Mansfield schools meet state standards

08/11/2014 12:53 PM

08/12/2014 12:33 PM

The Mansfield school district repeated its performance in last year’s state accountability evaluations, as the district and all 40 campuses that are subject to the rating system received passing grades, according to results released Friday.

Also, 28 of the schools received at least one special distinction in seven categories of academic achievement.

“We’re pleased that all of our schools met standards, but we know there are areas to improve,” said Darrell Sneed, associate superintendent for curriculum, instruction and accountability. “I will tell you that every principal will make sure that every child is college and career ready.”

Across Tarrant County, the vast majority of school districts, individual campuses and charter schools received the “met standard” rating, while 37 received the “improvement required” rating from the accountability system, based on the 2013-14 school year. Statewide, about 90 percent of school districts and 85 percent of schools received passing marks, according to the Texas Education Agency.

“Texans should be pleased to see the vast majority of districts, charters and campuses are meeting the standards set in the second year of the state accountability system,” said Commissioner of Education Michael Williams.

Among the area schools that received “improvement required” ratings, 24 are from the Fort Worth district, four are from Arlington, three are from Crowley, and two each are from the Keller and Northwest districts.

The Mansfield district over the past year has taken several steps to improve student performance, Sneed said. Those include providing extra training for planning and communication between teachers, and doing more to make sure students are learning at their grade level.

Among those schools that earned additional honors, Frontier High School, based at the Ben Barber Career Tech Academy, received distinctions in each of the six applicable categories.

Timberview High School received distinctions in three of the six categories, as Summit High School earned two marks of distinction.

Mansfield, Legacy and Lake Ridge High Schools did not receive marks of distinction.

T.A. Howard Middle School earned the most distinctions – three of seven – among the district’s six middle schools. Brooks Wester and James Coble middle schools each earned two distinctions.

Among the six intermediate schools, Cross Timbers received two distinctions, the only school to earn at least one.

The report showed that 19 of Mansfield’s 22 elementary schools receive distinctions, Alice Ponder leading the way with five of five distinctions. The Tarver Rendon, Imogene Gideon, Robert Tipps, Cora Spencer and Nancy Neal elementary schools each earned four out of five possible distinctions.

The system, which essentially takes a pass-fail approach, is based on four index measures: results from the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness; year-to-year student progress; the closing performance gaps for low-performing student groups; and college and career readiness at graduation.

Districts and schools received a “met standard” rating for meeting all index measures. Those that fail to reach one or more index targets are hit with the “improvement required” ratings, which carry sanctions if the problems persist over a period of time.

“Generally, our feeling is that the new system is more balanced,” said Michael Sorum, deputy superintendent of the Fort Worth school district.

The state’s previous accountability system handed down ratings ranging from “exemplary” to “academically unacceptable” and was often criticized for focusing too much on general and cumulative information.

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