Round Rock Independent School District continued its high rate of student performance for the 2018-2019 school year, outperforming the score that earned the District an “A” rating from the Texas Education Agency last year. However, due to changes in the way the state calculates the A-F ratings for Texas public school districts and campuses, Round Rock ISD’s overall grade stands at a B for 2019, earning the District the designation of “Recognized Performance.”
More individual campuses earned an A this year over last year and 73 percent of Round Rock ISD campuses posted either an A or a B. In addition to the rating, 29 campuses earned a total of 109 Distinction Designations.
“Every day, I see first-hand the dedication of our educators as they work to teach our students not just how to be successful on a test, but how to be critical thinkers, collaborative team players and lifelong learners,” Superintendent Steve Flores, Ph.D. said. “We are preparing students for a future we can’t yet imagine and it’s our job to cultivate their ability to create and adapt, to be curious and innovative, and to give them the foundation they need to be successful in whatever they pursue after graduation.”
The Texas Education Agency rolled out the new rating system last year. Under the A-F system, campuses are evaluated in three areas or “domains”: Student Achievement, School Progress, and Closing the Gaps. Scores for Round Rock ISD actually increased in each domain and in the overall score. However, when any school is rated as “needs improvement” in a district, the district cannot earn an A rating.
For elementary and middle schools, the ratings in each area are largely based on STAAR assessment results, including year-to-year progress; although the Closing the Gaps domain also includes a measure of progress in English proficiency among students who are learning English. High schools and district ratings are based on these measures plus college, career and military readiness rates, graduation or dropout rates. Round Rock ISD graduates consistently have the highest college readiness rates in Central Texas according to research by the Austin Chamber.
Most Round Rock ISD campuses—92 percent—maintained or improved their performance from last year. Lower-performing campuses stumbled primarily in the Closing the Gaps domain. This domain uses disaggregated data to compare various student groups.
Flores said action plans are in the works to provide those campuses with targeted strategies and additional support and resources.
“We said last year we were proud of our educators and our students, but we also made clear that we do not consider these ratings the paramount measure of success for our campuses. We know as educators there are many factors at play and we are careful not to place too much weight on a standard that relies so heavily on the results of one standardized test,” Flores said. “However, we take accountability seriously and we want every student to be successful on all methods of measurements. That is why we are providing more resources for struggling schools, leveraging our highly effective leaders at campuses that need them most, and sharpening our focus on the core educational program delivered by our classroom teachers. Every campus in Round Rock ISD should be performing at high levels in all three evaluation domains. We will set the bar high for every student and give them the support they need to reach it.”
“I’m confident we will be an ‘A’ rated district again in the near future,” Flores added.
Individual campus results can be found on the Texas School Report Card website.