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Fort Worth ISD Leadership Academies Showing Signs of Early Success
Fort Worth ISD’s five Leadership Academies have been open for almost four months and already those schools are exhibiting evidence of student achievement and growth.
Five struggling Fort Worth ISD schools were reconstituted as “leadership academies” under a new plan unveiled by Superintendent Kent P. Scribner and supported by a $1-million-dollar gift from the Richard Rainwater Charitable Foundation, a longtime champion of public education, in February of 2017.
The schools – Mitchell Blvd. Elementary School, John T. White Elementary School, Como Elementary School, Logan Elementary School, and Forest Oak Middle School --- hired new teachers and administrators from a pool of educators who were identified as the most highly-qualified in the District. The new employees will receive a significant financial incentive for their three-year commitment to improve the academic outcomes at these campuses.
Based on early metrics collected from September through November -
- All five leadership academies show increases in the average reading activity score and the average Lexile, or reading level, of their students compared to the same period last year.
- Where suspensions were low last year at Como and Mitchell Blvd, they remained low this year; where suspensions were high last year, they have been greatly reduced - at Logan and Forest Oak - and completely eliminated at John T. White where suspensions went from 26 last year to 0 this year
- All five leadership academies have maintained student attendance at 93% or above for the first 12 weeks of school this year with only slight changes when compared to the same period last year
- Teacher attendance has improved at four of the five leadership academies; the only decrease (-2% points) was at Mitchell Boulevard where two teachers were out on extended leave
- While it is early in the year, some of the leadership academies have met or outperformed the district average on the following district local assessments:
- John T. White outperformed district on grade 5 math,
- Logan outperformed district on grade 5 science,
- Mitchell Blvd outperformed the district on grade 3 & 4 math and grade 5 science, and
- perhaps most impressive, Forest Oak Middle School met or outperformed the district average on all local assessments reported to date: grade 6 & 7 math, grade 7 writing quick check, grade 8 science, and grade 8 social studies
Under Dr. Scribner's leadership, the district has established performance monitoring systems such as Achieve 3000 for reading and NWEA MAP for mathematics that are aligned across grade levels. These systems allow the district, possibly for the first time, to monitor student progress and growth within the year and from year to year. Additionally, Dr. Scribner set expectations for high-quality, recurring professional learning to support teachers and administrators in implementing the systems and using these data to maximize student learning.