Mitchell Boulevard elementary school was listed by the state as a campus in need of improvement in 2015 and 2016. (Video by Max Faulkner/Star-Telegram) Max Faulkner mfaulkner@star-telegram.com
Mitchell Boulevard elementary school was listed by the state as a campus in need of improvement in 2015 and 2016. (Video by Max Faulkner/Star-Telegram) Max Faulkner mfaulkner@star-telegram.com

Editorials

We should give FWISD a gold star for improvement

THE EDITORIAL BOARD

August 11, 2017 9:06 PM

Christmas came early for the Fort Worth Independent School District.

First, it had some promising STAAR results, and now the Texas Education Agency’s expected school accountability results are showing improvement in many low-performing FWISD schools.

The TEA will officially announce the results next week, but FWISD wanted to get the kudos started early.

The district released its School Accountability Ratings this week, toting a decrease in the schools labeled “improvement required” from last year.

Twenty-two schools were labeled low-performing last year.

This year, eight of those schools improved enough to raise their accountability rating.

That’s great news to hear.

“This news represents a 36 percent decrease in the number of schools on the state’s ‘Improvement Required’ list,” said Superintendent Kent P. Scribner in a news release. “While there is still work to be done, we cannot overlook the fact that 89 percent of our schools are achieving or exceeding the state standard.”

Scribner has much to do with these positive developments.

When he was hired as superintendent in 2015, he began implementing an ambitious plan to bring the school district up to a competitive level.

He initiated a literacy education plan, FWTX 100x25, that strives for 100 percent of third-graders reading on grade level by 2025.

This year’s STAAR test results suggest that goal is achievable.

He also eliminated executive positions, shuffled around teachers and staff to increase their effectiveness and focused more resources on struggling schools.

All bold moves, and they seem to be paying off.

Just look at the TEA’s accountability results.

All the news isn’t good.

Two chronically low-performing schools are still limping along. Those two elementary schools, Maude Logan and John T. White, need to be FWISD’s focus for the time being.

A school district is only as good as its lowest-ranked schools.

FWISD still has a long way to go, but seeing these changes makes us believe it will be smoother journey under Scribner’s leadership.

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