MISD achieves B rating; elementary rated as “F”

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By HANK MURPHY

Overall, the Mineola Independent School District saw gains in the Texas Education Agency (TEA) report card accountability ratings, scoring a B for the district as a whole. The district’s overall score of 85 is up from the 83 it posted the previous year.

Since 2017, the district’s overall rating has improved 16 points.

In terms of the category “student achievement,” MISD posted a B with a score of 86, up from last year’s 77. In “academic growth,” the district achieved a B grade. It earned a C in the final category, which includes “closing achievement gaps” as well “college, career and military readiness.” Last year’s 69 (or D) in the latter category improved to 76.

A new wrinkle in this year’s district report card is the grading of each campus within the MISD. The high school achieved a B and a score of 85 for overall performance. High school grades are based on STAAR testing as well as college, career and military readiness.

The middle school also scored a B with an 82 for overall performance. The elementary/primary school posted an F, with a score of 58. That score is derived exclusively from STAAR.

STAAR is an acronym for State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness. The TEA has set a goal for school districts to achieve “30/60/90” by 2030. The objective is to have 90 percent of the students approach the grade level, 60 percent meet grade level and 30 percent master the grade level for each of the STAAR tests. In reading and math, Mineola Elementary School students trailed state averages in approaching grade level, meeting grade level and mastering grade level.

Mineola Supt. Kim Tunnell said the district has slowly been shifting staffing and resources away from remediation at the secondary level and toward early intervention at the primary and elementary school. For instance, the district now has two English-as-a-second-language teachers assigned to early grades.

“The F is not a reflection of our kids,” Tunnell said. “We don’t have F students, we don’t have F teachers and we don’t have an F district. This is related to one day’s testing for these kids. It is only one piece of student achievement.”

MISD recognizes that district and campus report cards based largely on STAAR testing is the system the Legislature created, Tunnell stated. Still, it is only “one measure of student achievement, and these labels in no way reflect the quality of our students, teachers and staff. The success of our students, our staff and our district is measured on more than one test score.”

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