Tomball makes history with Recognized rating
Staci Stanfield, TISD
October 4, 2010
Filed under News
The state accountability ratings released by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) declared Tomball ISD as a Recognized district based on Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) scores. Improvements in math and science contributed to the district achieving a Recognized rating.
“This is the first time Tomball ISD has been a Recognized district. We’ve made history,” Superintendent John Neubauer said. “We’ve been working toward this. It’s an outstanding accomplishment. Our students, teachers, principals and administrators are to be commended on their hard work, and I am very proud.”
Individual campuses also performed well. This year a record number of Tomball ISD schools received an Exemplary rating including Northpointe Intermediate, Canyon Pointe, Creekside Forest, Lakewood, and Willow Creek Elementary Schools. Five additional campuses were Recognized, and two were Academically Acceptable.
According to Dr. Randy Reedy, director of accountability, the scores went up or remained the same in all subjects when compared to the 2009 district scores except for one area, which only dropped by one percentage point. “We have seen great progress in math and science in all of our sub populations, which has been our area of focus,” Reedy said.
The sub populations are broken down as African American, Hispanic, White and economically disadvantaged students. District wide African American students improved their math and science scores by nine percentage points in both subjects. The economically disadvantaged population also increased their scores by nine percent. “This shows that targeted instruction impacted the areas where we needed the most improvement,” Reedy said. “It also shows that what we are doing is working.”
Reedy stressed that Tomball ISD achieved the Recognized rating without the Texas Projection Measure (TPM), which was a new component TEA added to calculate ratings. The TPM examines individual student scores in reading and math, and takes into the consideration the campus average in those same subject areas. Under the TPM, math and reading scores are used to determine if the individual student will pass the TAKS test in those subject areas at the next high stakes testing level, which includes the fifth, eighth and eleventh grades.
In 2009, more than 75% of students district wide had to pass the TAKS test for a district to be Recognized. However, in 2010 that percentage was raised to 80%, which increased the standard making it more difficult for districts to achieve the Recognized rating.
Regardless of exceeding the state standard, Tomball ISD has more work to do. “Our goal is to be an Exemplary district and we are very close to reaching that accomplishment,” Reedy said. District and campus administrators remain focused on improving instruction in math, science and reading for economically disadvantaged students district wide.
Another area for improvement to achieve the Exemplary rating includes the district’s completion rate, which tracks the number of students who complete all four years of high school. Over 92% of high school students were included in this year’s completion rate, but in order to be Exemplary the district must maintain a 95% completion rate. The district has improved its completion rate over the years. Programs such as Tomball High School’s Tomball Success Academy have contributed to the increase in the completion rate. The Tomball Success Academy provides students the opportunity for flexible schedules while completing coursework at their own pace. The goal is to provide students with the means to complete their high school credits and earn a diploma.
“We made great strides this year, but we have more work to do,” Reedy said. “Our superintendent has set high expectations. We want to be an Exemplary district.”