Texas schools receive letter grades

TEXARKANA, Texas - School report cards are in for the Lone Star State.

This is the second year Texas has awarded letter grades for school districts, and the first year they broke it down by individual schools.

There are 13 school districts in Bowie County.

Most of them did pretty well, however, school officials say their primary focus is not on tests, but academics.

Bowie County is part of the Region 8 ESC.

Red Lick ISD is one the top performing school districts in the county.

They received an "A" letter grade with an overall district score of 95.

There are 530 students in the district's elementary and middle school.

Red Lick ISD Superintendent Brandon Dennard says they anticipated high letter grades due to a recent report from schooldigger.com, which placed them fourth highest in the state for test scores.

"We have to be careful that it's not what we focus soley on. We want to provide enriching opportunities for our kids and really focus on the core curriculm," said Dennard.

Dennard says their goal is to create quality engaging lessons each day.

"We appreciate it, but the tests really isn't what we're about. I don't think any district in the state is saying they don't want accountability. I think they just want something more well-rounded," explained Dennard.

The majority of the rating system is based on student performance on achievement tests from the year before.

Schools or districts that continue to under perform could face harsh penalties, the state could take them over, or they could be forced to shut down.

While most schools faired well in Region 8, there were two districts that received very low scores.

LINK: See how your child's campus did here

Overall, more Texas districts scored higher ratings than last year.

The ratings are calculated in three areas: academic achievement, student progress and closing the gap, or how well schools are educating disadvantaged students.

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