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Dallas, Fort Worth And Most Texas Schools Meet State Standards

Bill Zeeble

  UPDATE The Texas Education Agency accountability ratings reveal most school districts – 92.5% - achieved the new, acceptable rating “Met Standard.” Both Dallas and Fort Worth Independent School Districts “Met Standard.” there’s still a lot of work to be done.

Dallas school officials say campuses did well, compared to the rest of the state under the new rating system. It’s a pass – fail system, and 191 schools passed. But 34 did not. They’re listed as Needing Improvement. The TEA says it’s a rough, but not exact analogy to Academically Unacceptable, under the old rating system.

Some of those schools are the same, says Ann Smisko, DISD Chief of Academic Improvement and Accountability, but some are new this year. She said in the past, Pinkston and Roosevelt High Schools were unacceptable, and this time, they’re listed as “Improvement Required.”

“Obviously with Pinkston, Roosevelt, some other schools, we’ve known all year we’ve been planning to work strategically in those areas because we know students in those schools need additional help. And teachers and principals are geared up to do that.”

But Smisko says other Dallas schools and scores did well. Scores on the four indexes all beat the state averages. They included measuring student achievement, student progress, closing the performance gap between Anglos and students of color, and post-secondary readiness. Many of Dallas’ highly rated schools under the old system did well under the new one, earning up to 3 Distinction Designations

In Fort Worth, 100 of the district’s 128 schools Met Standard. Twenty-eight “Require Improvement.” But more than 40 schools earned Distinction Designations.

Superintendent Walter Dansby said he was pleased with the benchmarks achieved and the plans in place to help all Fort Worth schools.

Dallas’ Smisko offered a similar comment.

“There is definitely work to be done. We’re pleased but we’re not satisfied.”

These ratings will be evolve over time. Eventually, the TEA will roll out letter grades for schools and districts. 

To see how a district or school did, click here.

Here is the full TEA statement

Bill Zeeble has been a full-time reporter at KERA since 1992, covering everything from medicine to the Mavericks and education to environmental issues.