This week, Gonzales ISD received word that Commissioner of Education Mike Morath denied an appeal on behalf of the district to receive credits for missing data in coding specifically in the area of college, career and military ready (CCMR). These credits would have supported a higher score on not only CCMR, but achievement and closing gaps areas effectively raising the score for Gonzales High School and the district overall.
This recalculation would have allowed GISD to shed the failing grade that they received earlier this year from the Texas Education Agency's new accountability ratings. The district scored an “F” on the Texas Achievement Performance Report (TARP).
While GISD had hoped that a recount on the “career military” portion of the assessment would pull them up to a better score, it was not to be.
The commission “upheld the accountability manual in that the appeals process of the accountability system is not the way to resolve coding errors,” the district said in a statement. “Although it is understood that coding accuracy is the responsibility of the district, it is hard to understand how the label of failure can be applied to the campus and district due to existing errors.”
GISD officials expressed disappointment in the decision and will move forward to correcting their procedures to support adequate training and effective monitoring.
“There is so much more to education and we are so thankful to be part of an occupation where hope for the future is the passion behind our work,” GISD said. “As we embark on the spring semester, we continue to implement strategies proving to support improvement in strengthening foundational reading. We embrace the partnerships of parents and community leaders working in tandem to drive our initiative of increasing literacy in Gonzales ISD and ultimately our entire community.”
Reports showed skewed results in the initial round of accountability reports earlier this year, such as some large districts in the state having high ratings under the old grading system and then tumbling a year later when the A-F scores were released. Others say that the system is being rigged as a way for lawmakers to cry foul on public schools viewed as performing poorly and thus use the argument to send taxpayer dollars to private schools under the “school choice” scheme.
“Gonzales ISD is an amazing school district,” officials said. “Our teachers are strong and put forth incredible efforts to promote continuous progress and success for students. Our students are our superstars. We are so proud of the Apaches.”
Superintendent Kim Strozier will have more comments on the matter later this month, the statement read.