The number of the "worst schools in Texas" is growing rapidly, according to the Texas Education Agency. Last Friday, the TEA released its latest Public Education Grant list reporting that 1,199 schools are underperforming on statewide standardized tests. That number has increased by about a third since last year, when the total was 892 schools.
To be included on the list of worst schools, schools have either received an "Improvement Required" rating from the TEA or have 50 percent or less passing rates for standardized testing in two out of the three past years.
"We didn’t see a lot of change in student performance [on the statewide STAAR exam] this year, and that compounded the number of schools on the list," Debbie Ratcliffe, a TEA spokeswoman, told the Dallas Morning News. "It is taking schools longer to adjust to the revised curriculum standards and the new test than we originally projected."
Eleven Austin ISD schools (out of 124 schools in the district) are on the current list; two less than the previous year. Austin ISD schools on the 2014 PEG list are as follows:
- Burnet Middle School
- Dobie Middle School
- Eastside Memorial at the Johnston
- Lanier High School
- LBJ High School
- Martin Middle School
- Mendez Middle School
- Ridgetop Elementary
- Rodriguez Elementary
- Travis High School
- Widen Elementary
Other Austin-area districts found on the list include Del Valle ISD (two schools) and Manor ISD (four schools). Round Rock ISD, Hays CISD and Elgin ISD each have one school on the list.
The list of worst schools is published in accordance with the Public Education Grant, a program that allows parents to transfer children to another district in the next academic year if the current school falls on the list of low performers. The Dallas Morning News reports that there are more than 736,000 students attending the schools on the list, all of whom would eligible for consideration of a transfer.