Amarillo ISD superintendent weighs in on TEA accountability ratings for 2021

Local News

AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — The Amarillo ISD Board of Trustees met for a regularly scheduled meeting on Monday, where the administration discussed the Texas Education Agency‘s recent accountability ratings.

The administration is working to help teachers catch up some students after distance learning and missed classes made school more difficult because of the pandemic.

The TEA did not give out grades for the 2020-2021 school year since the state was under a state of disaster declaration.

“We’re carrying the same rating, a B that we had for the last two years into this year, and then we’ll get new ratings next year,” said Amarillo ISD Superintendent Doug Loomis.

The district received a B that year because at least one campus got a D or an F in the school progress domain.

According to the TEA accountability ratings for AISD in 2021, under student achievements, the district got a 44 on STAAR performance, a 73 on college, career, and military readiness, and a 93 on graduation rate.

In 2019, AISD received a 49 in STAAR performance, a 79 in college, career, and military readiness, and a 94.5 on graduation rate.

Loomis said he is proud of the way AISD teachers and students performed last year.

“At any given time, we had 10 to 15% of our teachers and students out, not for just a day or two, but out for 14 days at a time,” Loomis said. “And I think it’s just remarkable that we just saw slight regression and that we’ve got to work hard this year, to improve and to correct that regression.”

Loomis said they are continuing to work on specific skills and reading.

While STAAR testing did not determine a TEA grade for the district, Loomis said it still has an impact.

“There are a lot of ramifications for our kids on things because they didn’t perform well on that test last April and May. They must now do…30 hours of intense acceleration tutorial for remediation, whatever you want to call it,” Loomis added. “So, even though the high stakes weren’t on the grades, for our kids, don’t you ever forget there were a lot of high stakes.”

Loomis said the district is being aggressive in academic interventions. He said they have also raised salaries to bring more people in to close the learning gap, if not this year, within the next three years.

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