School district report cares

Lori Blackman, a second grade math teacher, kicks off her first school year at Chisum Elementary with 21 students Thursday morning.

Lamar County school districts experienced ups and downs when the Texas Education Agency released the school report card scores for each district and school.

Chisum ISD Superintendent Tommy Chalaire said his district’s scores, which rose overall from 86 to 92 out of 100, an A, reflected the hard work everyone did last year.

“That is a true testament to the people we have working here at Chisum ISD and all of our students,” he said.

Overall for each district, the scores went up. Paris ISD went from 84 to 86, still a B; North Lamar went from 77 to 89, from a C to a B; and Prairiland went from 84 to 88.

“We are very excited to announce our 2019 Accountability Score at the District Level of an 89 (B),” said North Lamar ISD Assistant Superintendent Angela Chadwick. “We have worked hard to see a 12-point increase from the 2018 average.”

Chadwick, who is Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment, said that on the average overall score, North Lamar campuses have seen a 3-point gain with the greatest gain coming from North Lamar High School of 13 points.

But, there were some hiccups at the other two districts. While Paris and Prairiland’s scores rose overall, some of the individual schools didn’t fare so well. Aikin Elementary School went from a 75 to a 69.

Paris ISD Assistant Superintendent Althea Dixon said overall the district was pleased with their score.

“That’s what we focus on in our district, is just continuously improving,” she said.

Dixon said the reason for Aikin’s score was how the state measured success. Part of the metric includes growth for individual students. When students are scored on state testing, they are also categorized as masters grade level, meets grade level, approaches grade level or did not meet grade level. If a student received masters in the third grade and then received meets in the fourth, then “they don’t get any growth,” Dixon said.

“The grade that Aikin received is not reflective of the great things that go on at that campus,” she said, adding the school district is in the process of appealing the grade.

At Prairiland, most of the schools remained on similar scores this year, but Deport Elementary School dropped from 70 to 58 out of 100, an F. Prairiland Superintendent Jeff Ballard said he was proud of the district’s scores.

“We received a high district score and proud of it; it’s a testament to how hard the teachers have worked,” he said. “We have some low areas that we need to improve on for this accountability system. It is still based on one test given on one day out of the year. The accountability system still gives too much emphasis on the test, but it is still a better accountability system than ones in the past.”

Kim Cox is the city editor for The Paris News. She can be reached at 903-785-6965 or at kim.cox@theparisnews.com.

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