AUSTIN (AP) - A Texas business leader and activist says the
state's public school accountability system fails students, parents
Bill Hammond, president of the Texas Association of Business,
says the system allowed schools to hide high dropout rates and
still be considered academically acceptable.
Education Commissioner Robert Scott released school
accountability ratings last week. They showed more schools with
higher marks but did not include dropout rates in the calculations.
Scott says schools were given a waiver as they transition into a
new, more accurate method of measuring dropouts.
Hammond is urging state officials to reverse the trend.
Estimates show the state's dropout rate at about a third - and
even higher among black and Hispanic students.
TEA spokeswoman Debbie Ratcliffe says the waiver for counting
dropouts will not be used again next year.
The accountability system is based largely on the state's
standardized test, the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills.
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)