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Lamar CISD earns 5-star rating

Aug 12, 2016 | Community Relations
Lamar CISD is one of only 44 school systems in the entire state to achieve the 5-Star rating, indicating strong academic progress and low spending.

This is the third straight year Lamar CISD received the 5-Star designation.

The program, formerly the Financial Allocation Study for Texas (FAST), was created by the 81st Texas Legislature. The Legislature directed then-Comptroller Combs to “identify school districts and campuses that use resource allocation practices that contribute to high academic achievement and cost-effective operations.”

Administered by Texas A&M University’s Mosbacher Institute for Trade, Economics and Public Policy, the program uses both academic progress and spending levels to assign a “Smart Score” of one to five stars.

Instead of focusing solely on traditional test scores, the system considers a multitude of factors to create a fairer, more nuanced, measure of academic progress. This metric allows users to identify schools that are “beating the odds” based on demographics, past performance history and overall progress. On the financial side, the methodology evaluates districts along multiple dimensions to find those most similar, allowing for a more “apples-to-apples” comparison between peers. 

Identifying fiscal peers involves finding similar characteristics, including language proficiency, utilization of free/reduced price meals and district size.

“Our parents demand a good education for their children, but they also want prudent spending,” said Dr. Thomas Randle, Lamar CISD’s Superintendent of Schools. “This designation is a recognition of the exemplary job being done throughout our schools – from the Board of Trustees on down.”