Schools in Brown County received good report cards overall when the Texas Education Agency released its 2008 accountability ratings Friday afternoon.
Brownwood, Early, May and Zephyr school districts are rated recognized, the second highest level possible. Bangs, Blanket and Brookesmith were rated academically acceptable.
Three campuses in Brown County - Woodland Heights Elementary in Brownwood, May Elementary and Zephyr Elementary - achieved the highest possible rating, exemplary.
Recognized campuses are Brownwood High, Brownwood Intermediate, Brownwood Middle, Coggin Elementary and Northwest Elementary, all in Brownwood; Early Middle, Early Primary and Early Elementary, all in Early; J.B. Stephens Elementary, Bangs; Blanket High; Brookesmith High; and May High.
Rated academically acceptable were Brownwood Accelerated High and East Elementary, both in Brownwood; Early High; Bangs High and Bangs Middle; Blanket Elementary; Brookesmith Elemen-tary; and Zephyr High.
“This is almost unheard of,” Brownwood Superintendent Reece Blincoe said when contacted Friday by telephone. “You can’t see me, but I’m just glowing. Brownwood did this as a Class 4A school, and while we don’t have the state numbers yet, you usually don’t find more than five or 10 school districts in 4A with a recognized rating. And most of those are typically in affluent areas. We’re doing this with a very diverse population with a wealth level that’s not very high. I couldn’t be more proud. I’m proud and happy for the staff and all the administrators.
“I’m also proud for our board,” Blincoe added. “We’ve got a very special board. They’re diverse and different, and don’t always agree philosophically, but they are always on target. They ask thought-provoking questions, and as a superintendent I like that. That’s healthy.”
Blincoe said he is especially proud of the district’s results for Dr. Sue Jones, who retired as superintendent in April, and for Assistant Superintendent of Instruction Jeana Moss, who plans to retire after this year.
The difference between earning a spot in a higher rating categories often hinges on test results from just one or two students, Blincoe said, and that was the case for both Brownwood Middle School and East Elementary.
“When we get back to school this year, that’s going to be emphasized,” Blincoe said. “Every student counts.”
“This is good news for the Early ISD,” said Superintendent Brett Koch. “I am very pleased with the students, faculty and staff of this district, who have worked so hard and done so well.”
Koch said two of the school campuses in the district were “just percentage points” away from being recognized exemplary.
“And of course that is what we will all continue to strive to achieve,” Koch said. “Every school always wants to do better.”
Superintendent Bill Foster of Bangs could not be reached for comment Friday afternoon.
The accountability ratings are generated from various information reported by schools, including testing results, attendance, dropout rates and other data.
Among school districts outside Brown County, Cross Plains and Panther Creek were recognized, while Brady, Cherokee, Coleman, Comanche, De Leon, Gustine, Lohn, Mullin, Novice, Richland Springs, Rising Star, Rochelle, San Saba, Santa Anna and Sidney were all rated academically acceptable.
Information on the local ratings can be found on the Web site of the Texas Education Agency at http://www.tea.state.tx.us/perfreport/account/2008/countylist.srch.html, and then entering the county’s name.