The Texas Education Agency released accountability ratings for school districts, campuses and charter schools on Thursday afternoon.
In Fort Worth schools, the district as a whole was rated "met standard" but 28 of the district’s 128 campuses were rated “improvement required,” mostly for failing to show academic progress by economically disadvantaged and minority students.
In 2011, the last time the TEA used its previous four-tier system, 22 Fort Worth schools were rated academically unacceptable, the lowest.
This year, only two other districts had more schools in the “improvement required” category than Fort Worth — Houston with 58 and Dallas with 34. San Antonio had 17 schools, and Austin had 11.
“We are obviously pleased with the benchmarks we have achieved and on which we can build,” Fort Worth Superintendent Walter Dansby said in a statement. “We are also excited that the plans we have in place going forward will help all our schools not only meet the standards but excel far beyond those levels.”
Most Fort Worth campuses that require improvement are elementary schools — 19 — and Dunbar was the only high school with the rating. Its rating was attributed to a lack of student progress.
Fort Worth school district spokesman Clint Bond sent this detailed statement about Dunbar's performance:
"This is the measure of student progress which is calculated by measuring a student’s progress between one test and the next. In the case of Dunbar High School students, this number was calculated in part from the math scores comparing the scores of the Algebra I students with their 8th grade math scores. A significant percentage of Dunbar High School’s incoming students have already had Algebra I in middle school. This makes a very small pool of students for calculating this growth measure.
"Because this is the first year for these new standards everyone is learning how to positively empower teachers with the leadership tools needed for success. The data will be analyzed to determine why the current results occurred and what can be done to change those outcomes."
Asked how the school district is working to improve academic performance at Dunbar, Bond wrote:
"We will be working with the principal of that school, reviewing his campus improvement plan as well as the test information just released. Our network specialists will be analyzing the data to formulate a specific campus plan that will support not only the teachers but the students as well.
"Some things the principal is already doing or plans to do include implementing a mentor program for all students using Dunbar alumni an community partners. He is building student leadership so that support and incentive is coming from within the student body. The principal is exploring all ways to engage students in extra-curricular activities for the simple fact that such involvement has been shown to translate into academic achievement. He and District staff will be reviewing the tests released just last week to determine if there is additional professional development required as well as asking teachers what professional development they think they may need to achieve success.
"Lastly, the principal is exploring community partnerships that will help write career oriented curriculum for programs such as engineering and aviation."
Here are more statistics on Fort Worth ISD schools that are rated Met Standard.
- 13 of 14 high schools or 93 percent
- 21 of 26 middle schools or 81 percent
- 63 of 81 elementary schools or 78 percent
- 1 of four special schools, or 25 percent
- 2 of 3 primary schools
Also, 42 Fort Worth ISD schools were awarded special distinctions. Campuses can earn distinction designations for results in reading, math and student progress. Seven Fort Worth campuses earned designations in all three of the possible areas. They are: McLean Middle School, Helbing, North Hi Mount, Oakhurst, Tanglewood and Briscoe elementary schools and Riverside Applied Learning Center.