Superintendent of SSISD schools Michael Lamb said there are solid performance points and areas of work noted in the accountability rating received from the Texas Education Agency. Lamb told KSST News Wednesday morning that the 2017 Accountability Summary for reflected outstanding scores for Douglas Intermediate and Sulphur Springs High School. The Middle School and Elementary, grades 3-4, were lower but did meet standards.
Lamb said that the stronger scores in the upper grades are encouraging. He stated that the ultimate goal is for those in high school to perform at a high standard reflecting a strong educational system. He noted that the 60% of students falling into the low socioeconomic level and that has a greater effect on the lower grades. Reading levels fall in lower socioeconomic groups. However, the testing shows that the reading level raises as the students progress through the grade levels. Lamb says he likes the fact that improvements are made over time as students go into higher grades.
For the high school, the students scored well in six out of seven scoring factors for distinction. The only area that missed distinction, by 3% points, was student progress.
The Middle School scored in the top middle of the 40 comparable schools. The students scored strong in math and reading. The school has concentrated in math rather than science in the past few years.
Douglas Intermediate School students performed at an outstanding level. The school scored five of six stars. The math star was missed only by less than 2%. In student achievement, Douglas scored first among the 40 schools with which the district is compare. They were second in student progress and post-secondary readiness and sixth in closing performance gaps. Lamb called it a phenomenal year for Douglas. He said what happened in Douglas did not happen in just one year. He credited the work performed in the elementary level that assisted in the success.
Lamb stated that for students in the lower socioeconomic level, change is often hard and that has an effect on the elementary level. SSISD is one of two schools in the 40 used for comparison where students moved from one campus to another at 3rd grade level. He also noted that for some of those students, parents’ work hours affect how much time is spent in assisting the student in reading and in other studies.
For Lamb, the most positive achievement for the local district is that the district is working hard and doing well. He pointed to the scores on college entrance tests and the involvement in career and technology education as an indicator of the district’s success. He stated that the high scores in Algebra, a gatekeeper course, and Biology point to the progress of the district.
Testing is sometimes deceiving, according to Lamb. He said high scores may disappoint when other schools score as high or higher and low scores deceive as is noted when other schools in the comparison group are scoring lower than your school.
Overall, Lamb is pleased with the success seen in the high school. He has noted the areas that need additional focus and work.