Lexington High School Vaults to Exemplary Status
Lexington ISD has been named a Texas Recognized District for the second year in a row by the Texas Education Agency. Lexington High School vaulted to the agency’s highest rating from Academically Unacceptable to Exemplary in just three years. To earn this laudable rating, at least 90 percent of a high school’s students must pass the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills Test (TAKS), and 95 percent of the students must either graduate on time or continue for a fifth year. It is also notable that Lexington Elementary and Middle School have both earned the Recognized rating for the second year in a row.
“I am overjoyed with our ratings”, Superintendent Frances McArthur stated. “This amazing accomplishment is a reflection of the hard work of my predecessor, Dr. Chuck Holt, our principals, teachers, and students, and I am so proud of them and for them.”
According to Robert Scott, Commissioner of Education, more rigorous standards were implemented this year to determine the state’s Recognized rating. The new standards require 80 percent of all students and each evaluated student group to pass the TAKS, compared to 75 percent in previous years. Additionally, the school or district must achieve an 85 percent completion rate and must now have an annual seventh and eighth-grade dropout rate of 1.8 percent or below. The previous seventh and eighth-grade dropout rate requirement was 2-percent.
Many school districts across the state saw a boost in the number of Exemplary and Recognized campuses because of a formula called the Texas Projection Measure (TPM). The TPM, developed by TEA, predicts whether a student who failed a TAKS test will improve over time and ultimately pass the test. For the second time, those students were counted as passers. “TPM is a complex regression analysis, but I believe it to be reliable,” the commissioner said.
“While some have questioned the use of the TPM, it is the system that was developed by TEA under a mandate from HB3. Consequently, all districts across the state are using it,” commented Dr. McArthur.
Lexington ISD and all three of its campuses also met the 2010 Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) required by the federal No Child Left Behind Act. The AYP measures test performance on TAKS, TAKS-Accommodated, TAKS-Modified and TAKSAlternate, in reading/English Language Arts and math. “While we are thrilled with this rating, our primary focus is on preparing our students for college and to be productive members in the workforce,” Lexington Superintendent, Frances McArthur said. “These ratings will be only one of several measures we will use to evaluate our performance as a district. Our trustees have set high goals for us to increase academic rigor through increased academic offerings and to create and build upon a college-bound culture. It is an exciting time to be in Lexington ISD. Lexington has had a long history of success and I believe our best days are ahead.”