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Number of HISD Exemplary and Recognized Schools Drops in Preliminary TAKS Results

Houston ISD has fewer exemplary and recognized schools, stayed exactly the same in the number of acceptable schools and increased in the number of its unacceptable schools, according to state accountability ratings based on preliminary TAKS results.

Houston ISD Superintendent Terry Grier has called for a news conference at 11 a.m. Thursday to release the district's results from student scores on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills. The Texas Education Agency uses these scores in rating the public schools throughout the state, with "exemplary" being the highest rating.

Hair Balls got an early look at the data developed by HISD and thought our readers would like to get the public information as soon as possible as well.

The district has embarked upon a "transformation," to try to improve standardized tests and college readiness, especially in the low-performing Apollo 20 turnaround schools. Grier has emphasized repeatedly that if teachers and administrators aren't doing their jobs, he'll get rid of them. With his urging, HISD trustees voted this year to add students' test scores to the criteria used to evaluate teacher performance.

Comparing the 2011 preliminary scores to the unofficial 2010 scores without the Texas Projection Measure (which uses a statistical calculation to decide if a student who failed the TAKS is likely to pass it in the future) showed the district went from 56 to 50 exemplary schools, 113 to 95 recognized schools, stayed level at 91 acceptable schools and increased from 17 to 26 unacceptable schools.

The exemplary gap widens if the 2011 preliminary scores are compared to the final 2010 scores with TPM added -- by which 101 schools were determined to be exemplary.

Comparing the district's results to its accountability ratings in 2008 showed growth in exemplary schools from 14 to 19 percent, a decrease in recognized schools from 44 to 36 percent and a decrease in acceptable schools from 38 to 35 percent. There was an increase in unacceptable schools from 4 percent to 10 percent.

Hair Balls will update, of course, with any new information from Thursday's press conference as well as any statements made by the superintendent and his administration.


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