Superintendent's column: VISD has much to celebrate

Aug. 8, 2014 at 11:51 a.m.

Friday, the Texas Education Agency released the 2014 state accountability ratings for school districts and individual campuses across the state of Texas.

In the second year of the new accountability system, schools and school districts will receive a rating of either "met standard" or "required improvement." The overall design of the accountability system is a performance index framework.

The main objectives of the accountability system are as follows: improving student performance at all levels in the core subject areas of the state curriculum, ensuring the progress of all students toward achieving advanced academic performance, closing advanced academic performance achievement gaps among student group, and rewarding excellence based on other indicators in addition to state assessment results.

The accountability system measures schools and school districts with a four index model and the four indexes are: index 1, student achievement; index 2, student progress; index 3, closing the performance gap and index 4, post-secondary readiness.

Index 1, student achievement measures the percentage of all students passing the state assessment exams. It is a snapshot of performance across all subjects on both general and alternative assessments, at the satisfactory performance standard. To meet standard in this index, a school or school district is required to achieve 55 points or more. As a school district, VISD achieved 67 points and as such, met standard.

Index 2, student progress measures the percentage of students who met progress and the percentage of students who exceeded progress. It is designed to separate measures of student progress from measures of student achievement and provide an opportunity for diverse campuses to show improvements they are experiencing independent of overall achievement levels. Growth is evaluated by subject and individual student groups. To meet standard in this index, a target of 16 points is required for a school district. As a school district, VISD achieved 37 points and, as such, met standard.

Index 3, closing performance gaps measures the performance of the students in the economically disadvantaged student group as well as the two lowest performing race/ethnicity groups from the 2012-13 school year. Performance measures are based upon the number of test results that met standard and the number of test results that exceeded standard in each of the identified student groups. As a school district, the VISD was measured by the performance of the economically disadvantaged, African American and the Hispanic race/ethnicity student groups. For a school district to meet standard for this index, a target of 28 points must have been achieved. VISD earned 32 points, and as such, met standard.

Index 4, post-secondary readiness measures high school completion and State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness performance at the final level II standard. The purpose of index 4 is to emphasize the importance of students being prepared for success in college, the workforce, job training programs or the military. For high schools, this means achieving a high graduation rate and high performance on other post-secondary readiness measures. To meet standard in this index, a target of 57 points is needed. As a school district, VISD achieved 60 points and, as such, met standard.

In VISD, we have much to celebrate and much to be excited about. As a school district, we have earned a rating of met standard, and 19 of our campuses were also rated as such. Both Victoria East High School and Victoria West High School have earned a met standard rating for the second year in a row, and Liberty Academy exceeded the state standards in all measured indexes by 35 to 67 points.

We are also extremely proud to announce that VISD has six campuses that have earned the special recognition of distinction designations for outstanding student academic achievement. Congratulations to DeLeon Elementary, Dudley Elementary, Torres Elementary, Vickers Elementary, William Wood Elementary and Victoria West High School for this tremendous accomplishment.

It has been said that we should not limit our challenges but instead challenge our limits. It is clearly evident that if we fully devote ourselves to our dreams, we will conquer every challenge that comes before us, and we will become the exceptional school district that we aspire to be.

Eleanor Roosevelt once stated: "The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams."

On behalf of our board of trustees and the entire VISD, thank you for allowing us the possibility to dream big and to have the courage to make those dreams come true.

Robert Jaklich is the superintendent for the Victoria Independent School District. Contact him at 361-788-9202 or through the VISD website,



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