Number of Dallas ISD schools rated Exemplary by the state has quadrupled since 2007

Dallas ISD has more than quadrupled the number of schools receiving the states top ranking of Exemplary over the last four years according to ratings released by the Texas Education Agency on July 30.
Sixty-three Dallas ISD schools are now rated Exemplary, up from 14 in 2007. Forty-six schools were rated Exemplary last year. The ratings are based in large part on the 2010 administration of the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills.
The number of district campuses rated Recognized fell from 82 to 62, in large part because of the gain in schools that received the Exemplary rating and because the standard to become Recognized was increased from 75 percent of students passing to 80 percent. The total number of Dallas ISD campuses to receive the states top two ratings is 125, or 54 percent of the schools.
«Dallas ISD students saw gains in most subjects on this years TAKS test,» Superintendent of Schools Michael Hinojosa said. «We still recognize that TAKS represents the floor of academic achievement and not the ceiling, so it would be entirely inappropriate to declare victory. Still, the improvement is encouraging and will give school staff throughout the district a roadmap for continued growth.»
The number of Academically Unacceptable campuses dropped from 21 to 15 this year. The Unacceptable rating of eight of the schools was based solely on their completion, or dropout, rate. Four high schools that had received the states Unacceptable rating for four consecutive years—Justin F. Kimball, L.G. Pinkston, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Seagoville—earned the states Acceptable rating this year, due largely to double-digit gains in both science and mathematics seen in many high schools throughout the district. Eleven other schools are no longer rated Academically Unacceptable.
«Staff members at these schools have worked very hard to shed the Unacceptable rating and their work has been rewarded,» said Hinojosa. «There are still plans to move forward with creating satellite magnets at the four high school campuses, which we think will only strengthen these schools. Again, there is still work to be done, but the progress is significant for each of these campuses.»
Hinojosa said he is especially pleased to see so many comprehensive secondary schools receive the states top ratings. E.D. Walker and W.E. Greiner (which has a limited number of Exploratory Arts Academy students) middle schools earned the states Exemplary rating. W.T. White High School and W.H. Gaston, Thomas C. Marsh, L.V. Stockard, Raúl Quintanilla Sr., and Hector P. Garcia middle schools earned the states Recognized rating.
As a result of recent legislation, the Texas Projection Model was used again this year in the accountability rating to serve as an indicator of how students performance at the end of a school year positions a student to meet the standard in future grades. TEA has followed the national trend that provides a method for measuring student improvement in the federal accountability system.
«While Dallas had a number of schools with ratings that were enhanced by TPM, it should not minimize the fact that progress is being made on those campuses,» Hinojosa said.