For the first time since 2019, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) has released school ratings for Texas school districts. The agency evaluates a school’s performance based on a three-part domain rating involving student achievement, school progress, and closing the gaps.
Brownsville Independent School District received an A, with an overall score of 92 and a designated distinction for postsecondary readiness. This is an increase from 2019’s rating of 91.
“With COVID – 19 hitting hard, it widened that learning gap throughout the state and, for many students, it affected their learning and the social and emotional component as well,” said Beatriz Hernandez, BISD director of Assessment, Research, & Evaluation.
As students began to trickle back in for in-school learning in the 2021 to 2022 school year, the Brownsville ISD administration worked together with teachers and parents to measure and evaluate progress in order to rise above.
The TEA calculates an overall rating using three domains. Seventy percent of the overall rating comes from the best performance in either student achievement or school progress, and the remaining 30% comes from closing the gaps.
Hernandez said the district recognized that in order to get the academics right, they also needed to get the social and emotional aspect right by providing resources and support to students who had trouble coming back to in-person learning. The wide learning gap exhibited in 2021 test scores presented a further challenge.
Many experienced the loss of a loved one to the virus, and many students needed to feel secure once again in their classrooms. Students had to re-learn simple tasks, such as asking for permission to use the restroom, interacting with friends, and learning how to be social in a setting that looked much different than when they left it in 2020.
“We had two major challenges before us, so we embraced them,” Hernandez said. “We wanted them to do well in academics, but we understood that in order for them to do well, the social-emotional component had to be there too.”
Amazed at the progress, collaboration, and communication — from parents and teachers, to the campus and administrative levels — Hernandez said they came up with a plan to continue improving.
“We love every minute of it,” she said. “Yes, there will be challenges here and there, but let’s find a solution. How can we make it better? How can we help?”
After all the challenges Brownsville ISD faced, the district’s strategic planning paid off. It was the hard work and dedication from teachers, students, their families, staff, and administration who made the A rating possible at the end of the day.
“We’re thrilled and excited,” Hernandez said. “This shows the determination and commitment of the Brownsville ISD staff toward our students. It’s all about adapting and being resilient, despite everything.”
There are 54 campuses with more than 38,000 students in Brownsville ISD, and none of those campuses received less than a B rating. To find a complete list of all the TEA ratings, visit their website txschools.gov.