Schools React to TEA Report Naming Schools Deficient

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The Texas Education Agency's latest report naming more than 800 state schools as deficient has some local schools calling the assessment unfair.

"Disappointment, shock, how can they say that?" Bryan ISD Assistant Superintendent Frances McArthur said.

That was the reaction across the Bryan ISD Administration office, after several of their schools made it on the TEA's naughty list. A list of schools ranked among the lowest in the state.

"They started this program 13 years ago and it's not reflective of what the schools are doing," McArthur said.

McArthur doesn't believe the ratings paint an accurate picture of how the schools are currently performing, since the report keeps low-performing schools on the list for three years.

"Jane Long and Bryan High received gold acknowledgement awards from the state showing they went beyond the state requirements, so it can be misleading," McArthur said.

The TEA reports that the schools that made the list either had half of their students fail the TAKS in any two of the last three years, or had an "academically unacceptable" rating in any one of the last three years.

"How a school performs in a given year should be the thing we look at," Public Education Trainer Mackie Bobo said.

Bobo has served as an educator for 35 years, and trains principals in the state assessment system. She says new standards could compound the rating dilemma.

"Taking students with special needs or who identify in Special Education these kiddos are going to be expected to be main streaming the classroom and take the TAKS test," Bobo said. "So you will have a whole spectrum of students taking the test. Making the overall ratings of the school more challenging."

But for now, some schools feel the current low-rating list their schools are being lumped into is anything but fair.

"In actuality they're outperforming most schools," McArthur said.