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Dallas, Fort Worth School District Grades Steady But 'F' Campuses Increase

Just as school is kicking off across the state, school districts and individual campuses in Texas got their report cards Thursday. Education leaders released ratings using an A through F grading scale.  Dallas got a B; Fort Worth got C — and both districts saw more failing schools.

Last year, Dallas ISD had four campuses that got an F. This year, it’s eight. The results disappointed Dallas Superintendent Michael Hinojosa.

“At some of these schools that regressed, it was all about the talent," Hinojosa said. "They lost higher performing teachers. They had less teachers that were as successful.”

Hinojosa says his staff is working to fix the failing schools. Districtwide, Dallas’ grade of B rose from 81 last year to an 86. Results were similar in Fort Worth ISD. Last year’s C grade of 77.8 inched to a 79, just missing a B. The number of failing schools rose from 11 last year to 18.

“Sometimes in the urban settings we have young, new second-career teachers who haven’t had the support they need," said District spokesperson Clint Bond. "And we are going to double our efforts of providing them the support and we’re doing that through traditional training that’s much more user-friendly." 

Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath travelled the state to talk about the grading system. He said the state’s public education system is improving,  schools are teaching an ever growing number of low-income children, and repeated his mantra, saying poverty is not destiny. Speaking in San Antonio, he invited parents to go online to get the latest dataon schools and districts.  

"Every piece of information is at your fingertips so the teachers and administrators and superintendent and board members can build action plans from this," Morath said. "I can see how each group of students is performing and whether they are meeting our targets or not meeting targets."

Morath says this online information gives parents valuable information on any district and school they’re looking at.

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