Rise Academy gets top academic accountability ratings - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Rise Academy gets top academic accountability ratings

(Source: KCBD) (Source: KCBD)

Provided by Rise Academy Charter School

Rise Academy’s pass rates were between 88 and 96 percent in all subjects on the 2016 STAAR tests, resulting in a “Met Standard” accountability rating from the Texas Education Agency.

“It’s a very strong performance, and similar to last year’s results,” stated Rise Director Richard Baumgartner. “The students, teachers, and parents should feel proud about what we’ve achieved together,” he added.

Overall STAAR pass rates for the charter school were as follows:

  • Reading -- 94%
  • Math       -- 96%
  • Writing   --  95%
  • Science  --  88%
  • Social Studies – 90%

Rise Academy’s resulting scores in the four state ratings indexes were as follows:

Index 1 – Student Achievement – 95, higher than any Lubbock ISD elementary or middle school campus.  “Student Achievement” reflects overall pass rates for all subjects and grades.

Index 2 – Student Progress – 44, about average among local schools.  “Student Progress” involves student improvement in STAAR results from year to year.  Rise’s modest results in Index 2 reflect the fact that students with high prior-year scores have less room for improvement.  At the same time, some Rise students passed the tests in consecutive years, but by narrow margins in each year.

Index 3 – Closing Gaps – 63, higher than any Lubbock ISD campus.  “Closing Gaps” evaluates achievement of economically disadvantaged students in comparison to higher income groups.

Index 4 – Postsecondary Readiness – 64, comparable to among the highest-rated LISD campuses.  “Postsecondary Readiness” projects student readiness for higher education success. Baumgartner stated that he was unsure why this index even applied to a school such as Rise that offers no high school grades.

Baumgartner noted that a number of the Lubbock ISD campuses in north and east Lubbock were rated “Improvement Needed,” or barely reached the “Met Standard” level.  “These are the same campuses that have been infused with over $24 million in federal money from a massive US Department of Education grant,” he stated.  “But where are the results?” he added.  “As I have told Rise parents and staff, the solution doesn’t come from more money, but from more effective teaching, stronger curriculum, and more demanding standards.”  Texas charter schools like Rise Academy receive approximately $1,000 less per student than their local ISDs.  “Money isn’t going to fix our problems,” Baumgartner added.

Rise Academy is an independent public charter school.  The school has open enrollment, and is unable to selectively “cherry-pick” students.  Just under 90 percent of Rise students are low-income minority children residing mostly in east and northeast Lubbock.

As a charter school, Rise Academy must conform to all Texas Education Agency rules, with exceptions for teacher certification requirements and pay-scale.  Currently the academy serves about 275 students in grades pre-k through 8th grade.

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