During their Monday evening meeting, the school board with the Austin Independent School District approved plans to improve the city's low performing schools.
According to the Texas Education Agency, LBJ High School is one of 11 Austin schools that did not meet state requirements and is in need of improvements.
Many of the 11 missed the mark by just a few points.
“[The schools'] academics did not meet or exceed expected standards at the pace of expectation of the state,” AISD Superintendent Meria Carstarphen said.
The AISD board approved all of the schools' improvement plans Monday. The plans ranged from the use of tutors to encouraging students to take more concurrent enrollment classes.
“Make sure that these programs are more than programs, that these words of equity and opportunity are more than words, and that we see them actually materialize and manifest themselves on our campuses for every one of our kids,” Ken Zarifis of Education Austin said.
Parents pressured school officials to take a serious look at how individual students make the grade from the start.
Helen Miller watched her kids move through the school system. She believes the problems need to be addressed when the students are younger.
“I’ve seen children from Kindergarten just been pushed through the system along with my children. Something has to change. Something new has to happen here,” she said. “If these children would get that in the elementary school, then we wouldn’t have to worry so much about the middle schools and the high schools being low performing.”
LBJ, Lanier, Travis and Eastside Memorial High schools were all on the list of schools that need to improve.
The district says if the approved plans are followed, changes will occur.
“The idea is that we do the work that we’re supposed to do, we do it well, we do it with high quality and that we make real-time adjustments and changes if needed,” Carstarphen said.
District leaders said nearly half of their 123 schools received some type of academic distinction. The district says it’s appealing some of the 'improvement required' designations.