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Texas Education Agency releases 2013 accountability ratings for school districts

By Jerry Najera, Multimedia Journalist
Published On: Aug 09 2013 02:09:31 PM CDT

The report covered ratings for more 1,200 school districts and 8,000 campuses in Texas. So how did El Paso districts fare?

El Paso, TEXAS -

The Texas Education Agency released 2013 accountability ratings for school districts across the state.

Overall the biggest districts in El Paso fared well.

El Paso, Socorro, Ysleta and Canutillo districts passed the TEA's state requirements. The districts are now rated on 4 categories.

The first would be student achievement. It provides a snapshot across the subjects reading, math, writing, science and social studies. The second rating looks at student progress throughout the years. The third covers closing performance gaps. This would be the academic advancement for the economically disadvantaged and the fourth would look at post-secondary readiness. Are the students provided with a foundation for college, the workforce or the military.

District Superintendent for Ysleta Independent School District Dr. Michael Zolkoski said the new changes in ratings make for better performance in schools.

"I think their trying to improve instruction, we need to get deeper into what were doing," said Zolkoski.

El Paso Independent School District's Assistant Superintendent James Steinhauser agrees and told ABC-7 the ratings are more on a level playing field.

"You have a nice comparison with schools that are similar to you to see to see how well your serving students and that certainly is a nice factor to have in the accountability system," said Steinhauser.

Some districts even got distinguished recognition for the education practices.

"We had eight of our schools that met the criteria for all three of those and we had one or two of our schools that met the criteria," said Steinhauser.

YISD received distinguished recognition as well. Zolkoski attributes it to the staff.

"Our results were great," Zolkoski said.  "We've got great teachers in Ysleta. That's really what the difference is. We had 10 schools that received all three distinguished recognitions, wich is the highest you can get. Two-thirds of our school met standard and got extinguished recognition so we feel good about the first run."

The TEA results are for the districts as a whole but they do break it down by individual schools. Two schools out of EPISD showed needed improvement in student progress.

Those schools are Bonham Elementary School and Basset Middle School.

Steinhauser told ABC-7 they are already working to improve the performance in those schools.

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