The Texas Education Agency released school accountability ratings for 2011.
Highland School received the highest rating in Nolan County, receiving an Exemplary rating. Blackwell School received an Academically Acceptable rating and Roscoe Collegiate High School received a Recognized rating. Roscoe Elementary was Academically Acceptable and Hobbs Alternative Education Co-op received an AEA (Alternative Education Accountability) Academically Acceptable rating.
Sweetwater High School was the lowest rated school in Nolan County, receiving an Academically Unacceptable rating. Sweetwater Middle School was rated Academically Acceptable while East Ridge Elementary, Southeast Elementary and Sweetwater Intermediate School were all received a Recognized rating. J.P. Cowen Early Childhood Center was not rated.
Kathy Smartt stated, “Accountability is essential for maintaining the high level of academic standard in Texas. However, it is very discouraging when the announced rating does not truly depict the hard work and accomplishments of the students, parents and teachers.”
It is possible for a campus and a district to perform even better than last year yet the overall rating to be one or two standards lower. TAKS Testing scores are evaluated overall and also in subgroup categories based on ethnicity, economic disadvantages and students who are academically at risk. So, a campus could perform exceptionally well but be rated according to the performance of one small subgroup.
Sweetwater ISD Superintendent Mr. Terry Pittman compares this system of evaluation to a college student making all A’s through college and maintaining a 4.0 grade level. However, if that student made one C during the college career that student would be rated a C student. Instead of the C being averaged among all the other A’s, the student is rated at the lowest score.