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 reported 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 the TAPR 2015-2016 glossary:

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;
  • Is in grades 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, or 12 and 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 Texas Education Code Subchapter B, Chapter 39, and 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
  • Is in pre-kindergarten, kindergarten or grades 1, 2, or 3 and 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 TEC §37.006 during the preceding or current school year
  • Has been expelled in accordance with Texas Education Code 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 to have dropped out of school
  • Is a student of limited English proficiency, as defined by Texas Education Code Section 29.052;
  • Is in the custody or care of the Department of Protective and Regulatory 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. Code 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, or foster group home.

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:

English

To meet the college-ready criteria for English/language arts, a student must receive at least a score of 351 on the English/Language Arts TSIA test, or at least a 500 on critical reading and at least 1070 total on the SAT or at least a 19 on English and at least a 23 composite score on the ACT.

Math

To meet the college-ready criteria for math, a student must receive at least a 350 on the TSIA mathematics test, or at least 500 on math and at least 1070 total on the SAT or at least 19 on math and at least a 23 composite score on the ACT.

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 2011–12. They are followed through their expected graduation with the Class of 2015.

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, 2015, for the 2011–12 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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