Nacogdoches ISD received a C rating with an overall score of 79 —an 8-point increase from 2018 ratings — as accountability scores from school districts across the state were released Thursday.

“Right now, we’re saying we’re not where we want to be in terms of accountability ratings, and we’ll continue striving to get where we want to be,” said Les Linebarger, NISD’s director of public relations.

Texas implemented an A-F rating system for school districts last year, and this is the first time individual campuses officially receive letter grades. Ratings are largely based on how students performed in the STAAR tests in the last school year.

Two school districts in Nacogdoches County —SFA Charter School and Cushing ISD —received A ratings. Charter received a total score of 96, and Cushing earned a 91. Central Heights, Chireno, Douglass, Garrison, Martinsville and Woden each got B ratings. Etoile received an F overall and in every measured category. Etoile was rated as Met Standard in 2018 ratings.

Schools and districts are evaluated and graded in student achievement, school progress and “closing the gap.”

Seventy percent of the rating is based on student achievement and school progress including STAAR test performances, graduation rates and how prepared students are for life after graduation. The rest measures how the schools are closing gaps among different subgroups of students including those who are economically disadvantaged.

Each NISD campus—with the exception of Carpenter Elementary, Fredonia Elementary and Malcom Rector Technical High School— received a C or better.

Carpenter and Rector received D ratings, which indicates “performance that needs improvement” according to the Texas Education Agency.

Fredonia Elementary received an F, which represents an “unacceptable performance,” according to TEA. The rating comes a year after Fredonia being rated as Met Standard.

“Pretty much, there’s some things we have to dive into,” Linebarger said. “When we received the information today, there will be more data coming that will emphasize what we need to focus on in the coming months.”

There is no concern, however, about a state takeover, which was possible at the start of the 2018-19 school year if Carpenter and Fredonia did not improve accountability ratings. Both improved accountability and were rated Met Standard for 2018.

For the second straight year, Thomas J. Rusk Elementary received the highest rating at NISD. The campus received a B with an overall score of 87. Mike Moses Middle School followed closely behind with a B and an overall score of 81—a three point increase from last year.

“Both of those campuses have momentum going. A lot of good things happening there,” Linebarger said. “Whether the information is good news or bad news, we understand that it’s mainly based on one day of STAAR test performance. All of our students, teachers staff and admins have worked hard to work on those tests in the spring and we appreciate all the efforts they put into this.”

Nacogdoches High School was rated C, but improved three points over 2018 to an overall score of 78. McMichael Middle School also received a C, but improved its score to 74 points, 5 points above 2018.

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