School testing results issued

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Three area districts fail to meet federal yearly accountability standards

The Denton, Lake Dallas and Ponder school districts and four area charter schools were among the districts and charter schools failing to meet Adequate Yearly Progress targets, according to results released Wednesday by the Texas Education Agency.

The federal school accountability system this year required that a school or district have 87 percent or more of students passing the state English/language arts exam; 83 percent passing the state math test; and 95 percent participating in the state testing program.

TEA officials said that depending on grade level, a district or school also either had to have a 75 percent graduation rate or 90 percent attendance rate.

Based on the No Child Left Behind Act, the passing standards for the AYP will increase to 100 percent on mathematics and reading exams by 2014.

AYP results are the only accountability ratings Texas schools will receive this year as the state creates a new accountability system based on the new standardized test, the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness or STAAR.

According to the TEA, the Denton school district failed to meet this year’s AYP targets because of its students’ performance in math and reading. Of the district’s more than 30 campuses, seven secondary schools and eight elementary schools failed to meet the target because of either math or reading performances or both.

Denton Superintendent Jamie Wilson said the federal accountability system under No Child Left Behind standards is “flawed” and needs to be “reauthorized.” Students’ performance on exams continues to improve, yet the exams are becoming more rigorous with higher standards.

“For the most part, all of our students or all of our [sub] groups performed at or above their performance last year on a more rigorous test,” Wilson said of student performances this year.

The district is doing well in many areas and continues to struggle in others, he said.

He said the district will continue to look at how it can improve.

Results show Lake Dallas also failed to meet AYP targets because of reading and math performance. Lake Dallas High School failed to meet standards based on its math scores and Lake Dallas Elementary School did not meet standards based on reading performance, according to results.

The Ponder school district overall, including Ponder High School, failed to meet AYP targets because of math performances.

Officials with the Lake Dallas and Ponder school districts did not return messages Wednesday for comment.

According to the TEA, districts or schools failing to meet AYP standards for two or more years for the same reason and who receive Title I funding, money used for educating low-income students, “move into the school improvement program and are subject to sanctions.”

TEA reports that a majority of Title I districts and schools — 285 districts or 56 percent, and 976 schools or 84 percent — that missed AYP standards are in Stage 1 and must create improvement plans and offer students the opportunity to transfer to a campus that meets AYP standards. Schools in stages 2 to 5 face stricter sanctions.

The TEA reports that 44 percent of Texas schools met AYP standards this year.

The agency reports that many districts and charter schools failed to meet this year’s AYP requirements “due to a substantial increase in requirements.” A total of 876 districts and 4,080 campuses did not meet AYP targets, said DeEtta Culbertson, a TEA spokeswoman.

Last year, 603 districts and 2,190 campuses missed AYP targets. The number of schools missing AYP targets this year compared to 2011 nearly doubled, Culbertson said.

Wednesday’s results are preliminary and will be finalized in December, she said.

“The districts do have a chance to appeal, and that deadline is Sept. 7,” she said.

Last year 61 school districts appealed AYP results for a combined total of 121 appeals filed by districts and schools, and 58 appeals were granted, Culbertson said.

BRITNEY TABOR can be reached at 940-566-6876. Her e-mail address is btabor@dentonrc.com .

AYP EVALUATIONS

Here’s a look at how area school districts and charter schools fared in Adequate Yearly Progress evaluations this year.

•  Argyle ISD

meets AYP

•  Aubrey ISD

meets AYP

•  Denton ISD

missed AYP — Stage 1

•  Krum ISD

meets AYP

•  Lake Dallas ISD

missed AYP — Stage 1

•  Pilot Point ISD

meets AYP

•  Ponder ISD

missed AYP — Stage 1

•  Sanger ISD

meets AYP

•  Texas Education Centers-Denton

missed AYP — Stage 1

•  Texas Education Centers-Aubrey

missed AYP

•  The Legends Academy

missed AYP

•  Winfree Academy-Denton

missed AYP


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