Naked City

Charter Schools Flunk Out

Last week the state commissioner of education, Felipe Alanis, ordered that five of the state's "low-performing" charter schools, serving about 2,000 students in all, be closed at the end of the school year. These are the first charter schools to be closed by the Texas Education Agency for academic reasons, although others have been shut down after financial irregularities.

The TEA's action came after the five schools -- two in Houston, one in Dallas, and two in the Rio Grande Valley -- got the agency's lowest performance ratings (based on attendance, dropout rates, and test scores) for three consecutive years. State law allows Alanis to close charter schools after two years of low performance. "At some point, enough is enough," said TEA spokeswoman Debbie Graves Ratcliffe. The schools may appeal, but the TEA says it would then likely move to revoke the schools' charters.

Five additional charter schools with three straight years of low performance -- including Austin's Eden Park Academy and Texas Empowerment Academy -- will be sanctioned but not closed, because according to the TEA they are improving or have other extenuating circumstances. Of approximately 200 Texas charter schools, 10 have been ranked as low-performing for three straight years; of the state's 7,519 traditional schools, only two have been low-performing for three straight years.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More by Michael King
High (Relative) Turnout in Early Voting as Election Day Approaches
Election Early Update
Confusion over mail ballots lingers

July 7, 2020

Can’t Vote by Mail Now? Perhaps November.
Can’t Vote by Mail Now? Perhaps November.
Courts have time – if not the will – to expand VBM before general election

June 30, 2020

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle