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Three Tyler schools miss federal standard

POSTED: Friday, August 7, 2009 - 5:15pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, March 17, 2010 - 12:03pm

TYLER — Report cards are out for East Texas schools. The federal government says several are missing the mark and, for some, it's their second time around.

Three schools in TISD have failed the national standard this time around. While it's down by half from last year, some schools are still at risk for losing federal money.

Robyn Kroell and her kids are doing some shopping before school starts. Her children are going to private school because she says TISD is not "making the grade."

"The standards need to be higher," she said.

The Feds agree, for the second time in two years John Tyler High School and Stewart Middle School have not met federal standards.

"The federal government has to give us the funds that we need," Kroell says schools not measuring up need more money to catch up—not be cut.

"We need to look at each child individually and make sure they are making growth and progress," says Kim Tunnel, Curriculm Director at TISD.

The school district says they've made great strides from last year. A new rule giving credit to even some kids who failed the state's TAKS test also helped boost scores this time.

"It's unfortunate that that's the case, but I believe our teachers in the local schools will do everything they can," Kroell said.

Tunnell says math is the biggest problem for kids in sixth and ninth grade, "as kids move from elementary into middle school, it's a big adjustment."

But this year, Dogan Middle School also failed to meet the requirements for both federal and state guidelines.

Tunnel says practices they put in place last year should be helping improve scores. But if those scores don't improve in a few years, federal dollars will be taken away from the schools; sanctions sometimes even include federal control of schools.

Just last week, the state said both Dogan and Hogg Middle Schools in Tyler had "academically unacceptable" ratings.

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