Local schools take a hit

Published 8:09 am Thursday, August 9, 2012

The Texas Education Agency released its Adequate Yearly Progress report Wednesday, and the three largest local school districts did not meet the evaluation standards.

The Port Arthur, Nederland and Port Neches-Groves Independent School Districts all missed the AYP targets, while Bridge City and Sabine Pass qualified.

According to a release from the TEA, 28 percent of the state districts and 44 percent of the state campuses met the AYP standards this year. Those numbers are a dramatic decrease from last year when 50 percent of the districts and 66 percent of the campuses met the requirements, the release said.

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The state-wide decline is due to an increase in the percentage of required passing test scores. The reading requirements rose from 80 percent last year to 87 percent this year, and math requirements rose from 75 percent last year to 83 percent this year, the release said.

The federal No Child Left Behind Act requires a 100 percent passing rate for both subjects in 2014, which means the bar will be quickly raised every year, according to the release.

Administrators from the three school districts that did not meet standards had one common theme in their responses to the results and future expectations: This is unrealistic.

Brenda Duhon, the PN-GISD assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction, said it is difficult for any district to keep pace with the stark year-to-year increases.

“It’s becoming harder and harder to keep meeting the standards,” she said. “The numbers don’t reflect the students or teachers and the work they put in. There’s much more to a well-rounded student than just taking a test.”

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