Jennifer Wilson's article on TEA ratings ("Ratings dishearten educators") in this morning's AG-R is fine as far as it goes. But it's also way locally focused and doesn't really address the larger problem.
Here's the gist:
Many Panhandle school districts saw their accountability ratings dip in 2005, according to data from the Texas Education Agency.
Educators say difficult math and science Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills tests, combined with tougher test standards, caused the drops.
The trend also held true for much of the state.
Wilson then goes on to report the ratings of some local districts and the reactions of their administrations. Which is all very interesting.
The irony is that although Wilson work so hard calling up all those people, she could have improved her reporting without working so hard.
It would have been nice, for example, to have read that 94 schools were rated unacceptable in 2004, and that number increased to 375 in 2005. The number of unacceptable schools quadrupled. That's news.
Of course, it also raises a lot of questions about the success and motivations of the Bush-led "reforms" in Texas-- reforms that have now been instituted nationally with No Child Left Behind.
So, Jen, you've written half a good article. When do we get to read the other half?