AUSTIN, Texas (FOX 7 Austin) - Manor ISD is the big winner this year in the new grades report card by TEA. Thursday, Superintendent Royce Avery celebrated his district's big jump from a "D" last year to a "B". "Our community deserved it, our kids deserve it, our staff and students were poised for greatness, and so we are excited about that," said Avery.
Here is how other school districts rated.
In the Austin metro area 5 Districts got an "A," most are smaller school districts.
- Eanes ISD
- Dripping Springs
- Lago Vista ISD
- Lake Travis ISD
- Liberty Hill ISD
- Bastrop ISD
- Elgin ISD
- Georgetown ISD
- Hutto ISD
- Leander ISD
- Manor ISD
- Pflugerville ISD
- Round Rock ISD *
Round Rock missed out on an "A" because of one failing school.
- Del Valle ISD
- Lockhart ISD
- San Marcos ISD
For those looking to improve their grade, and replicate what Manor accomplished, Avery offered this advice. "You've got to get back to the basics, in making sure you understand individual student growth and making sure you stay true all year long, making sure you give kids the necessary ingredients to want to thrive and be in school and stay in school," said Avery.
Eight schools in Austin received a failing grade. Mendez Elementary failed for the 6th straight year. Failing again next year could result in a state take over.
Action plans are in place, according to AISD officials, with important status updates to be made in October and January.
Ken Zarifis with Education Austin believes its time to reassess the assessment. "It's not fair, it's not fair, it's such a load term, F is a failure, our kids are not failures, our schools are not failures and it's time to recognize that and its time the state legislature recognizes that, they are not working with schools to determine what is success. They have one metric, it's a test, and that's all they care about," said Zarifis.
The grades report could become a new baseline to judge the performance of the education funding reform package passed by earlier this year by state lawmakers.
But Mark Wiggins with the Association of Texas Professional Educators doesn't think lawmakers should use the TEA grades as the only source for determining if money is spent the way they want. "The real success of House Bill 3 is going to be, do we follow through, where is this funding to come from, 4 years down the line, what we need to make sure first and foremost, is that we continue to fund these programs and give them time to mature, and then we will be able to see how it is working."
School Districts do not get to post a rebuttal on the TEA report. They can challenge how the grade was calculated, which could change what's on the report card.