On Aug. 7 in the Seguin Gazette the headline read, “SISD board approves raise for Superintendent Gutierrez.” The article indicated that after a lengthy closed-door session, the board gave Gutierrez not only a 4% pay raise, raising his base salary to $210,960.00 but also extended his contract for another year. The article continued with the Board President Cinde Thomas-Jiminez pouring praises on Gutierrez, his strategic plan and professional development that would bring improvement to student learning. The story continued discussing the Strategic plan, digging in, not changing directions and having high expectations.
On Aug. 16th the front page story is “Districts receive grades from State”. Overall Navarro ISD takes an “A”, Marion ISD takes a “B” and Seguin ISD takes a “C.” Seguin took low to middle “C’s” in performance, achievement and progress while taking a “D-” in closing the gaps.
My first thoughts were why we would be giving raises, showering praises and extending contracts to an almost failing Strategic Plan. Three low C’s and a low D are very near failing, are they not? As a parent, would we be pleased to see our child bring home those grades.
Oddly enough, the Texas Public Policy Foundation released a report on Aug. 19 saying ”School districts around the State have received their report cards, for some like San Antonio ISD this is good news, confirming positive trends and reforms that are working”. SAISD’s approach, offering more choices to parents and working to engage students should be emulated by other districts.
SAISD is responding to the real desire of families to have more choices, they’re creating the kind of Campuses and offerings that are bringing students in. It is something other districts should take note of.
Right behind that email was another form Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick giving some stats from Txschools.org for the recent school report cards as follows:
• 296 high poverty schools achieved an A rating this year and schools across the state are making significant progress;
• 88 campuses went form a C, D or F in 2018 to an A in 2019;
• 552 campuses went from B, C or D in 2018 to an A in 2019;
• 41% of Texas school districts improved their grade from 2018 to 2019, 52% stayed the same and 7% declined.
A quick search of the Txschools.org site indicated that SISD declined by one point overall dropping from a 73 average to a 72 average.
Around my house we rewarded good and improving grades, guess times have changed!