Texas Education

Blog on Texas Education

Texas waives penalty for schools with high drop out rates

Posted by Texas Education on July 24, 2008

I’m sorry, I’m all for our schools getting a break, ie: why I’m here. BUT, I’m also a realist, and I’m also for our schools being held accountable. Yes, I normally side with the schools, raw deals from the Lege, etc. But I’m not for them getting away with corruption, greed or laziness. This smacks of letting schools off the hook. This is how we get into some of the messes we are into. Letting things…slide. I’m hearing mixed signals here. I say to Commissioner Scott, stand up, keep schools accountable. Maybe I’m getting tougher in my old age, I don’t know. for full story

For the second year in a row, Texas schools with high dropout rates will escape landing on the state’s dreaded unacceptable list thanks to a free pass from state Education Commissioner Robert Scott.

Prompted by nervous school leaders, Scott said he is giving districts another year to adjust to the state’s tougher dropout standard before labeling them “academically unacceptable” for falling short.

Scott’s waiver — which pleased some school superintendents — prompted frustration Wednesday from the state’s two key education lawmakers, who said districts need to be held accountable for dropouts.

“I’m disappointed,” said Sen. Florence Shapiro, R-Plano, who chairs the Senate Education Committee. “Right now we are studying accountability, and as we put a waiver in at this moment in time, we are lessening the rigor and effectiveness of our accountability system.”

I like what Bob Sanborn, a Houston education activist and researcher, says:

“The graduation rate is probably one of the clearest forms of rating performance,” said Sanborn, who heads the non-profit Children at Risk. “And the longer that we hide behind this facade of graduation rates don’t need to count, the longer it will take for us to start reforming our schools.”

Additional reading on this subject, AGENDA FOR STRENGTHENING URBAN EDUCATION

CHILDREN AT RISK has worked to improve graduation rates in Houston and throughout Texas. CHILDREN AT RISK in collaboration with stakeholders at the national, state, and local level share a sense of urgency to address the education crisis that continues to affect Texas. If Texans fail to act and strengthen public education we risk undermining the economic opportunity of the state.

To keep Texas strong, we must take action to reshape our educational system. The goal of CHILDREN AT RISK is straightforward – to create the opportunity for every child to improve the condition of their existence. Through strengthening education, CHILDREN AT RISK strives to cultivate an educated citizenry of self-sufficient individuals who are lifelong learners thriving in the workplace.

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