AISD Scores TAKS Victories

TAKS ratings improve for many AISD schools

Austin Independent School District is winning the uphill battle with the controversial Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills tests. On Aug. 1, the Texas Education Agency issued its 2008 state accountability ratings, classifying the district as "academically acceptable" for the fifth year in a row and giving high ratings to almost a third of its campuses.

The standards are a moving goal line. Since 2005, the minimum requirements for "acceptable" have increased year after year in four of the five academic categories (mathematics, reading/English language arts, science, and writing; social studies, after rising in 2006 and 2007, has remained static). This year, 34 of the district's 108 regular campuses were classified as "exemplary" or "recognized," the highest standards, compared to 25 last year. This year's group included 13 Title I campuses with high-poverty student populations. Superintendent Pat Forgione praised staff and students at these schools and added, "Poverty does not doom a child to poor academic achievement."

Two specialist secondary campuses – the Liberal Arts and Science Academy and the Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders – got the "exemplary" seal, which could bode well for Forgione's proposals for a young men's academy. In addition, 63 regular campuses reached the acceptable rating, as did all five alternative campuses.

However, 11 schools were classified "unacceptable," meaning they failed to reach one or more of the minimum standards – yet even these results present a mixed picture. While seven schools went into unacceptable status (Becker, Hart, Overton, Travis Heights, and Winn elementaries; Garcia Middle; and Crockett High), five schools came out of unacceptable status (Perez Elementary, Travis High, and Burnet, Mendez, and Martin middle schools). However, several schools remained unacceptable after multiple years: Norman Elementary entered its second year, Reagan High its third, and Pearce Middle its fourth – making that Northeast campus the district's top priority. Johnston High, which failed to reach acceptable for five consecutive years, has already been ordered closed by the TEA and is now being repurposed (see Just Add Students).


AISD TAKS Results

Rating20082007
Exemplary157
Recognized1918
Acceptable6369
Unacceptable1110
Total108104

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

AISD, Austin Independent School District, TAKS, Texas Education Agency, Pat Forgione

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