Group analyzes causes for Natalia ISD’s academic struggles

A Root Cause Analysis group consisting of Natalia ISD administration and parents summed up the district’s recent struggles in one sentence: “Due to a lack of vision, mission, set expectations and internal accountability, student academic performance declined.”In February, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) downgraded the district’s rating to accredited-warned and assigned it a monitor.
The group met to try and identify the root cause of students’ academic outcomes and to try and identify areas of concern within the district.
Assistant Superintendent Donald Stewart presented the group’s findings at the Board meeting held June 11.
“The purpose of the Root Cause Analysis is to really start creating some action that will help us meet specific outcomes,” Stewart said.
The group looked at data from 2010 and forward and compared it with that of districts in the area, in Region 20, and throughout the state.
“We started breaking down all the areas that we could to find a possible root causes to a lot of the present academic performance within the district,” Stewart said. “And we started talking about what was in our circle of influence within the district.”
Issues such as use of research-based resources and communication with parents were determined to be within the district’s circle of control, while gaps in educational blocks was categorized as within the district’s circle of influence. Administration changes and faculty attendance were marked as part of the district’s circle of concern, which Stewart described as things the district can’t directly change day-to-day.
The group then broke into teams to consider the issues under the district’s control and arrived at a group consensus for three possible causes for the present level of student performance before determining their root cause statement.
Through discussion and data analysis, Stewart said the areas the group felt the district could most influence student outcomes were literacy, numeracy, and college, career, and military readiness upon graduation.
The full report is available on Natalia ISD’s website.
By Marly Davis
Staff Writer