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Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD to Appeal 2009 TAKS Rating

Friday, November 20th, 2009

Officials from Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD say they will appeal their 2009 TAKS rating of “Acceptable”. The district was previously rated as “Recognized” by TEA but the rating slipped to “Acceptable” in 2009 due to dropout rates of it’s Hispanic student population. Read the full article from the Dallas Morning News here.

C-FB ISD, like many other school districts in Texas saw their overall rating slip because of a stricter definition of dropout adopted due to new federal standards. In addition to students who leave school early, the dropout definition now includes students who fail the TAKS graduation test and receive their diplomas later than their classmates. While this new definition more accurately reflects the true dropout rate in Texas, it creates a moving target for school districts and causes frustration for parents and educators. For C-FB ISD, the change caused the Hispanic dropout rate to fall from 85% to 83%. This 2% decrease was enough to drop the ISD’s overall rating from Recognized to Acceptable despite the fact that the district maintained and improved their scores in most all other academic areas of the test.

This case, like so many others underscores the need for parents to look beyond the four-tier rating system to see what’s really going on in their kids schools. On the surface, schools in Carrollton and Farmers Branch would appear to be average, but the reality is a school district that is excelling despite the shifting rules of the TAKS.