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NEISD receives rating change

The Texas Education Agency recently granted North East ISD’s rating appeals for four of the district’s schools. The ratings for MacArthur High School, Churchill, Roosevelt, and Montgomery Elementary have been changed from Academically Unacceptable to Acceptable.

Ratings are primarily determined by student academic performance on the TAKS test and the State Developed Alternative Assessment (SDAA) II, an assessment given to special-education students for whom the TAKS is not an appropriate measurement.

A school’s rating can be skewed because it is judged on the lowest-performing student group, even if that group represents only a small percentage of students.

The state allows a district to appeal if test scores from special-education students is the sole reason for not achieving the next higher rating, which was the case in the four NEISD schools.

Groups say no to recruiters at school

The No Child Left Behind Act mandates that high schools receiving federal funding allow military recruiters to access junior and seniors’ personal information through student-directory lists. `See related story, “High school non-confidential,” September 4-10, 2003.`

Parents and students can opt-out, requesting that schools not divulge their information to recruiters, but the exemption isn’t automatic and requires a special form that parents must ask for.

“Our families can never rise from minority status until they are educated,” said Johnny Zepeda of the American G.I. Forum during a press conference. “Sending our children to war in place of a college education is hindering this process.”

New charter school slated for Brooks

A science-and-technology charter school at Brooks City-Base could open as soon as fall 2006 after the State Board of Education voted last week to approve Somerset Academy’s application. `See related story, “Hope floats,” February 5-11, 2005.`

Somerset Academy, Inc., a non-profit organization based in Florida, operates several charter schools there.

The local charter school will initially include grades 6 through 9, with the number of students capped at 100 per grade level. Grades 10-12 are scheduled to be added by 2010. Enrollment is limited to students residing in school districts within a 30-mile radius of Brooks.

Nicole Chavez


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