EL PASO, Texas - The Texas Education Agency released the grades for El Paso School Districts Wednesday.
The majority of the schools in El Paso County received the letter grade B.
The Clint Independent School District and the Anthony School District received the lowest scores for public schools.
Clint ISD Superintendent Juan Espinoza told ABC-7 he was happy with the B, "We compete with ourselves, and we are always looking for ways to improve regardless of ratings, whether we get an A or a B."
Espinoza said his schools are still doing great and are in line with all the other districts. He added the graduation rates for his district is about 95%.
Canutillo ISD got the highest letter grade in the county for public schools. They received the news on the first day of their professional development conference. The district was able to share the news with the entire staff.
Associate Superintendent Veronica Vijil for Canutillo ISD, the district with the highest grade in the county, said, "We received this A, and we receive this with a lot of pride, a lot of humility, because we know that there's still work to be done."
Districts are grades on three factors: student achievement, school progress on things like statewide standardized testing and closing achievement gaps affecting low-income students.
The A-F accountability system has been criticized by teacher groups and education advocates who worry that too many districts in poor areas will flunk, stigmatizing their students. Noel Candelaria, president of the Texas State Teachers Association, called the system "a misleading, incomplete way to gauge student success, and it was designed by the governor and the legislative majority to pass the blame for their own failures to children and educators."
But many top Texas conservatives counter that the system encourages academic rigor and is an easy way for parents to understand where districts stand. Its proponents include state Education Commissioner Michael Williams who said in statement: "Texas' new A-F accountability framework will kickstart the conversation around school quality by providing Texans with accurate, accessible, and actionable academic achievement data about schools and districts."
Education Commissioner Mike Morath noted that many A-rated districts were in economically disadvantaged areas, saying in a statement that, "Districts with high levels of poverty who attain this high level of performance are proof positive that poverty is not destiny."
Of the more than 8,700 campuses, including charters schools, rated Wednesday, 7,260, or nearly 96 percent, received "met standards" or completed alternative benchmark ratings.
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