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Varnett and each of three campuses meet tough federal academic standards

The Varnett Public School -- and each of its three campuses -- met tougher federal academic standards this year, placing the school system among only 28 percent of Texas districts to do so.

In addition, Varnett's campuses were among 44 percent of those in Texas meeting the 2012 federal benchmark, according to the preliminary data posted by the Texas Education Agency.

Under the No Child Left Behind Act, a federal school accountability system, a school met Adequate Yearly Progress requirements if 87 percent or more students passed the state reading/English language arts test; 83 percent passed the state mathematics test, 95 percent participated in the state testing program and, depending on the grade level, had either a 75 percent graduation rate or a 90 percent attendance rate.

Varnett is a charter school that serves nearly 1,800 open enrollment elementary school students.

Superintendent praises students, staff and parents
“This is exceptional news and means our students did extremely well,” Dr. M. Annette Cluff, Varnett’s superintendent, said Thursday. “That’s quite an accomplishment.” Dr. Cluff also praised the district’s administrators and teachers as well as parents for their committed work in helping students achieve.

The federal requirements are comparable to the “Recognized” or “Exemplary” level of performance in the 2011 state accountability system. The Texas Education Agency said no state standards are being issued this summer because the accountability system must be retooled to use the results of the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR).

According to a story in Thursday's Houston Chronicle, nearly all school districts and some elite schools in the Greater Houston area failed to meet the federal standards, including Houston, Fort Bend, Katy, Alief, Clear Creek, Conroe, Aldine and Cy-Fair.

The No Child Left Behind Act dictates that the passing standards in the federal accountability system must rise to 100 percent on the reading and mathematics tests by 2014. NCLB is the primary statute governing the federal government’s role in education and was established under President George W. Bush to focus on the use of standardized test scores in schools, particularly those serving minority students.

For a complete list of the results of Texas schools and campuses, click here. Varnett is listed as "The Varnett Public School" on Page 194.

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