HISD's Gets On The Rankings Roller Coaster

Oh, HISD. You didn't get to enjoy your "We Got Great Rankings!!" moment for long.

Just a week after crowing about their improvement in the state's assessment of schools, the district got slammed by the feds for failing to make the grade in No Child Left Behind rankings.

The dispute comes down to statistics, racial subgroups and different methods used to measure success. The feds also put an emphasis on drop-out rates, and coming up with a "drop-out rate" is an art that is not very disciplined.

"When you use two different measures of progress, two different sets of standards, and include different assessments, the results are extremely confusing," HISD superintendent Abe Saavedra said. "It does not make sense when schools that receive the state's highest rating receive the federal government's lowest rating and schools that receive the state's lowest rating receive the federal government's highest rating. We have long maintained that these two systems need to be aligned so that there is just one, clearly understood method for determining accountability."

A "clearly understood method" when it comes to public-education statistics? Dream on, brother.

HISD wasn't alone -- Dallas, San Antonio and Austin also failed.

HISD put out a release noting that under the feds' rankings, "even if a school or district meets overall student proficiency in math and reading, each subgroup -- White, Black, Hispanic, Limited English Proficiency students, Students with Disabilities, and Economically Disadvantaged -- must also meet the [the federal] goals."

Almost 90 percent of HISD schools did meet the federal standards, an improvement over last year.

And there were some oddities -- two schools rated "exemplary" by the state were rated as failing by the feds: Challenge Early College High School and TH Rogers Elementary School.

Some of these rankings will change as appeals are made.

For full, searchable results, check out the Texas Education Agency's webpage.

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