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Number Of Failing Texas Schools Nearly Doubles

Empty school desks sit on a lawn. (credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Empty school desks sit on a lawn. (credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

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AUSTIN (AP) — Texas education authorities said the number of schools falling short of minimum standards and placed on the Public Education Grant list doubled from 2012 because of newer, higher standards.

The list released by the Texas Education Agency on Thursday includes a total of 892 schools in 2013, up from 456 in 2012.

TEA spokeswoman DeEtta Culbertson said that, “historically, when changes are made to the accountability system, (the state uses to measure student performance) the number of schools that are included in the list tends to rise.”

Over the years, TEA has added student groups or components to the accountability system. They have also increased the passing grades, Culbertson added. As schools and districts become more familiar with the new system, the number of schools that fail to meet the standard begins to decline.

To be included in the PEG list, at least half of a school*s students have to have failed the accountability tests in two of the three previous years or be rated academically unacceptable in 2011 or “Improvement Required” last year. Those are the lowest categories in the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills and the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness test that was implemented in 2013.

There were no accountability ratings were given in 2012, however can remain up to three years in the list.

When a school is included in the list, its students are allowed to transfer to other campuses and even to different district. Schools receiving incoming students from PEG-list campuses receive 10 percent more funding for each of those students.

The new accountability system was implemented in August 2013, and focuses on overall student achievement and progress as well as how well schools help disadvantaged student groups close the performance gaps. It also measures the level of readiness schools give students for when they enter college or the work force.

(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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