Texas schools with high dropouts get a break in state rankings

Terrence Stutz:

Texas schools with student dropout problems are getting a break in the state’s performance ratings this year – a move likely to spare dozens of school districts and campuses from being slapped with “academically unacceptable” ratings.
State Education Commissioner Robert Scott has decided to excuse schools that fail to meet minimum criteria under the new federal definition for dropouts as long as their passing rates for all student groups on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills are satisfactory.
The decision means that no school district or campus can receive an unacceptable rating solely for dropout or student completion rates that fall short of the federal standards.
Those standards basically require a high school completion rate of at least 75 percent and an annual dropout rate of no more than 1 percent of the students in grades 7 and 8. The current completion rate refers to the percentage of ninth graders from five years ago who graduated in the Class of 2007.