Sunday, August 19, 2007

TEA’s School Ratings Have Come Out

Well actually they have been out for a couple of weeks but I haven’t had much time or inclination to look at them. I look every year to discover how many Texas high schools achieve the much desired “Exemplary” rating. As we gear up for a new school year, it’s time to take a look at what happened last year.

Last year, as I recall an astounding 13 total high school campuses achieved that rating. This was a huge drop from the previous year. That is because the Texas Education Agency decided to change the rules up. Schools are rated by test scores and drop out rates, but on top of that, they are rated on the percentage who pass within certain demographic groups: African-American, Hispanic, Economically Disadvantaged, a couple of others. If a school has 50 students within any of these groups, the group is treated as a sub-population, and if high numbers of students within the sub-population fail to master TAKS tests, the school’s rating is lowered. This new provision caused many schools across Texas to lose their Exemplary rating.

This year, the number of schools in Texas that achieved the Exemplary rating doubled over last year. By my count, 26. This is no doubt due to the fact that the TEA is not basing their ratings on high school drop out ratings this year.

Why, one would ask?

Well, like the sub-populations change, the TEA will be redefining what constitutes a high school drop out, and maybe they didn’t want to alarm the schools with another sudden definition change that can radically affect their ratings like last time. So they’re giving schools a year off so they can prepare for the changes that are in the air.

So who are the Exemplary schools in Texas? I have a list below. It is very disheartening when you read through the list that the grand majority of these schools are magnet schools that cherry pick their students or whose students are economically disadvantaged but motivated and are volunteers. I may have omitted a school or two based on the fact that the name did not readily identify the school as a high school.

Arlington Classics Academy
Carnegie Vanguard High School
Carroll Senior High School
Cornerstone Academy
Debakey High School For Health Prof
Early College High School
Early College High School
East Early College High School
Falls City High School
Health Careers High School
High Frontier High School
Highland Park High School
Idea College Prep
Lindsay High School
Lovejoy High School
Mission Early College High School
Prairie Valley High School
Richland Collegiate Hs Of Math S
Richland Collegiate Hs Of Math Sc
School For The Talented & Gifted
School Of Health Professions
School Of Science & Engineering
Silva Health Magnet
The Science Academy
Yes College Preparatory - East E
Yes College Preparatory School

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