HPISD Gets an A from TEA, But One Campus Got a B

Accountability ratings rise districtwide, but Armstrong Elementary sees slight drop

Highland Park ISD received an A with a 98 out of 100 in the Texas Education Agency’s 2022 A-F accountability ratings, up from 97 in 2018-2019 and 96 in 2017-2018.

The latest marks are the highest the district’s received since the beginning of the A-F rankings in 2017-18. 

This year was the first year the scores were released since 2019 because of the pandemic.

Seven of the district’s eight campuses also received A ratings. The exception: Armstrong Elementary received a B rating with an 89 of 100. Armstrong previously received an A rating and a score of 91 out of 100 in 2018-2019 and a 96 out of 100 in 2017-2018. 

This year, the campus received an A in student achievement but C’s in school progress and closing the gaps. 

There is a general feeling among some Armstrong parents there’s a problem, and we want to work with you all to fix that.

Jason Boatright

School progress takes into account academic growth and relative performance.

Academic growth is determined based on students reading and math scores over the course of the school year. Half a point is awarded for each STAAR test that maintained performance, and a full point is awarded for each test that showed “Expected” or “Accelerated” growth through the STAAR progress measure.

Relative performance measures how a school’s performance compares to other schools with similar economically disadvantaged populations.

At least one Armstrong parent said during the Aug. 16 school board meeting that he was concerned about the school’s score.

“Last night, parents learned that Armstrong placed significantly lower than other schools in the district,” Armstrong parent Jason Boatright said. “There is a general feeling among some Armstrong parents there’s a problem, and we want to work with you all to fix that.”

Jaime Callahan, Highland Park ISD’s director of accountability and assessment, partially attributed the drop in Armstrong’s score to pandemic fallout, with about 5% of students not taking the STAAR there, as opposed to about 1 or 2% at the other elementary campuses.

Principal Betsy Cummins said staffing challenges also may have played a role, and staff is working to ensure they “meet students’ individual needs.”

Established by House Bill 22 in 2017, the A–F ratings assess the academic performance of Texas public schools based on three domains: Student Achievement, School Progress, and Closing the Gaps. Student Achievement measures whether students met expectations on the STAAR test. It also measures graduation rates and how prepared students are for success after high school.

“The state accountability rating is one of many indicators of how our schools are performing,” HPISD Superintendent Tom Trigg said. “We are always looking at multiple measures to determine appropriate ways to ensure continuous improvement.”

Rachel Snyder

Rachel Snyder, deputy editor at People Newspapers, joined the staff in 2019, returning to her native Dallas-Fort Worth after starting her career at community newspapers in Oklahoma. One of her stories won first place in its category in the Oklahoma Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest in 2018. She’s a fan of puns and community journalism, not necessarily in that order. You can reach her at [email protected]

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