Benavides Secondary was also Unacceptable, NTE was Recognized

Sue Fleming, The Freer Press

Two schools in Duval County were rated Academically Unacceptable and one school was rated Recognized by the Texas Education Agency last week.

Among the criteria, the ratings measure TAKS performance and dropout rate.

Freer Junior High and Benavides Secondary were rated Unacceptable. Freer Norman Thomas Elementary was rated Recognized.

Benavides Elementary was rated Acceptable.

New Freer Junior High principal Alfredo Acevedo says everything will be done to reach improvement.

"The focus will be, of course on accomplishing higher TAKS scores," he said.

Programs will be implemented during the school year to help students in social studies, history and math as to bring up TAKS scores, especially in math, he said, noting math was the lowest score on the TAKS test locally.

After-school tutorials will also be offered to students needing extra instruction as well, he added.

"I will work closely with the teachers to see that improvements are made," Acevedo stressed. "We will do everything possible to achieve higher ratings next year."

Superintendent Edgar Camacho agreed with Acevedo, stressing this year's focus will be working harder to obtain higher TAKS scores, especially in math.

Camacho added he is also excited with the knowledge new junior high principal Acevedo is bringing to the school district as well as that of new high school principal Dr. Abe Mendieta.

"We've been fortunate to hire a lot of good teachers, all are certified with the exception of two who are highly, highly qualified," he said. "I have confidence in our teachers - they all take this to heart."

Camacho said benchmark results will be looked at closely and that an enrichment period has been added during the day to help benefit each student as well.

Also on Aug. 21, he said teachers will receive special training through a program developed by Dr. Ruby Payne, designed specifically to help professionals understand the needs of at-risk children.

"We will work together do everything we can to gain improvement," Camacho said.

Benavides Secondary principal Olga Carrillo declined to comment, saying a press release would be issued later. Superintendent Dr. Ignacio Salinas was unavailable for comment.

San Diego High School, Bernarda Jaime Junior High, Anna Norman Collins Primary and Archie Parr Elementary were rated Acceptable.

Freer High School and Ramirez Common School District also received Acceptable ratings.