According to the Texas Education Agency's preliminary state accountability ratings released last week, 111 Austin ISD schools earned the highest rating possible on the state's accountability system.
Under the state accountability system, all public districts, campuses and charter schools are assigned a label of:
- Met Standard,
- Met Alternative Standard,
- Not Rated; or
- Improvement Required.
Last year at this time, 109 of the AISD schools had earned the Met Standard rating.
To receive a Met Standard or Met Alternative Standard rating, a campus or district had to meet targets set by the state on three of four performance indexes.
The district as a whole exceeded all targets of the state accountability system and is expected to earn a rating of Met Standard this year.
"As we look to a new school year, we continue to work together to make us the best urban school district in the country," said AISD Board President Gina Hinojosa.
Additionally, all AISD high schools received a rating of Met Standard or Met Alternative Education Accountability Standard.
Superintendent Paul Cruz said the ratings reflect the hard work of students and staff throughout the district.
"This shows that our new academic programs are paying off. We are excited to know all of our AISD high schools and almost all of our schools overall met TEA's standards this year," Cruz said. "While we still have improvements to make, we are proud of our students and staff."
A New Chapter
In the first year of operation, both Bertha Sadler Means Young Women's Leadership Academy and Gus Garcia Young Men's Leadership Academy received ratings of Met Standard. Formerly Pearce and Garcia middle schools, the schools had not met accountability standards for many years prior.
"As a district, we thought big in envisioning new single-gender schools for two of our middle schools, and now that vision is paying off," Cruz said. "These decisions were based on the best interest of students and, with the community's help, they are already seeing successes."
Additionally, four schools that were rated Improvement Required in 2014 met all standards in 2015: Eastside Memorial High School, LBJ Early College High School, Travis High School and Ridgetop Elementary School.
"We're ecstatic about the progress in these schools," said Chief Officer for Teaching and Learning Edmund Oropez. "This is the first time in a long time all of our high schools have met standard."
In 2013, there was a threat of closure for Eastside Memorial High School—formerly Johnston High School—which reopened in 2008. Instead, TEA allowed the school to follow a turnaround plan.
At LBJ High School, a successful Early College High School program helped students earn associate degrees before finishing high school.
Building a Successful Future
Eight schools will receive a preliminary rating of Improvement Required and 10 schools will receive a label of Not Rated.
This year, Dobie, Martin and Mendez middle schools and Brooke, Govalle, Norman, Rodriguez and Widen elementary schools will receive preliminary ratings of Improvement Required.
To ensure students at the elementary school level are getting the support they need to succeed, every elementary school at AISD will have at least one full-time reading specialist on staff beginning this fall.
The district is evaluating the results for all schools to determine if appeals of the Improvement Required ratings are warranted.
Ratings are not official until after the appeals deadline passes and final accountability ratings are released in November.
For more information, visit the TEA's website at http://ritter.tea.state.tx.us/perfreport/account.