Preliminary numbers show gains across the board for Kaufman ISD test scores.

Assistant Superintendent of Academics Joe Nicks said the district has received about half its scores and is expecting the rest this week.

He told the school board Monday that Kaufman student scores are up in every category, overall as well as in subcategories.

Nicks said a change in the way the state looks at college and career readiness is hurting Kaufman and many other schools with the state accountability rating.

Nothing has changed in what the district is doing, but some certifications that students could receive for career readiness are no longer qualified under state standards.

That simple definition change is impacting Kaufman’s score from 95 percent – where the district has been for several years – to 28 percent, Nicks said.

And because college and career readiness impacts all three areas of the district’s state accountability rating, it could cost the district a full letter grade.

“There has been a real public outcry about it,” Nicks said. He and Superintendent Lori Blaylock have responded to the state survey about the matter.

Nicks said that even if the district makes changes to address the issue, the ratings run a full year behind, so it will be 2020 before the district can see significant changes.

Blaylock noted that Kaufman, and other schools, have implemented “high dollar” career programs such as culinary arts and broadcasting, and now those certifications don’t benefit the district’s ratings.

Those programs are good for students, she said, and the district stands behind them.

That money was spent in an attempt to address changed brought on by House Bill 5.

Among the things the district plans to do is pay for students to take college entrance testing and add some prep courses for seniors.

“We wish we had known it a couple of years ago,” Nicks said.


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