TEA Rankings: AISD Improving
Only one campus marked academically unacceptable
By Richard Whittaker, 5:30PM, Fri. Jul. 30, 2010
The Texas Education Agency has released its school accountability ratings, and Austin ISD has managed to pull all but one campus out of the "Academically Unacceptable" range, while increasing the number of "Recognized" and "Exemplary" campuses.
|Year||Exemplary||Recognized||Academically acceptable||Academically unacceptable||Other*||Total|
* includes campuses under Alternative Education Accountability system and not rated, including juvenile justice and state hospital facilities.
Although, as the TEA notes, changes in the accountability system from year to year mean that it's never an exact apples-to-apples comparison, there's a clear trend. AISD has pulled most of its schools out of academically unacceptable status, and has a rising number of exemplary and recognized campuses.
The big news is that the district has gone from eight campuses classified at academically unacceptable last year to only one – Green Tech at Eastside Memorial – in 2010. The weirdness there is that, even though it's technically only in its first year, it inherited the PEIMS number from the interim Eastside Memorial High School at the Johnston Campus, so it's technically in year two classified as AU.
On the positive side, this means that the accountability clock resets on both Reagan High and Pearce Middle schools. Reagan was already on year four of the five year track to closure, while Pearce had been left in an academic limbo, due to Education Commissioner Robert Scott's inexplicable decision to repurpose the campus without giving it a new PEIMS number. However, both will continue to undergo a soft re-purposing as part of the district's college prep program.
The only problem there is that there are a lot of questions about whether these metrics really matter. From the blunt tool of dividing students along a limited set of ethnic lines rather than, say, socioeconomic divisions or language skills, to the more complicated question of whether a predictive performance metric is little more than the academic equivalent of entrail-gazing, these results will leave a lot to be discussed.