It was the best of scores. It was the worst of scores. Too dramatic? OK, how about this? Woot! Phhttttttttt! This week, the Richardson ISD (RISD) announced that the school district was judged "Recognized" in the Accountability ratings of the Texas Education Agency. "Recognized" doesn't sound like much, but it's a really big deal. The RISD is rightly proud when it trumpets the achievement:
"This is the fifth consecutive year RISD has earned the rating. RISD is the largest, most diverse district in Texas to have achieved Recognized status for five consecutive years. Every RISD campus received a rating of Exemplary (42 schools) or Recognized (11 schools)."
On the other hand, everyone knows that the Accountability ratings are not the be-all and end-all of academic accountability. The system defines the floor, not the ceiling. Inspired by the goal of "no child left behind," the scoring system (TAKS) severely penalizes a school district if any socio-economic subgroup fails to reach minimal levels, that is, if any subgroup is left behind. You can't hide your problems. The RISD takes the ratings seriously and the results show it. Not content, the RISD is moving beyond the TAKS to improve other aspects of education such as career and technology programs, talented and gifted programs, advanced placement programs, etc. In fact, last year, they parted ways with a former superintendent over a difference of vision on this very subject. Apparently, the board of trustees wanted ..., well, as a Dickens character might put it, "more."
After the jump, another school district's worst of times.