Children At Risk education foundation gives Conroe ISD schools terrible ratings, flunks one school altogether

The Children at Risk Foundation gives Conroe ISD’s Sam Houston Elementary School in Conroe an F. Meanwhile, the focus of CISD is raising bond funds for capital projects and increasing administrator salaries.

Conroe and Houston, June 19 – The Children at Risk foundation, a renowned public policy foundation dedicated to improving educational outcomes in public education, issued its Annual Rankings earlier this month. Very sadly, as the Conroe Independent School District (CISD) focuses on increasing administration salaries and spending hundreds of millions of dollars on ignored maintenance expenses, turf, dance floors, mirrors for dance floors, an air soft gun range, curtains for elementary school stages, paying $150 million to refurbish Conroe High School without adding one seat for additional students and without improving educational outcomes one iota, CISD’s rankings are embarrassingly low.

Sadly, CISD’s Board of Trustees merely accepts the terrible educational outcomes, because the Board merely nods its head and approves every PowerPoint presentation which Superintendent Curtis Null and his team of overpaid bureaucrats spoon-feed them.

Children at Risk is based in Houston but originally opened its offices in North Texas in 2011 after the Rainwater Foundation started the highly-respected nonprofit organization.

The following are Children at Risk’s ratings of educational outcomes in the Conroe ISD schools:

High Schools. Average High School Rating = B-

  • Caney Creek HS, D+
  • College Park HS, B+
  • Conroe HS, C-
  • Oak Ridge HS, B+
  • The Woodlands HS, A-

Middle Schools. Average Middle School Rating = B+

  • Irons JH, B+
  • Knox JH, A
  • McCullough JH, A+
  • Moorhead JH, C
  • Peet JH, B
  • Washington JH, B-
  • York JH, A-.

Elementary Schools = B-

  • Anderson Elementary, C+
  • Armstrong Elementary, C
  • Austin Elementary, C+
  • Birnham Woods Elementary, A-
  • Bozman Intermediate, B-
  • Bradley Elementary, C+
  • Broadway Elementary, A
  • Buckalew Elementary, A
  • Bush Elementary, A+
  • Collins Intermediate, A+
  • Cox Intermediate, A-
  • Creighton Elementary, C-
  • Cryar Elementary, C-
  • David Elementary, A
  • Deretchin Elementary, A+
  • Ford Elementary, B+
  • Galatas Elementary, A+
  • Giesinger Elementary, B-
  • Glen Loch Elementary, C
  • Grangerland Intermediate, D+
  • Hailey Elementary, B-
  • Houser Elementary, C
  • Houston Elementary, F
  • Kaufman Elementary, B+
  • Lamar Elementary, B
  • Milam Elementary, D+
  • Mitchell Intermediate, A+
  • Oak Ridge Elementary, B-
  • Patterson Elementary, B-
  • Powell Elementary, A
  • Reaves Elementary, B
  • Rice Elementary, C+
  • Ride Elementary, A
  • Runyan Elementary, C-
  • San Jacinto Elementary, C-
  • Snyder Elementary, A+
  • Stewart Elementary, B+
  • Tough Elementary, A+
  • Travis Intermediate, C+
  • Vogel Intermediate, B
  • Wilkerson Elementary, B
  • Wilkinson Elementary, C

Children at Risk has ranked schools based upon data from the past twelve years but the 2019 ratings are current data only. The foundation takes great care only to measure academic success by taking data from the Texas Education Agency on Student Achievement, Student Growth (increases in achievement over time), and College Readiness.

In other words, if you’re looking for a measure of how the vocational programs are performing in public schools, Children at Risk is not the appropriate place to examine.

Children at Risk recognizes the limitations of the state achievement tests but nonetheless uses that data, because there is not a lot of other data available for every public school in Texas. The four real measures of educational success, which Children at Risk applies are:

  • Student Achievement = How students do on state standardized tests;
  • Achievement in the context of poverty (or the lack thereof) = How a school compares in test scores to schools with similar levels of poverty;
  • Student Growth = How students improve on standardized tests in a school year;
  • College Readiness = How many high school students are graduating on time and participating in other college readiness activities.

Grossly misplaced priorities

The vendors of CISD clearly are driving the administration and the Board of Trustees (also known as the Board of Brainwashees) as quickly as possible into a giant bond for maintenance expenses and capital projects. The administration, Superintendent Null, the Board, and the vendors are spending vast time and financial resources to get another bond referendum on the ballot by the first Tuesday in November.

Clearly, they have grossly misplaced their priorities.

Conroe ISD does not exist to shovel $250,000,000 into the hands of PBK Architects and to give administrators another huge raise after the taxpayers had to pay them one this past year.

Conroe ISD exists to education children. It’s fantastic that there are schools in The Woodlands where they achieve strong educational outcomes. A D+ for Caney Creek High School is unacceptable as is a C- for Conroe High School, the flagship school of the entire school district.

An F score for Sam Houston Elementary School in Conroe at 1000 North Thompson Street is completely unacceptable. The Mission Statement for Houston Elementary is:

“At Sam Houston, we set a standard of excellence for all members of our school community. We build a nurturing environment with high academic standards by providing the foundation to develop life-long learners.”

First, Null, all CISD administrators, and the Board need to read Houston Elementary School’s Mission Statement out loud. Second, they need to stop all efforts with respect to a bond and capital projects and make war on any school where the rating is a B- or below.

That’s where all of CISD’s effort should go right now. Once they get the problem schools up to a B or higher, then and only then should they waste one ounce of breath on capital projects or a bond.

Losing one child to a sub-par education is losing one too many minds.

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