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Amarillo Sunday News Globe Newspaper Archives Dec 19 1999, Page 3

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Amarillo Sunday News Globe (Newspaper) - December 19, 1999, Amarillo, Texas Critics rip charter school test scores Amarillo sunday new Globe d.r�mh., 19,1999 34 Dallas apr standardized testing scores have shown that students in the states Independent Char ter schools arc failing the exam in much greater numbers than those attending Public schools education officials said. The results from Texas assessment of academic skills testing has fuelled critics claims the state has rushed too quickly into charter schools. Meanwhile charter school supporters including gov. George w. Bush a insist the schools must be Given time to establish themselves according to the Dallas morning news. A this is a program that does no to lend itself to instant evaluation a said Senate education committee chairman Teel Bivins a Amarillo a longtime supporter of charter schools. A it will take the Texas education Agency said of the 63 charter schools that tested students in the Spring the median Texas i Aas passing rate last year was 45 percent. That compares to an Overall passing rate of 78.3 percent for All Public school students according to the newspaper. Moreover a majority of charter schools a 34 a had failure rates of More than 50 percent on the tags. At 15 schools More than 75 percent of the students who were tested failed. Charter schools arc publicly funded but operate independently of school districts and arc exempt from Many state rules such As class size limits. They generally accept students Amarillo Railroad museum regardless of where they live. Ii you look at their test scores charter schools have not done Well in Texas a said Rinc Lara of the Texas federation of teachers which supported creation of the program in 1995 but opposed its expansion two years ago. A they have not lived up to expectations and that is partly the fault of the charter schools a Lara said. But Bivins insisted charter schools need More time to work. He said Many charter schools have a Large percentage of students who were considered a at risk of dropping out when they were in Public schools. Others did enrol in charter schools after dropping out of conventional schools. Patsy o Neill executive director of the charter school resource Center of Texas said the student test scores done to reflect the Success Many of the charter schools have had. 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