NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Many Texas Students "at Risk"

November 8, 1996

Nearly 40 percent of Texas public school students are at risk of school failure or dropping out, according to a report by the Committee on Students of the Texas State Board of Education.

The report identifies 39 percent (nearly 1.5 million) of Texas public school students who don't qualify for special education services but need help beyond regular school programs.

Risk factors for failure by students from pre-kindergarten through sixth grade include unsatisfactory performance on a readiness test at the beginning of the school year or failure to perform adequately on at least one section of the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills exam (a minimum skills test).

Other factors identified in the report are limited proficiency in English or being a victim of abuse.

For students in grade seven through 12, risk factors for dropping out include failure to master current grade level after being held back at least one year in grades one through six.

Other factors are reading or math ability two years below grade level, failing two courses or failing one section on the TAAS exam, pregnancy, parenthood or residence in a treatment facility or shelter.

Source: Associated Press, " Texas Report Counts Kids at Academic Risk," Dallas Morning News, November 8, 1996.


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