WFISD shares update of Kirby Middle School’s testing scores

Published: Nov. 8, 2023 at 5:56 PM CST
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WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) - Kirby Middle School’s scores could potentially lift Wichita Falls ISD out of the danger zone. After five consecutive years of the campus receiving an ‘F’ rating in STAAR testing scores, students could raise those scores this year.

Superintendent Dr. Donny Lee shared that although these scores have increased, the fate of Kirby still lies with the Texas Education Agency. The TEA’s required scoring is a make-or-break situation for the district.

Dr. Lee said, regardless, he is proud of the 10-point increase compared to last year, but with the ratings postponed, he and the entire district are in limbo.

“Kirby Middle School has performed very well compared to what they’ve done in the last five years. So very well means they would be out of the required year one status,” Lee said.

Under the TEA requirement, a campus must hit certain marks to escape the danger zone.

“So Kirby would need to perform academically successfully for two consecutive years to get out of ‘Improvement Required,’ and for the 2022-2023 school year, Kirby has done that,” Lee explained.

Several school districts filed a lawsuit against TEA for changing ratings mid-school year, postponing ratings.

“But there is a stipulation going on in the courts, Lee said. “The issue is that some rules on how schools were rated changed in the middle of the school year. A lot of schools are suing TEA, and so the release of those ratings is up in the air. All we are waiting for is the release of the ratings.”

But what does that mean for Kirby?

“It could be the lawsuit stands, and Kirby won’t receive their ratings, which would mean this year, in essence, wouldn’t count. So we would have to get two full years again instead of just one remaining year. ” Lee said.

If the lawsuit stands, Kirby will get only unofficial ratings, which is not the news WFISD wants to receive.

“It’s good the state isn’t going to come over and take over WFISD,” Dr. Lee said. “We performed well enough not to be taken over, but it might not count. If that happens, then that five-year clock starts over.”

The district is optimistic about getting the scores of students and the ratings soon.

“Ten points of academic achievement shows that our students can do it when those expectations are high, and we’ve got great teachers in every classroom,” he said.

Dr. Lee added that the lawsuit could last until February, but they hope to hear good news in December.

Until the announcement is made, it will be a waiting game for WFISD.