7 schools receive failing grades, parents weighing options

By Layron Livingston - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - bio | email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Some parents said the results are unacceptable and are weighing their options.

"I want the best opportunity for my children," said Willie Morgan.

Morgan said he has three kids who attend Dogan Middle School in Tyler.  The campus was one of three TISD schools listed as unacceptable by the TEA Public Education Grant this week.  It lists campuses across the state that have been rated academically unacceptable, or failed the TAKS test in two of the past three years.

Hogg and Stewart Middle Schools also made the list.

Four Longview ISD schools made the list: Forest Park Magnet, Judson Middle School, Valley View Elementary, and Ware Elementary.

"Certainly, this is not the direction that we want our district to go," said Debbie Kelly, director of secondary education with TISD.  Kelly said for the past two years, students at all three campuses have struggled in science, specifically.

"There are a lot of second language learners, and there are some kids from poverty that have struggled academically all the way through," she said.

Kelly said the curriculum was changed two years ago at every campus.  She said new technology and consultants are helping fill learning gaps.

Some parents are still considering moving their students to better performing schools.

Morgan said he's caught between a rock and a hard place.

"I don't know of any other school that my kids can go to, other than Hogg, and that's on the list too," he said.

For decades, a federal desegregation order has governed which TISD campuses students are assigned to, but the district said the standards differ.

The federal order addresses a demographic issue and allows parents of students who are in the majority to move to campuses where they'd be in the minority.  It's the district's responsibility to provide transportation for those students.

Under the Public Education Grant, parents of Dogan, Hogg, and Stewart students are able to move students to better performing campuses, if there is space available.

Kelly said that option is rarely taken.

"Kids like their schools," she said. "They believe their teachers are doing a good job, and they believe in the curriculum."

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