Athens Review, Athens, Texas

January 12, 2013

TISD makes TEA list

Agency to allow transfer requests

Joe Elerson
The Athens Review

TRINIDAD — The Texas Education Agency on Friday included Trinidad schools on its list of the lowest-performing in the state.

Trinidad’s inclusion on TEA’s 2013-2014 Public Education Grant List means students can request a transfer to other districts based on TISD’s low performance on state standardized testing.

TISD Superintendent Corey Jenkins said he wasn’t surprised to be included on the list, which he hadn’t seen as of Friday afternoon, but noted it is another obstable the district will work to overcome.

“We have work to do,” Jenkins said. “... We did not get this way overnight and we are not going to get out of this overnight. I am confident that we are headed in the right direction.”

TEA said 456 schools across the state made the list. Schools in 2012 were included if their campuses had 50 percent or less pass the TAKS/STAAR test in 2010, 2011 or 2012, or if the campus was rated academically unacceptable in 2010 or 2011. No state accountability ratings were issued in 2012.

TISD was deemed academically unacceptable for the second straight year by the TEA in 2011. The district was listed as “Accredited-Warned” for 2011-2012, meaning that a district exhibits deficiencies in performance that, if not addressed, will lead to probation or revocation of the district’s accreditation status.

Parents of students are allowed to apply for a transfer to another campus in any other school district for the 2013-14 school year, according to the Texas Education Agency website.

It is then up to the school district to which the student is applying to decide to accept or reject the application, provided it doesn’t discriminate in the process.

Jenkins said starting with himself, the administration and the faculty will begin to find additional ways to help educate students and find ways to get off the list.

“We are going to continue to hold our feet to the fire — and if that means getting more personnel or coming up with ingenious ways to gain funding for personnel, then we are going to do it,” Jenkins said.

Trinidad, one of the smaller school districts in the state of Texas, had 152 total students in 2011, according to TEA. The high school had an average enrollment of 45 students in 2012.