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MacArthur HS rates “Recognized”

By BOBBY HORN JR.
MacArthur students got a pat on the back last week, earning the Texas Education Agency’s “Recognized” campus designation in the annual Accountability Report.
The report is based on the percent of students who pass the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) test.
To be recognized a campus must not only have 70 percent of students pass all four tests, but break the 70-percent floor in each of the four subgroups: African American, Hispanic, White and Economically Disadvantaged.
From 2006 to 2007, MacArthur improved in the passing rate in every category expect one. The school saw a drop in the percent of White students passing the math portion of the test, although the actual number of students failing each year remained the same. In both years 11 students failed the test. The difference is that in 2006 there were 63 White students who took the test and in 2007 43 students took the test, altering the overall percent.
By test style, MacArthur ranged between 89-96% passage in reading, 92% in social studies, 75-77% in math and 70-71% in science.
Aldine HS is Acceptable
Aldine High, like Aldine the district, received an acceptable ranking this year.

The high school showed marked improvement in nearly every group except for non-Hispanic White students. This ethnic group saws decreases in reading, math and science.
Like MacArthur, the low number of students taking the test created a larger shift in the percentage when one student fails. For example, if one additional White student had passed the reading test then the high school could claim improvement in all four subgroups.
Holding the school back from being a recognized campus (or the 70% floor) were the math and science scores. Math passage rates ranged between 47 and 64%. A score of 45% is required to be acceptable. In science the rates ranged between 52 and 74%. They needed a 40% to be acceptable.
Mixed results for Aldine ISD
As a district, campuses were mixed. Eight made it exemplary. These were Harris, Raymond, Anderson and Thompson Academies and Mendel, Worsham, Olson and Stephens Elementaries.
Of the district’s six middle school’s only Hoffman and Shotwell failed to become recognized.
AISD’s Unacceptable Campuses
Eisenhower’s Ninth Grade Campus was ranked unacceptable. The school saw drops in every subgroup in reading and math, the only tests that the state provided data. The school showed the highest difficulty in the math tests, with passage rates ranging from 37% to 52%. While White students had a 65% passage rate, only 17 students took the test with 11 passing.
African American students showed poorly on the test with 210 of 334 students taking the test failing. Of the 403 Hispanic students taking the math test, 193 failed.
The Hall Academy, which is classified by the state as an Alternative Education Accountability, was also ranked as unacceptable.
Sam Houston unacceptable again
Sam Houston holds a distinction that it would likely not want to brag about.
They have been found academically unacceptable for five straight years, the most in the state.
Sam Houston was one of three campuses the Houston ISD threatened to shut down if it did not shed its unacceptable label. The other two campuses, Kashmere and McReynolds, reached the acceptable level.
District Superintendent Abelardo Saavedra said that Sam Houston had showed improvement and will not be closed down this school year. He noted that if 15 more students had passed the math test the school would have made Acceptable.
Among other Unacceptable Houston ISD campuses were Furr, Lee, Sharpstown and Scarborough High Schools.
Five NFISD schools unacceptable
While North Forest ISD can claim less unacceptable campuses in 2007 than they had in 2006, nearly half of the district is in the state’s bottom category. Despite this, the district as a whole earned an acceptable rating.
Five campuses: Forest Brook and Smiley High, Oak Village and Elmore Middle and Hilliard Elementary were rated academically unacceptable.
Smiley’s troubles
Math and science continue to plague Smiley High. According to the TEA report only 33% of students passed the math portion of the test while 37% passed the science portion of the test.
Despite this, from 2006 to 2007 the student passing rate for math, science and social sciences saw improvements across the board while reading passing fell.
Forest Brook on decline
Forest Brook failed to meet the state minimum on all four tests. Like Smiley, students also had trouble in math and science with an average passing rate of 30 and 38% respectively.
The school also saw drops in every subgroup or each test with the exception of Hispanic students. Hispanic students saw no change in reading, a 12% increase in math and an 11% increase in science.
Tidwell is exemplary
One shining spot in the district is Tidwell Elementary, which is the district’s one exemplary campus.
The passing rate for reading ranged from 80 to 93%. In writing there was an average of 79% to 86% passage. Math saw an average of 775 to 98% and in science between 92 and 99% of students passed the test.
The only drop the school saw was in one subgroup of writing which fell 15% from 2006. The actual figures, however, show that just three of 14 students failed the test.