AUSTIN (AP) – Education Commissioner Michael Williams says Texas’ system for rating schools should rely in part on how well districts close achievement gaps between minority and white students.

He says that’s “because it’s just who we are as a state.”

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Williams said Monday that even as the number of black and Hispanic students statewide grows, they continue to struggle more than other kids on standardized tests.

He said the gap “is still larger than I think anybody would want it.”

Schools and districts are now rated according to student performance on standardized tests.

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Williams wants a new rating system based on test scores but also student progress, post-graduation preparedness and progress in closing gaps for minority and economically disadvantaged kids.

He said it’s “a problem that is staring us in the face.”

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