TEA announces accountability ratings for BCISD for 2016

The Texas Education Agency (TEA) released 2016 campus and district ratings as part of the state accountability system, including those for the Burnet Consolidated Independent School District (BCISD).

Campuses and districts can be rated as Met Standard or Improvement Required and the district as a whole rated as Met Standard, as well as Shady Grove and RJ Richey Elementary Schools, Burnet Middle School and Burnet High School, where a special exception was noted.

The only local campus receiving that lesser rating was Quest Alternative High School, which needs to meet two more of the four index targets—student achievement and closing performance gaps.

Burnet High School received the rating of Met Standard with a TEA caveat, as “the result of special processing of results affected by online testing issues that occurred in spring 2016.”

“This note from the Texas Education Agency is referencing unprecedented challenges associated with online testing this year, including the state online testing system failing two hours into the testing session and many BHS students losing all of their prior work,” read a statement from the CISD.

Because online testing challenges also had an impact on Quest High School students, the district is appealing the rating for Quest and is expecting to hear the outcome of the appeal in December.

As the administration shared with the BCISD Board of Trustees during the July board meeting, areas were noted in which the district still needs to address in terms of student achievement.

“Burnet CISD campus principals, teachers and staff are committed to addressing those areas,” read the district statement.

Even though the ratings were released on Friday, Aug. 13, the data to support the ratings will not be released by the state until Friday, Aug. 26.

“Because of the multiple issues caused by the new state testing vendor, this year of required state testing has been especially frustrating for students and teachers,” the district statement continued. “The challenges were significant enough statewide with the new testing vendor, Educational Testing Service (ETS), that the Texas Education Agency canceled the third administration of the 5th and 8th grade math and reading STAAR test and is not including those scores in the accountability system this year.”

A New Jersey-based company, ETS took over the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) as winner of a $280 million contract. A reported 14,000 students students received the wrong questions or lost answers.

“Our hope as a district is that the legislature will strongly consider the recommendations of the Commission on Next Generation Assessments to improve the state testing and accountability system,” read the district statement. “Burnet CISD welcomes a system of accountability, but it should be common sense and fair to students.”

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