gaps.
The respective target scores are 50, 29, and 55 for the campus. Additionally, SMS earned a 100% on the three measured system safeguards.
The scores for East Ridge also included Southeast Elementary and J.P. Cowen Early Childhood Center. Measured on only two standards, the scores for student progress at 85 and closing performance gaps at 82 exceeded the respective target scores of 50 and 55.
Furthermore, a 100% was earned on the three system safeguards that were considered for the elementary campus.
Among the other Sweetwater campuses, SHS (Sweetwater High School) exceeded all four standards with the totals of 75 (student achievement), 19 (student readiness), 64 (closing performance gaps), and 90 (postsecondary readiness)--in comparison to the respective target scores of 50, 17, 55 and 75. For the three system safeguards, SHS earned a 91% as they met 42 of the 46 indicators.
Sweetwater Intermediate School (SIS) was measured on three standards and exceeded them with scores of 80 for student achievement (target score: 50), 38 for student progress (target score: 30) and 73 for closing performance gaps (target score 55). This campus also earned a 100% for system safeguards.
As the system is new, Pittman added that some decisions are still being made by the State Board of Education and the Commissioner of Education regarding some parts. However, he expressed his pride for the efforts made by the teachers and students of the district.
"There are of course areas we will continue to improve on, but we would like to celebrate these fine accomplishments," concluded Pittman.