Texas public schools are in bad shape according to the Texas Education Agency which recently released its report card for 2013. The list includes over 50 schools deemed failing and academically unacceptable.
Statewide, 892 schools are failing or academically unacceptable, up over 90% from 456 schools across Texas in 2012.
That would be reason for alarm except that the TEA changed the criteria in its ranking system. The criteria for a passing grade combine student test results and whether schools meet minimum passing scores.
“Is disappointment the correct word to use? I just think that the strategies that we’ve been using in the past may be not working the way that we thought they should be working,” said newly elected HISD board member and former District D councilwoman, Wanda Adams. “We need to look at the testing overall, and look at our schools to see who has been low performing in the last two to three years.”
The largest school district in the state, HISD faces many challenges with students coming from a wide range of socioeconomic backgrounds. School board officials are working hard to improve scores and bring every student up to grade level.
Adams says a number of factors, including a large school district, and more rigorous stands, may contribute to having 53 schools on the list.
“What they’re trying to do is implement strategies to be able to put into those lower performing schools,” Adams said.
HISD issued the following statement:
The number of HISD schools on the recently released Public Education Grant list increased as a result of changes made to the state’s school accountability ratings system. HISD is supportive of the new, higher accountability standards and is very committed to having all schools meet the state’s standard. Aggressive interventions are well underway at those schools that were identified as falling short.
Elementary schools are required to:
- Ensure students will receive at least 145 minutes of daily literacy instruction, nearly an hour more per day than the typical elementary school student receives.
- Implement specific, research-based reading and math interventions and dedicate time during the school day for students to receive the interventions.
- Send teachers and administrators to specialized professional development focused on increasing effectiveness of literacy instruction.
Secondary schools are required to:
- Expand the current Secondary Reading Initiative from grades 6 and 9 to also include grades 7 and 10. Students reading below grade level will receive an extra class period in reading/English language arts.
- Implement specific, research-based reading and math interventions, including intensive tutoring.
- High schools will be required to offer a College Readiness Course to juniors and seniors.
- High schools must use the district Advanced Placement curriculum and send teachers to required training in four AP courses: English Literature and Composition, US History, World History, and Calculus.
Garden Villas Elementary
Highland Hts Elementary
Houston Gardens Elementary
Houston Math Science & Technology H.S.
Kashmere Gardens Elementary
Martinez C Elementary
Sugar Grove Academy
Texas Connections Academy at Houston
Washington B T H.S.
Young Scholars Academy for Excellence