Brownwood ISD Superintendent says TEA's 'C' rating isn't reflective of kids' progress

The superintendent of the Brownwood Independent School District calls its recent rating from the Texas Education Agency a blow for teacher morale and said that it is not representative of all of the progress that their students make.

On Wednesday, the TEA released letter grades to school districts across the State of Texas and the Brownwood Independent School District received a “C” grade for its schools.

Northwest Elementary School and East Elementary School were cited by TEA as needing improvement.

"We did not need somebody to give us a letter grade or give us a label to know which kids needed some help and which areas needed some help," Brownwood ISD Superintendent Dr. Joe Young said.

Young vehemently disagrees with the letter grade that his district received and he told KTXS News that his district does need to be held accountable, but a letter rating based on A to F scale is not the best way to do it.

Young said that the letters do not capture the growth that Brownwood students make from elementary school to high school.

"Academics are important, we take that very seriously, but we know that is just one piece," Young said. “If we wanted to drill and kill our kids, maybe our test scores might be better, but that's not the approach we choose to take."

Young said that he knows some students at both East Elementary School and Northwest Elementary School are struggling.

According to Young, both schools have the highest number of students living in poverty, which means that some students have more catching up to do than their peers once they enroll there.

Northwest Elementary School kindergarten teacher Dana Cyr found the "C" grade demoralizing because of the effort that teachers put in throughout the school year.

"We're going to rise to the occasion, we'll get this all figured out," Cyr said from insider her decorated classroom. "And maybe, TEA will get this figured out that kids are human beings. They're not a letter, they're not a number."

Cyr said that the TEA's letter grade system only emphasizes the agency's desire for teachers to teach for the test and not for creating a well-rounded individual.

"The most important part to me is the heart," Cyr said. "The heart rules, whatever the heart wants is what we go for."

The first day of classes for Brownwood ISD will be on August 22.

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