District earns 22 STAAR distinctions

Fri Aug 8, 2014
Foster Middle School earned the most distinctions of any campus – six of a possible seven – while Ned Williams and Hudson PEP elementary schools each earned five distinctions.

A distinction is earned when a certain percentage of measures are met in each subject area, according to Dr. Rebeca Cooper, assistant superintendent. Those measures include everything from attendance rates to advanced academic performance.

Johnston-McQueen Elementary School earned one distinction, which is significant considering the campus was rated Improvement Required the year before, Cooper said. Judson Middle and J.L. Everhart Elementary schools also earned a distinction.

All but three district campuses, LEAD Academy High, Forest Park Middle and Bramlette Elementary schools met the state’s minimum standard on STAAR.

“Passing the test was not the issue at Forest Park,” Cooper said. “In fact, reading and math scores were relatively high. But we need to increase the number of students passing at a higher standard”.

LEAD Academy, on the other hand, has been caught in a transition year.

“The concentration at LEAD has always been dropout recovery and (high school) graduation,” Cooper said. “While this is still the primary goal, we are now dealing with STAAR instead of TAKS and we’ve had to shift our focus.”

There are several methods that Longview ISD leaders are utilizing to make improvements to the scores, according to district officials:

  • - Increased the number of core subject coaches district-wide;
  • - Expansion of Curriculum & Instruction Dept. with math, ELA and science specialists;
  • - Studying what has worked at campuses that met standard and employing those methods elsewhere;
  • - Increased professional development among teaching staff; and
  • - Adding more staff (at Bramlette particularly) to increase instructional opportunities for students.