If you read the Dallas Morning News story about 42 DISD campuses named in the “Worst Schools in Texas” list, you probably scrolled down to see Franklin Middle School and Hillcrest High School mentioned amongst the masses. Well, it’s not as bad as it seems.
I did a little searching around and found this document, which shows Franklin and Hillcrest are on this infamous list for past transgressions. Schools are put here for low test scores (less than 60 percent passing in Math, for example) or for an ‘unacceptable’ rating any year since 2008.
Franklin earned an ‘academically acceptable’ rating in 2010, but it’s 2009 ‘unacceptable’ rating sticks around for three years. For the purposes of this list, anyway. Hillcrest was deemed ‘unacceptable’ in 2010, so it will be considered one of the state’s “worst schools” until 2012, future performance notwithstanding.
The significance? Students who attend schools on this list are eligible to transfer to another campus as part of Texas’ Public Education Grant program.
While this careful reading of the fine print doesn’t turn the news from bad to good, at least it puts it into context. There’s nothing new that Franklin or Hillcrest failed at to land on this list. It’s merely a continuation of the sanctions for ‘unacceptable’ schools in the last three years.