Texas district spearheads successful turnaround
- The Premont Independent School District in South Texas was in danger of losing its accreditation in 2011, but a property tax hike and a university partnership have helped turn it around in the years since.
- The Texas Tribune reports local residents voted overwhelmingly for a 13-cent tax increase (per $100 of assessed property value), and $315,000 in donations flowed in from local foundations, businesses and other donors, helping right the district’s finances.
- Texas A&M University also stepped in with teacher training on curriculum and instruction as well as its own grant-writing prowess, bringing in $8 million to hire five master teachers to further support rookie educators.
When No Child Left Behind passed, it set out an ambitious — and unrealistic — timeline for school improvement that would have every student in the country meeting proficiency standards by 2014. Now that the Every Student Succeeds Act has replaced it as the nation’s education law, every school is no longer failing by default. But states are now developing school quality metrics to maintain some level of accountability.
While they will move away from the simplistic, test-based accountability that defined NCLB, standardized test scores will remain an important metric for identifying quality. The question is what else will factor in? U.S. Department of Education officials continue to work on rules that will guide state implementation, and education officials across the country are lobbying for the flexibility they say was promised in the letter of the law.
- The Texas Tribune How a South Texas School District Spurred a Massive Turnaround
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