Hillcrest, Noonan, Schallert rated Recognized campuses

Staff Report, Alice Echo-News Journal

Annual academic ratings were released Wednesday by the Texas Education Agency, and Alice High School received an Unacceptable designation.

The high school wasn't alone in failing to meet standards, Premont High School and Ben Bolt High School were also rated Academically Unacceptable.

According to the TEA, because of the five percent increase in ratings standards on TAKS, more schools and districts received the lowest rating.

This year, 288 schools, or 3.6 percent of the campuses, received a rating of Academically Unacceptable. There were about 179,000 students enrolled in these schools.

In 2006, there were 267 schools rated Academically Unacceptable.

The three most common reasons for an Academically Unacceptable rating for campuses were: failing TAKS science only (65 schools); failing mathematics only (40 schools); and failing mathematics and science (21 schools).

There was some positive news for Alice ISD Hillcrest, Schallert and Noonan elementary schools were Recognized by the state.

All other Alice ISD campuses were rated Academically Acceptable. On a whole, the district was rated Academically Acceptable as well.

In the area, Orange Grove ISD saw three of its campuses rated Recognized - Orange Grove Junior High, Primary and Intermediate campuses. The high school was Academically Acceptable.

In the area, Benavides Secondary School was rated Academically Unacceptable, as was Freer Junior High School.

Freer's Norman Thomas Elementary School was rated Academically Recognized.

All San Diego ISD campuses were rated Academically Acceptable by TEA, as were Agua Dulce schools.

There were no Exemplary campuses in Jim Wells or Duval counties.

Ratings are based on student performance on the TAKS and the State Developed Alternative Assessment II (SDAA II), dropout rates and completion rates.

To achieve the Recognized rating, 75 percent of the total student body and each of the student groups - white, Hispanic, African American and economically disadvantaged - had to pass all TAKS subjects.

In 2006, the standard was 70 percent.

Schools and districts achieving this sought-after rating also had to have 70 percent or more of those who took the SDAA II pass that exam.

The rating category of Academically Acceptable requires a school or district meet the following standards:

at least 65 percent of the tested students passed English language arts/reading, writing, and the social studies TAKS tests; at least 45 percent of the tested students passed the TAKS mathematics exam; at least 40 percent of the tested students passed the TAKS science test; at least 50 percent of the SDAA II tests taken were passed; at least 75 percent of the Class of 2006 graduated in four years or continued school; no more than 1 percent of the students in the seventh and eighth grades dropped out in one year.