No Child Left Behind
(For very long)
Ten AISD schools were classified as "Needs Improvement." That's actually down from last year's 11, but the details are complex. New and repurposed schools are not included in the results and neither are non-Title 1 schools and special campuses. Webb Middle got off the Needs Improvement list from last year, but Norman Elementary and Pearce Middle got on. Burnet, Dobie, and Mendez middle schools made Adequate Yearly Progress status this year, but since a school must show improvement for two consecutive years to get off the Needs Improvement list, they have to wait another year. "It's kind of akin of trying to keep frogs in a wheelbarrow," Welch explained. "It's not like the release of AYP changes our educational mission to improve our schools," he added. "The same people involved in helping Webb Middle School are working with the Reagan community, and we want to replicate that with Pearce, and it doesn't take AYP for us to know that."
To reach AYP status, a district must test 95% of students and achieve pass rates of 60% on state English language exams and 50% on math; it must also reach graduation and attendance targets. Unlike the state system, which depends on absolute metrics, the federal system has a Safe Harbor clause whereby schools get credit for significant improvement. Each yearly stage of failure places additional requirements on the school, from school choice in year one to restructuring in year six. However, the inclusion this year of special-education testing has been criticized by teacher's union Texas American Federation of Teachers as giving "misleading measurements ... causing many more campuses to fail to meet Adequate Yearly Progress."
AISD Campuses Failing to Make AYP
Stage 1: Norman Elementary, Burnet Middle, Pearce Middle
Stage 2: Fulmore Middle, Mendez Middle, Paredes Middle
Stage 3: Dobie Middle
Stage 4: Lanier High
Stage 5: Reagan High, Travis High