|Houston County Courier - Local News
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Lovelady ISD Board Adopts Resolution Opposing Accountability Rating System
By Alton Porter
As they were expected to do, the members of the Lovelady Independent School District (LISD) Board of Trustees adopted a resolution opposing the A-F accountability rating system to be implemented for Texas school districts and campuses next year. The trustees took the action at a regular meeting of the board on Monday, Feb. 20. Trustee Robin Robinson offered the motion to adopt the resolution, and Board Secretary Chris Starns seconded the motion. It passed on a unanimous vote. All board members, except John Michael Burleson, were present. The Lovelady school board and the boards of the four other Houston County school districts are among more than 540 across the state who have adopted the resolution. In an interview last month, LISD Superintendent Dr. Micah Dyer had told the Courier the LISD board was expected to join others in taking the action. "As you remember me saying guys, this is a very punitive system," Dyer told the board members at Monday's meeting. And, if I was a conspiracy theorist, I would say, 'Hey, this is trying to take another shot at public schools.'" Under the system, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) will give the state's public school districts and their campuses letter grades of A through F for their performances each year beginning in August 2018. The grades reportedly will be based largely on students' performances on the controversial one-day State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) test "Right now, there is not an A school district in the State of Texas (according to preliminary grades recently issued to the state's schools by TEA under the system)," Dyer said. You saw some of the information I wrote on there. And you saw the response I actually got from our State Rep. Trent Ashby (R-Dist. 57) when he said, 'No, I don't agree with this. This isn't a good system.' And TEA has said a lot of these numbers are wrong." Dyer added, "We took the algorithm that the elementary used to break down their data and tried to run it at the high school, using the same algorithm, and you get a totally different outcome. They are not using the same rules, regardless of the system, and not even the same rules in the school systems." Dyer said despite "the numerous positives we have at Lovelady ISD, according to TEA, we're a C school district (under the new grading system), even though we're in the old grading system one of only two school districts that were exemplary in Region 5. We outscored everyone in the region and in our subgroup in most categories we were tested in. Our attendance rate is above the regional state average. SAT scores are above that. "All these areas, we say, 'Hey, we get commended or distinction for closing the achievement gap, yet we get knocked on the A through F rating.' So, TEA, on one hand, says, 'You all are doing a great job. Look at your closing the achievement gap.' (But) in the A through F system, they said, 'You're a C school.' So, it doesn't align." Dyer said, in his assessment, "Lovelady ISD is an A school (district). I can show you where we're blowing everybody away in just about every indicator you want. "Mr. (Mike) King (Lovelady secondary school principal) can. Mrs. (Deborah) Harrelson (Lovelady Elementary School principal) can show you that. But yet, according to TEA, the best we are is a C – a C-average school, a low C." Harrelson and King also voiced their opposition to the new system at the meeting.