Principal Ronald Jones

Principal Ronald Jones

Recently the Dallas Morning News published this article that lists Hillcrest High School as one of 35 Dallas schools that received a “academically unacceptable” rating from the state’s Public Education Grant Program.

This rating allows current Hillcrest students to transfer to another school Fall 2013.

Principal Ronald Jones says the rating isn’t what it seems. He says the school was rated as “unacceptable” in 2010 due to low graduation rates in 2009.

Jones referred to the section of the Dallas Morning News’ article that states “Schools on the list had to have 50 percent or more of their students fail Texas’ student achievement exams — either the STAAR or TAKS — in two of the last three years or an “academically unacceptable” rating over the last three years.”

Jones says to pay attention to the second part of the above sentence. He says the school hasn’t had an unacceptable rating for three consistent years, but just at one point during the last three years.

“The stats are from the class of 2009, and now it seems like it’s carrying over forever,” Jones says. “We are currently academically acceptable, we didn’t get a rating for 2011-2012. How our kids do this spring will determine our rating for 2013-2014.”

Jones also notes that he didn’t start at Hillcrest until May 2009 – the end of the academic year. When asked if he was content with being “academically acceptable” Jones said he would love for the school to rate “exemplary.”

It seems that Jones is not alone in defending his school. Recently an alumnus submitted a letter to the editor at the Dallas Morning News where he defends his former school.

“It’s too bad that more space was not given for a broader explanation of the criteria used for the rating and the reason for each Dallas ISD school’s inclusion,” the alumnus says.

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