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Refugio elementary school receives distinction in TEA rating results

By JR Ortega
Aug. 8, 2013 at 3:08 a.m.


Students and teachers at Refugio school district did the only thing they could do to excel - try their hardest - and Thursday, it paid off.

Superintendent Jack Gaskins said he is proud of how all the campuses were rated as "met standard" in the Texas Education Agency's accountability ratings.

In particular, he was excited to learn that Refugio Elementary School earned a distinction for top 25 percent in student progress in its comparison group of about 40 schools, he said.

Student progress is the second of four indices the schools were rated on.

"We're extremely proud," Gaskins said. "They'd worked really hard, and we'd given it our very best."

Despite split thoughts statewide about standardized testing, Gaskins is happy with how the TEA is grading schools.

"It's like an overall snapshot of different aspects of your success," he said. "It's different from what I'm used to."

Looking at the entire picture rather than on how one score can change how a school is rated is a more fair judgment, he said.

Like most students across the state, the writing portion of the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness proved most difficult.

To combat the low scores in the Refugio schools, Gaskins has hired on a writing specialist to help in that area.

Now that they know what to expect, Gaskins said he feels he can better lead his staff to excel even more next year.

"I just couldn't be more pleased," he said. "This is the result of a concerted effort, and that's key."

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