Major increase in ratings appeals to TEA

– Tougher dropout rules in Texas have resulted in more than twice the number of school districts and campuses appealing their state ratings.

The Texas Education Agency says 180 appeals were filed this year, compared with 83 last year.

The Commerce ISD is currently appealing an academically unacceptable rating due to its dropout rate. The high rate is blamed on a clerical error where a student was inadvertently enrolled at two campuses due to coding issues.

School ratings are based mainly on state test scores and percentages of students who stay in school. Too many dropouts in any demographic group can affect the rating.

The state has expanded its dropout definition. Dropouts now include students who fail the state graduation exam, students still in GED classes and fifth-year high school students who don't enroll within the first month of the school year.