Education

REPORT: El Paso Schools meeting State's education standards

REPORT El Paso Schools meeting States...

EL PASO, Texas - More than 95 percent of Texas school districts, and around 89 percent of individual schools, have met minimum education standards - slight improvements over last year.

The Texas Education Agency announced results Tuesday for 1,203 districts and 8,757 schools. It has frequently overhauled ratings in recent years, meaning lower failure rates.

The report states Ysleta ISD, El Paso ISD, Clint ISD and Socorro ISD met all standards when it came to Student Achievement, Student Progress, Closing Performance Gaps and Postsecondary Readiness.

LINK: Report card for Socorro ISD schools

LINK: Report card for El Paso ISD schools

LINK: Report card for Ysleta ISD schools

LINK: Report card for Clint ISD schools

According to the report, every school in El Paso County met improvement standards, except four schools in EPISD: Canyon Hills, Guillen, and Bassett middles. Those schools are listed under "improvement required."

Kira Jacquez, a former student of Bassett Middle School, said her little brother just graduated from the school. "He was able to learn and keep learning as far as being able to take what he learned and carry it with him onto high school," Jacquez said. 

EPISD Spokesman Gustavo Reveles said while the report shows the vast majority of the schools, including all high schools are performing at appropriate levels, the district has schools "that show the need for improvement." 

"Those are focusing on helping struggling student populations and must report on progress by November, February and June," Reveles said, "We also have provided additional instructional development for those campuses, including a professional service provider to coordinate support and resources." 

Reveles said EPISD is making investments in many of those campuses with programs like New Tech, that are proving successful in improving student outcomes at other district campuses. 

Critics argue using standardized tests to grade schools puts unnecessary pressure on teachers.

Over at Socorro ISD, Assistant Superintendent for Elementary Schools, Lucia Borrego, said teachers are celebrating their hard work.  "The pressure is more for them throughout the school year trying to help all the kiddos," Borrego said.

Borrego said they're now rolling up their sleeves and looking at the data. 

"Meeting the standards is not enough," Borrego said. "What are the kids that we need to reach? So the teachers and administrators, all of us have are sleeves rolled up and are looking at all that data on how we can be even better." 

In 2016, about 94 percent of districts met state standards and almost 89 percent of schools did. The year before that, it was 95.5 percent of districts and 86.5 percent of schools.

Critics also complain that Texas has watered down its accountability ratings too much.

The system was going to be replaced with an academic accountability scale issuing letter grades A to F this year. But state lawmakers delayed implementation until next year for school districts and 2019 for schools.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.


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