• December 9, 2019

Muri: School plan will be rolled out this winter - Odessa American: ECISD

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Muri: School plan will be rolled out this winter

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Posted: Friday, August 16, 2019 6:38 pm

This is the first year the state has gone to the A-F grading system for campuses and districts. The district has 43 campuses, the TEA website details.

Public Information Officer Mike Adkins said the district does not plan to appeal the ratings.

Short term, Muri said, principals, teachers and central office administrators are breaking down data down to the student level and creating plans within each school to improve.

“Every kid in this system deserves a great academic experience every day and one way to know if they’re having that experience is to look at data. If you look at the data from the aggregate perspective across our system, you see that by and large our kids are not having a great day every day and we owe that to them,” Muri said.

The strategic plan will continue to be developed this fall so the challenges can be understood and what the district will do systematically to address those challenges. Muri said the plan would be rolled out sometime in the winter.

“… That will be our guide forward. These will be the strategies and the tactics that we’ll put in place in order to create a school district of excellence for our kids. And it will take us a while to get there. We did not get to the place where we’re at in a year or two. If you look at our data over five or 10 years, or really 20 years you’ll see that ECISD has had some years of greatness. There were great things that were happening, but over the last quite a few years we have really not some good work for our kids. We’ve really disappointed them,” Muri said.

“We owe a better opportunity for them. It’s going to take a while to get to the place where we want to be, but we have to get there. I’m incredibly confident that we will put pieces in place to make that happen,” he added.

Muri said he wasn’t surprised by the accountability ratings.

“That really comes from the look, listen and learn that I did before I started. You could see trends happening, then talking with people that were working here — administrators, etc., so no surprises. It’s disappointing,” he said.

Asked if the shortage of more than 300 teachers was a contributing factor, Muri said it was, but there were others.

The common thread among the failing schools, he said, is poverty and it’s true statewide, Muri said.

“If you look at those schools … the level of poverty in our system is a little over 56 percent as an organization,” Muri said. He added that it’s probably more than that.

“What we know about supporting kids of poverty is the resources that are required to educate our children of poverty are more significant. … Kids in poverty need more wraparound supports —counselors and nurses and other individuals that support kids beyond academics,” which costs money, he said.

“Many times our kids of poverty don’t have some of the extra supports our families of means are able to provide such as an after-school tutor or things like that. When we provide those things for kids, that’s an additional cost …,” Muri added.

He added students who are in poverty, are special education or dealing with social-emotional needs deserve the best teachers and principals.

Annette Macias, ECISD executive director of accountability, assessment and school improvement, said the indicators that are calculated for the overall district rating differ from what is calculated for the elementary and middle schools. 

“College, career and military readiness is measured at the district and high school levels. The percent of graduates meeting those readiness indicators improved year over year.  Elementary and middle schools do not get the benefit of CCMR scores because they are based off of the graduating classes at each of the high schools.  The CCMR data lags one year as do graduation rates,” Macias said in an email.

TEA also doesn’t use met standard or improvement required labels as in the past, she said.

“ECISD does not have any fifth year IR/F schools.  The state is no longer rating schools using the met standard or improvement required labels as in the past. F’s will now trigger sanctions for districts and schools. The district is in the planning stages of implementing the Effective Schools Framework continuous improvement process with F schools as mandated by the state,” Macias said.

The district has to support the campus principals to develop and/or implement targeted intervention plans, Macias said.

“The Effective Schools Framework consists of a set of district commitments and, for schools, essential actions. District Commitments describe what local education agencies do to ensure that schools are set up for success. The Essential Actions describe what the most effective schools do to support powerful teaching and learning. The school and district administrators are being trained by TEA to implement the process,” Macias said.

Overall, eight schools improved, including Blackshear Elementary which earned a C after being rated improvement required for the past four years.

Gale Pond Alamo and West elementary schools also jumped to a C after being rated IR last year.

Other schools that improved their overall score from year ago are: Hays STEAM Academy and New Tech Odessa to an A; Buice Elementary and Fly Elementary to a B; Cavazos Elementary and Gonzales Elementary to a C.

According to TEA, what happens to a campus depends entirely on how long it has had a failing grade. The grade they get the following year will determine what happens next.

TEA said the district is responsible for turning campuses around and they work closely with TEA to know what the next steps are.

Odessa, TX

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