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Longview ISD, other area schools don't meet feds' standards

By Christina Lane
Aug. 4, 2011 at 11 p.m.

Longview ISD and several other area districts failed to meet federal accountability standards, according to data released Thursday.

All Longview ISD campuses that were rated on the Adequate Yearly Progress standards, except Hudson PEP Elementary School, failed to make the grade. That means the district will face sanctions, including state monitoring, at Title 1, or low-income, funded campuses.

Longview ISD was not alone in East Texas - Pine Tree, Hallsville, Kilgore, Marshall, Gilmer and Henderson each had campuses that missed AYP or missed AYP at the district level.

Adam Holland, spokesman for Longview ISD, said the district's unfavorable ratings were disappointing. "It basically means we need to work harder," he said.

Longview ISD, Longview High School and the three middle schools missed federal standards. No elementary schools besides Hudson PEP were evaluated because the district redrew attendance zones and the campuses had new student populations.

At Pine Tree ISD, new Superintendent T.J. Farler said the district was pleased with its gains at the high school and in mathematics at other campuses.

"But we will continue to work diligently as a district to help each of our students excel at both state and federal achievement standards," she said. "Our main concern isn't the label that a test places on our work. Our main concern is doing what we have to do for all students to be successful."

Statewide, only 50 percent of schools met Adequate Yearly Progress compared with 78 percent of schools in 2010, according to the Texas Education Agency. The federal accountability standards required 80 percent of students in a district or campus to pass the reading or English language arts Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills and 75 percent of students to pass the math TAKS.

The federal government bases its Title I funding, which targets low-income students, on the report. Under the federal system, schools or districts face sanctions if they miss AYP for two or more years and receive Title I funds.

Longview High School and Foster Middle School are entering stage two sanction requirements, while Forest Park Middle School is entering stage three sanction requirements. The sanctions call for campus monitoring throughout the year.

With AYP standards increasing annually, it will become even more difficult for schools to make the grade. The federal program calls for a 100 percent passing rate on math and reading by 2013-14.

Marshall ISD is facing federal corrective action after being placed in the third stage of improvement intervention for failing to meet the standards since 2007.

On the campus level, Marshall High School and Marshall Junior High are in stage two of not meeting the AYP.

Campuses under stage two are closely monitored by the state and required to provide additional supplemental educational services for students.

David Crockett Elementary and William B. Travis Elementary are in stage one for their performances in mathematics and reading.

Under stage one, principals and administrators are required to construct a campus improvement plan, as well as send out letters to parents notifying them of the school's status.

- East Texas Community Newspapers reporter Hannah DeClerk contributed to this report.



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