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Austin ISD gets B overall from TEA, sees failing grades at some middle and elementary schools

Friday, August 16, 2019 by KUT News

By Claire McInerny & Jimmy Maas

Report cards are out, and the Austin Independent School District received a preliminary grade of B for the 2018-19 school year from the Texas Education Agency. But the district also received failing grades at elementary and middle schools in the TEA’s first-ever evaluation of individual schools.

Read all of the TEA’s school and district reports.

“Our district’s ‘Recognized’ rating shows the hard work happening in our schools each day to provide opportunities for student success,” Superintendent Paul Cruz said in a statement released by the district. “While we recognize our strengths, we also understand that there is still work to be done in achieving success for all students across AISD.”

All of its high schools received an A or B, while the district says its graduate rate has increased over several years and is currently at 92.3 percent. AISD says for the first time its graduation rate for Hispanic and African American students is above 90 percent.

It was not all good news for the district, however.

Burnet, Dobie, Martin, Mendez, Bertha Sadler Means and Webb middle schools all received “F” rankings, while Bedichek, Covington and Paredes middle schools received D rankings. Only nine of the district’s 18 middle schools received a C or higher.

Andrews and Barrington elementary schools also received F grades.

This letter-grade system was created by state lawmakers two years ago. State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) scores are a key component of how TEA calculates these grades, but the state agency also looks at school progress – how students perform year after year on STAAR and how well they close achievement gaps by improving scores for special education students, students of color and English learners.

The grades out today aren’t final; school districts can still appeal their rankings and the Texas Education Agency will release the final grades in December after the appeals process closes.

This story was produced as part of the Austin Monitor’s reporting partnership with KUT. Photo by Gabriel C. Pérez/KUT. Table courtesy of AISD.

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