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Business experts embrace new Texas school rating system

By Kristen Pope, Reporter, kpope@ktxs.com
Published On: Apr 25 2013 02:11:39 PM CDT
Updated On: Apr 25 2013 08:48:03 AM CDT

ABILENE, Texas -

Changes are coming to the Texas school's rating system.

The current four-tiered rating system, which is scaled from "exemplary to academically unacceptable," is being adjusted to a three-tiered system that ranges from "met standard” to “improvement required."

The change is part of an overhaul that Texas Education Commissioner Michael Williams is rolling out that go into effect on Aug. 8.

School district performance influences decisions from home buyers and businesses. One local real estate expert said it's actually going to help the market.

"We're looking forward to the simplified rating system that's currently being discussed at the legislature and especially House Bill 5 that would do a very simple ranking in allow consumers a better way to judge public education," said Dave Dalzell of Dalzell Realtors.

Williams said he's trying to close the gap between low income and minority students and higher achieving students, one of the categories that hits Abilene ISD hard.

"A very small percentage population that may not test as well can ruin the rating of the whole school system or that particular school and that's not really fair," Dalzell said.

In a statement, the Development Corporation of Abilene said the ratings change likely won’t be an issue to Abilene's potential. They are more concerned with making career and technical jobs available. The DCOA also said the No. 1 concern of industrial and manufacturing business coming to a city is a skilled workforce.