Bryan ISD Works to Beat Low TEA Ratings

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BRYAN, Texas Bryan ISD officials are working on a plan that could end up putting more money in the hands of teachers at high-risk schools.

Brandon Webb with Bryan ISD said the school board considered "contracting with a group to look at a differential compensation plan. Meaning a different, potentially higher, pay structure for teachers at-risk schools" at Monday night's meeting.

Webb said the school board is simply considering making contact with the company, Battelle for Kids, who could create that plan.

No word yet on when that plan would go into effect.

School officials said the potential plan has nothing to do with recent poor ratings from the Texas Education Agency (TEA), but rather a way to keep high quality faculty at those schools.

The district as a whole, including several schools received an "improvement required" rating from the TEA last year. The state agency's lowest rating.

"Many of the schools in Bryan ISD got our best rating," said Debbie Ratcliffe with the TEA. "But there were a handful that got the lowest rating."

Bryan and Rudder High Schools both failed the post secondary progress measure.

Ratcliffe said based on graduation rates, almost one third of Bryan ISD students fell into the minimum out of three graduation plans.

Crocket Elementary failed to meet student progress measures, and did not close the performance gap between ethnic or low-income groups.

Jones Elementary also got poor marks for not closing the same performance gaps. The school also received poor ratings in 2010 and 2011. The TEA did not rate schools in 2012, because the agency was making changes to its rating system.

Jones has since issued a reconstitution plan. Navasota Intermediate issued a similar plan after several low ratings scores from the TEA. The district asked all of the intermediate employees to reapply for their jobs.

"We'll be asking the Jones school officials to come in and meet with us and give us a progress report," said Ratcliffe. "Tell us what they're doing, and hopefully show us signs of improvements."

Ratcliffe said low scores are never a good thing, especially if the problem keeps happening.

"We never like to see a school have multiple years of our lowest rating," said Ratcliffe. "It's a sign that there's some kind of systemic problem there that they need to address."

Bryan School officials said they've taken steps to make sure they do better on this year's ratings, including hiring instructional coaches to "increase the rigor of classroom instruction."