Lubbock area school districts got higher marks in the latest round of state accountability ratings released Thursday.

The Texas Education Agency released its 2019 state accountability ratings for approximately 1,200 school districts and charter schools across the state, with Lubbock, Lubbock-Cooper and Frenship ISD's all showing considerable improvement overall, although some campuses continue to struggle.

The annual ratings are meant to provide academic accountability scores to public and charter schools. The ratings — and there's some debate over the accuracy — are based largely on performance on state standardized tests and graduation rates. The ratings examine student achievement, student progress, efforts to close the achievement gap and postsecondary readiness, according to the TEA website.

Districts and individual schools are given A-F ratings.  Schools are given an overall rating based on performance in three areas: "student achievement" to show how much students know and are able to do at the end of the school year, "school progress" to show how students perform over time and how that growth compares to similar schools, and "closing the gaps" to show how well different groups of students within a school are performing.

Lubbock ISD improved from a C to a B, with its score rising from a 77 in the 2017-18 school year to an 86 in 2018-19.

Lubbock ISD Superintendent Kathy Rollo said she's very pleased with this nine-point jump, adding it's something the entire district is proud of. 

"We are very, very proud of our students, and our teachers, and our campus administrators, who really coached their teachers to make sure they're looking at every child, every day," Rollo said. "This is the fruits of our labor for this past year... Our motto at Lubbock ISD is every child, every day. I honestly believe that's how we met that mark —  we really looked at every single child, we talk about the progress of every single child, we made sure we intervened when children were struggling, and we made sure that if children knew something, we pushed them to learn more."

Lubbock ISD's highest score was in student growth.

Five LISD campuses, however, received an F grade: Dunbar College Preparatory Academy, O.L. Slaton Middle School, Smylie Wilson Middle School, Bean Elementary and Wester Elementary.

Dunbar's performance scores got worse compared to last year, despite the school district previously saying improvements are being made. Dunbar's score dropped from a 58 to a 56. After several consecutive years of failing performances, the Lubbock ISD Board of Trustees earlier this year created a partnership network to accelerate student achievement at Estacado's feeder schools, including Dunbar Prep. Estacado was the district's second highest rated high school, and the three elementaries in its feeder pattern didn't perform lower than a C.

Rollo said Dunbar spent most of last year uncertain of its future, and she believes it impacted the school's progress. Rollo said they've made more changes at Dunbar, and they'll continue working to meet the needs of the students.

"We have a good, solid plan moving into this next year," Rollo said of Dunbar. "We're using the ACE (Accelerating Campus Excellence) model, we're extending the school day by an hour, we recruited our top teachers from across the district to go to Dunbar and had a huge response to that. We have great teachers in place and added additional staff to make sure we're meeting the needs of the students. I'm very confident we'll be celebrating Dunbar next year."

Of the Lubbock ISD High Schools, Lubbock High was the highest performing with an overall score of 87, followed by Estacado High School with an overall score of 81, and then Coronado and Monterey High Schools with scores of 79.

Schools that received an A rating at Lubbock ISD are Hutchinson Middle School, Hardwick, Honey, Smith, Whiteside and Roberts Elementaries, and the Talkington School for Young Women.

Frenship's rating improved from a B to an A - rising from 89 to 93. No Frenship schools received an F in this year's ratings.

Cooper's rating stayed at B but climbed from 84 to 89, according to the report. At Lubbock-Cooper, only Cooper East Elementary received an F.

At Lubbock-Cooper ISD, Lubbock Cooper High School and Lubbock Cooper West received A ratings, and at Frenship, Frenship High School, Crestview, Bennett, Oak Ridge, Legacy Elementaries and the Reese Educational Center received A's.

Elsewhere in the county, Idalou ISD received an A rating, New Deal ISD a B, Shallowater ISD an A and Slaton ISD a B.

Rise Academy in Lubbock also received an overall A rating.

“Relative to most schools, we have done very well," Rise director Richard Baumgartner said in a statement in which he admitted he was not entirely sure how Rise achieved a composite score of 95 in the new rating system.

The system includes five component scores, and Rise achieved A’s in all but “Academic Growth,” which was a C.

“When you add up the component scores and average them out, we barely squeeze into the A range with about a 90,” said Baumgartner. “But I guess not all the components are weighted the same. However it’s determined, we got an A, and we’ll take it."

For a closer look at the new ratings, the TEA encourages parents, educators and community members to visit TXschools.gov to view district and school report cards, according to the release.

The agency says its website has been enhanced with new several new features allowing visitors to better understand the accountability ratings data. These include ways to analyze trends, compare performance, and correlate results, as well as a new map feature which provides parents the ability to more easily view ratings of nearby schools.

A-F accountability uses a variety of indicators such as graduation rates, college, career and military readiness, SAT/ACT scores, and college prep course completion. The majority of a district’s rating is based on indicators other than the State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness (STAAR) test.