Where does the data come from?

Most of the data is sourced from the Texas Education Agency’s annual Texas Academic Performance Report. We report all data as it’s released and labeled by the TEA unless otherwise specified.

We also use TEA’s geographic data to map districts and campuses. Please note that the district’s shapefiles are approximate and should be used for general information, not for determining district affiliation.

Superintendents, principals, and campus and district contact are provided via AskTED.

Can I download it?

What does “at risk” mean?

TEA presents “at risk” as the percentage of students identified as being at risk of dropping out of school. According to state statutes:

State law defines a student as being at risk of dropping out of school if he or she is under 26 years of age and:

  • Was not advanced from one grade level to the next for one or more school years;
  • If the student is in grade 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, or 12, did not maintain an average equivalent to 70 on a scale of 100 in two or more subjects in the foundation curriculum during a semester in the preceding or current school year or is not maintaining such an average in two or more subjects in the foundation curriculum in the current semester;
  • Did not perform satisfactorily on an assessment instrument administered to the student under Subchapter B, Chapter 39, and who has not in the previous or current school year subsequently performed on that instrument or another appropriate instrument at a level equal to at least 110 percent of the level of satisfactory performance on that instrument;
  • If the student is in prekindergarten, kindergarten, or grade 1, 2, or 3, did not perform satisfactorily on a readiness test or assessment instrument administered during the current school year;
  • Is pregnant or is a parent;
  • Has been placed in an alternative education program in accordance with Section 37.006 during the preceding or current school year;
  • Has been expelled in accordance with Section 37.007 during the preceding or current school year;
  • Is currently on parole, probation, deferred prosecution, or other conditional release;
  • Was previously reported through the Public Education Information Management System (PEIMS) to have dropped out of school;
  • Is a student of limited English proficiency, as defined by Section 29.052;
  • Is in the custody or care of the Department of Family and Protective Services or has, during the current school year, been referred to the department by a school official, officer of the juvenile court, or law enforcement official;
  • Is homeless, as defined by 42 U.S.C. Section 11302, and its subsequent amendments;
  • Resided in the preceding school year or resides in the current school year in a residential placement facility in the district, including a detention facility, substance abuse treatment facility, emergency shelter, psychiatric hospital, halfway house, cottage home operation, specialized child-care home, or general residential operation.

What does “Masked” mean?

Some statistics are hidden by TEA because it could make it possible to identify a student. Learn more about the Texas Academic Performance Report’s masking rules here.

What is a “college-ready graduate?”

College-ready graduates are defined by the TEA as the percentage of graduates who meet or exceed the college-ready criteria on the Texas Success Initiative Assessment (TSIA) test, the SAT test or the ACT test. Criteria for each are as follows:

Reading

To meet the college-ready criteria for reading, a student must receive at least a score of 351 on the reading TSIA test, at least a 480 on evidence-based reading and writing (EBRW) SAT, at least a 19 on English and at least a 23 composite score on the ACT, or complete and earn credit for a English/language arts college prep course.

Math

To meet the college-ready criteria for math, a student must receive at least a 350 on the TSIA mathematics test, at least a 530 on the mathematics SAT, at least 19 on math and at least a 23 composite score on the ACT, or complete and earn credit for a mathematics college prep course.

More information can be found in the 2017-2018 TAPR glossary.

How is a four-year graduation rate defined?

TEA refers to a four-year graduation rate as a four-year longitudinal rate. This measures the status of a group of students, or cohort, after four years in high school. For this rate, the cohort consists of students who first attended ninth grade in 2013–14. They are followed through their expected graduation with the Class of 2017.

The four-year-graduation rate as reported in the Texas Public Schools Explorer is the percentage of students who received their high school diploma on time (in four years) or earlier — by Aug. 31, 2017, for the 2013–14 cohort.

What is a ‘full-time equivalent’ (FTE) employee?

According to the TEA Glossary of Acronyms, a full-time equivalent refers to a full-time employee. In calculating the number of staff members employed by a district, for example, two half-time employees would equal one full-time equivalent employee.

Why did you make this?

The TEA collects hundreds of metrics about schools, but they are not always very accessible. We created the Texas Public Schools Explorer to make it easier for parents and others to learn more about Texas public schools. We surveyed our readers, parents and other interested parties to learn more about what you’re looking for, and we incorporated that feedback into what you see here.

Did we miss anything? Have more questions? Let us know!

schools-feedback@texastribune.org

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