Critics Pan TEA’s Preliminary School Ratings

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AUSTIN (AP) – Public schools across Texas have gotten preliminary A to F grades under a still-being-overhauled academic accountability system.

But education groups say the incomplete results already show the new scale stigmatizes classrooms in poor and heavily minority areas.

The Texas Education Agency released grades for more than 1,000 school districts Friday. There were four categories: student achievement, student progress, college readiness and closing achievement gaps between minority students and whites.

But the agency didn’t provide overall grades because results weren’t ready for a fifth category measuring “community and student engagement.”

Education Commissioner Mike Morath cautioned that the grades weren’t official and wouldn’t be until August 2018.

The initial results nonetheless reverberated statewide. Critics say that issuing failing grades is unfair to schools in economically challenged or heavily minority parts of Texas.

(© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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