Monday, August 01, 2005

A preview of coming attractions

As state accountability ratings rise to comply with NCLB, we're going to see a lot of press releases like this one from the Texas Education Agency. A sample:

Higher standards producemore Academically Unacceptable ratings

AUSTIN – The number of Academically Unacceptable schools, districts and charters rose this year as the state implemented tougher standards, but 27.3 percent of campuses and 14.5 percent of districts still managed to achieve an Exemplary or Recognized rating under the more rigorous system, the Texas Education Agency announced today.
The agency released ratings from the state’s standard and alternative accountability procedures for more than 1,200 school districts and charter operators and about 7,900 campuses.

The percentage of schools and districts receiving ratings of Academically Acceptable and Academically Unacceptable increased in 2005, while the percentage of those earning the top two ratings of Exemplary or Recognized fell.

Sixty-one districts – 19 regular school districts and 42 charter operators – received the state’s lowest rating of Academically Unacceptable today under either the standard or alternative accountability rating procedures. That compares to 24 – four regular school districts and 20 charter operators – that received this rating in

Among the state’s 7,908 schools, a total of 364 were rated Academically Unacceptable, up from 95 in 2004.

As the bar rises, so will the number of failing schools. Ironically for some school choice advocates who claim that more choices will improve education, many more charter schools failed than traditional schools:

Among traditional schools, 4.1 percent or 313 campuses received the low rating. Among the state’s charter school campuses, 17.2 percent or 51 campuses were rated Academically Unacceptable.

One out of every six charters was given the lowest rating compared to 1 out of 20 public schools. I'm not anti-school choice (though I am anti-privatization), but this certainly suggests that traditional public schools aren't doing as poorly as many would have us believe.


Blogger kevinsmith5 said...

I will start this comment wiht the preface that I am a public school teacher. I am however also a supporter of the charter school concept. I have several friends who work at charter schools and believe they are doing an excellent job. I think your comments about the poor showing of charter schools in your state may indicate a certain lack of understanding of the populations attracted to charter schools. As charter schools are almost always filled with at risk and ecomnomiclly disadvantaged students. Perhaps a comparision of those schools performance using socio-economic demographics might be a better idea?

8:37 AM  

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