ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – The Texas Education Agency has released their letter grade ratings for the 2021-2022 school year, showing Abilene ISD has become one of the lowest-rated districts in Region 14.

TEA ratings judged each district and campus on Student Achievement (measures STAAR test scores, graduation rates, and how prepared students are for post-school endeavors), School Progress (shows how students perform over time and how the district compares to others with similar economically disadvantaged student populations), and Closing the Gaps (measures how well the district is assuring all students are successful).

Abilene ISD received a C grade overall for the 2021-2022 school year, with a rating of 75.

This is down 10 points from the last recorded years. Abilene ISD had an 85 in both the 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 school years, giving them a B rating overall.

The TEA did not rate any school districts in Texas during the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 school years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

TEA officials report 25% of districts and 33% of campuses were able to improve their letter grade from 2019.

Abilene ISD also received a C rating in all performance categories, getting a 76 in Student Achievement, a 76 in School Progress, and a 71 in Closing the Gaps. 

Digging deeper into each of the categories shows a low performance on STAAR testing is the biggest contributor toward the Student Achievement score. AISD had a STAAR performance score of 69, with only 37% of their students meeting grade level or above in all subjects, 65% of students are approaching the grade level or above, and 16% are mastering their grade level or above. 

These STAAR testing numbers, though alarming, are about on part with the statewide averages, coming in just a few percentage points below. 

However, only 48% of Abilene ISD students graduated with credits toward college, a career, or military, which is drastically difference than the statewide average of 65%. 

Low test scores, again, are contributing to AISD’s low average. Only 16% of students who took readiness exams like the SAT and ACT met the standard and only 15% of students who took an AP test passed. 
Despite the low test scores, 90% of Abilene ISD students graduated in 4, 5, or 6 years, which is the highest average of all the Student Achievement categories. 

In the School Progress category, Abilene ISD received a 70 in Academic Growth and a 76 in Relative Performance, which shows how Abilene ISD compares to other schools with similarly economic disadvantaged populations. 65.2% of Abilene ISD is considered economically disadvantaged. 

Closing the Gaps had the biggest struggles for Abilene ISD, with only 21% of students meeting targets in Academic Achievements, which measures STAAR performance in reading and math, 75% graduation rate (students graduating in 4 years among certain populations), 0% in English Language Proficiency, and 50% in School Quality, which measures the readiness for college, military, or the workforce. 

Abilene ISD did receive an A in the finance category, spending $243 million and raising $204 million in revenue. 

All Abilene ISD schools that were individually rated received passing grades, though ATEMS was the only campus to receive an A, and that doesn’t mean their weren’t failing campuses.

Several campuses received a ‘Not Rated’ status, and the TEA clarifies that in accordance with a recently passed Senate Bill, “this Not Rated. . . label was applied when the domain or overall scaled score for a district or campus was less than 70.”

The following breakdown was provided for Abilene ISD schools:  

Academy for Technology Engineering Math & ScienceA
Alcorta ElemNot Rated
Austin ElemC
Bassetti ElemNot Rated
Bonham ElemC
Bowie ElemB
Clack MSNot Rated
Cooper HSC
Craig MSNot Rated
DAEPNot Rated
Day Nursery of AbileneC
Dyess ElemC
Juvenile Detention CenterNot Rated
Long Early Learning CenterC
Madison MSNot Rated
Mann MSNot Rated
Martinez ElemC
Oceans Behavioral HealthNot Rated
Ortiz ElemC
Purcell ElemC
Stafford ElemC
Taylor County Learning CenterNot Rated
Taylor ElemC
Thomas ElemB
Ward ElemC
Woodson Center for ExcellenceB

Abilene ISD was one of the worst-rated districts in Region 14, tying with Hawley ISD for the lowest score of 75. It was only one of 5 districts to receive a C rating. 

In contrast, Abilene’s other school district, Wylie ISD, was able to not only maintain their A average, but it was raised to 94 from the last recorded rating of 93, which was issued in the 2018-2019 school year. 

15 districts in Region 14 received A ratings, with Ira ISD and Nolan ISD tying for the top spot with a score of 97. 

Click here for a list of TEA ratings for all Region 14 schools, which is most of the Big Country area.