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Victoria school district continues to appeal accountability rating (video)

By Carolina Astrain
Nov. 13, 2013 at 5:13 a.m.

Superintendent Robert Jaklich gives a "State of the Schools" address at a Victoria Chamber of Commerce luncheon.

BY THE NUMBERS

Across the Victoria school's district's 27 campuses, there are 14,542 students. At the Victoria Chamber of Commerce, Superintendent Robert Jaklich shared these numbers about the district:

63% - Economically disadvantaged students

6.5% - homeless students

9% - special education students

4% - limited English proficiency students

5% - gifted and talented students

60 percent are career and technical education students

62 percent are Hispanic

28 percent are white

8 percent are African-American

2 percent are of other races, ethnicities

The Victoria school district continues to question the state's improvement required rating.

Last week, the Texas Education Agency denied the district's appeal that would show the district met state standards.

In August, the state's accountability ratings showed the Victoria school district did not meet the state's standards in one grading area.

But VISD Superintendent Robert Jaklich said Wednesday during the Victoria Chamber of Commerce's luncheon that the rating system did not show an accurate picture of the district's results.

"Things aren't always what they seem," Jaklich said. "We're going to continue to work hard, we're going to take care of it next year, but I want you to know, we're not that type of school district that you would see that can't meet the standard."

Index 3, also known as Closing the Achievement Gap, was the one area Victoria school district did not meet standards because one of the two student subgroup measured, American Indians, had fewer than 25 students, meaning that their test scores were not counted, Jaklich said.

Instead of showing a 5 percent growth among test-taking American Indian students in the Victoria school district, the number "0" was used to calculate their Index 3 score.

Soon after, the administration appealed the designation.

Last week, after receiving a letter from the state denying the appeal, Jaklich called Commissioner of Education Michael L. Williams to talk about it.

"Our commissioner agreed to go back and personally review our appeal because we do have a valid point," Jaklich said. "The groups of students that they counted for us ... the American Indian group showed a 5 percent gain; if you count them, we met standard."

The superintendent said the commissioner did not give a timeline of when to expect a response, but Jaklich said he appreciates the commissioner's willingness to review the rating.

Amy Mundy, Victoria College Foundation executive director, said she was impressed with Jaklich's presentation.

"The statistical information and explanation of the rating system he provided was really good," Mundy said. "You can't have a good economic growth if your school district isn't growing as well, and this shows us that we're growing."

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