School leaders urge commissioner not to release ratings


HOUSTON (AP) - More than three-dozen superintendents in the Houston area are asking Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath not to issue academic ratings of campuses this year because state standardized test results cannot be trusted. The Houston Chronicle reports that a joint letter from 45 superintendents expresses a series of concerns, including that test results for some students are missing. Morath's office says he still intends to issue school ratings in August. Morath has apologized for the problems, blaming the state's new exam administrator, New Jersey-based Educational Testing Service. Last week he granted some relief by waiving promotion requirements tied to the tests for fifth- and eighth-graders. The ratings tell the public whether each school and district met or failed the state's academic standards. Those that repeatedly fail face takeover or closure.

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