New School Ratings Emphasize Minority Progress

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AUSTIN, Texas -- Texas has unveiled a new school accountability rating system that emphasizes closing achievement gaps between low-income and minority students and higher-performing cohorts of young people.

Education Commissioner Michael Williams unveiled the new ratings scheme Tuesday. He has long promised that traditional public schools, charter schools and school districts will be held more accountable for how well their minority students, and those from poor families, perform.

Ratings based on the new system will be first issued Aug. 8.

They also rate schools and districts on the overall achievement of all students, the academic progress students make and how ready they are for college upon graduation.

Williams stopped short of converting the current system to letter grades A through F. But he said discussions will continue on a possible conversion by 2014.