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October 15, 2019

MISD Campuses Meet TEA Standard, District Receives “C” Rating


For the first time in 11 years, no Marshall ISD campus is rated as academically unacceptable or improvement required with data released this week by the Texas Education Agency.
Overall, the district has received a “C” grade in the state’s new grade accountability system, and all campuses in MISD have been rated as “Met Standard,” which is the highest possible ranking from TEA.
“For the first time in over a decade, Marshall Independent School District does not have any campus considered failing by the TEA,” MISD Superintendent Dr. Jerry Gibson said during his address to MISD faculty and staff at the district’s annual convocation held Tuesday morning at East Texas Baptist University. “Many outside this room gave up on us. But Marshall ISD is still standing and we are hungry for more. Those of us in this room…would not accept losing. Those in this room would not accept defeat. Those in this room kept believing in our students.”
Overall, MISD received a grade of 74, which is a seven-point increase from the grade of “D” the district received in 2017-2018, the first year of the TEA’s new grade system.
Sam Houston Elementary School, which houses the district’s K-5 STEM Academy, received the highest grade of any campus, with an A (94). Four campuses – William B. Travis Elementary (79), David Crockett Elementary (75), Marshall High School (71) and Price T. Young Elementary (70) – received a “C” grade, while Marshall Junior High School received a “D” at 66.
Washington Early Childhood Center, the district’s Pre-Kindergarten/Head Start campus, also received an “A” with a grade of 92.
The new ratings highlight a three-year period of growth in MISD. Entering the 2016-2017 school year, Gibson’s first as Superintendent, MISD had six of its then-11 campuses on the Improvement Required list. That number shrank to one in 2017 as the district entered its new Legacy 2017 facilities, and then ticked up slightly again last year with two schools on the IR list but only by a combined total of just 1 ½ points.
Those two schools – Marshall Junior High and Price T. Young Elementary – received a grade of “F” in last year’s ratings. This year, MJHS jumped from a 59 to a 66. PTY, which missed meeting standard last year by just one-half point, jumped from a 59 to a 70 grade – an F to a C – in just one year.
“The opening of our new schools as well as the implementation of our ‘5 Pillars of Turnaround,’ have made a difference,” Gibson said. “Our Big 5, our non-negotiables, are small group instruction, Professional Learning Communities, data rooms on every campus, power walks for administrators, and Reflective Practice Model. We started making decisions that were best for students, and maybe not necessarily for adults.”
Marshall High School jumped from a grade of 65 in 2017-2018 to a 71 in 2018-2019. Crockett Elementary scored a 75 overall grade this year, a slight decrease from last year’s 77 but still rated as a “C” campus.
Sam Houston jumped four points overall from a 90 last year to this year’s 94. William B. Travis Elementary, which scored an 82 last year to earn a “B,” dipped slightly to 79 but barely missed another “B” by one point.
“The heroes in this story are our students,” Gibson said. “They are the reason I get up each morning. They energize me. When I get down and at times discouraged, I go to the schools and see the students. It reminds me why I do what I do. Seeing our students reminds me that when we are successful, they are the ones who prosper. We teach, we train, we go the extra mile, but our students are the ones who have to perform.”
The improvement is evident in the numbers, but Gibson also cautioned and challenged MISD teachers and staff to keep moving forward.
“We are not going to go backwards,” he said. “We have had a tendency to breathe a sigh of relief when we get good news like this in the past, but now is not the time to relax. Moving from Met Standard to Improvement Required, going back and forth, is no longer acceptable in Marshall ISD for any campus. We are rewriting our story, and being a ping pong ball is not going to be part of the story any longer.
“As a school district, we now have to take the next step. The momentum is here, it is upon us. Now we have to take advantage of what is going on around us. This year, the story must be that we took that next step, and that next step is to achieve a goal of a “B” as a district next year at this time. That will be our story.”

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