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8 Austin ISD schools get failing grades under Texas accountability system

The rating system is relatively new.

AUSTIN, Texas — The state's accountability system has given multiple Austin-area schools failing grades, according to the Austin Independent School District.

Eight AISD schools received failing grades, double the number of schools that failed to meet the state's standard last year.

Based on the Texas Education Agency's relatively new rating system, schools and school districts receive an A through F grade based on student performance on the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, how much students improved on the STAAR test, as well as how far apart STAAR test performance is among different groups of students.

AISD received a B. But eight out of the district's 120 rated campuses received Fs. 

Those schools are Andrews Elementary School, Barrington Elementary School, Burnet Middle School, Dobie Middle School, Martin Middle School, Mendez Middle School, Webb Middle School and Sadler Means Young Women’s Leadership Academy.

Sadler Young Women's Leadership Academy failed last year and this year. Mendez Middle School has failed to meet state standard's six years in a row.

Two AISD schools – Widen Elementary School and the Graduation Preparatory Academy at Travis – received a B. AISD said that last year, those schools were rated "improvement required."

A breakdown of how all schools performed can be found on TEA's website.

AISD believes TEA's new accountability system focuses too much on the state's standardized test, the STAAR test.


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"If you look at the accountability system itself, at the elementary and middle school level, it is totally reliant upon STAAR results," said Debrah Ready, executive director for the Office of Accountability and Assessment at AISD.

AISD said the rating for high schools focuses more on college, career and military readiness.

"I think that high schools have a bit of an advantage under this accountability system," Ready said.

AISD todl KVUE its plan to improve the schools is to partner with successful high schools and bring more technology like Chromebooks to students.

"Then the third thing is extending the instructional time in math and language arts classes without losing access to their electives," said Michelle Cavazos, chief officer for academic learning and social-emotional learning with AISD.

If Mendez Middle School in particular does not improve in the next year, the state could close the school.

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