The Texas Educatio Agency released its accountability ratings for Texas public schools recently and McCulloch County schools saw both an increase and decrease in annual ratings. The ratings are determined by attendance figures, dropout rates and the passing rates on the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills exam. The purpose of the ratings is to inform the public on the general performance of public schools using these certain criteria. Brady Independent School District saw the most change from the 2000 accountability ratings. The three eligible campuses in Brady all received different ratings. Brady High School moved up to the exemplary rating; Brady Middle School stayed the same with a recognized rating; and Brady Elementary dropped from a recognized rating to an acceptable rating. “We’re pleased with the overall rating for the district (maintaining the recognized rating),” said Brady ISD Supt. Max Gordon. “As far as the high school receiving an exemplary rating’that is outstanding. We’re very proud of that campus and of the students there. Hopefully that will act as an inspiration for other campuses. We’re not satisfied with the rating for the elementary campus, however. We’re trying to work on certain areas to ensure that the acceptable rating increases.” North Ward was not eligible to be rated because kindergarten and pre-kindergarten students are not required to take the TAAS test. For the second consecutive year, Rochelle ISD received an exemplary rating for the 2000 school year. For the 1998 school year they received a recognized rating. “We were very excited to receive the exemplary rating,” said RISD Supt. Jim Lange. “It’s difficult to keep an exemplary rating.” For four years straight now, the Lohn Independent School District has worked hard to achieve the exemplary rating as well. In fact, the 2000 exemplary rating marks the fifth time in the past six years that Lohn received the highest rating. “We make the exemplary rating a goal of ours each year,” said LISD Supt. Leon Freeman. “We set out to achieve that rating and everyone out here, both teachers and students, understands that.” The accountability ratings will stand for one year at which time the schools will be re-evaluated to determine whether improvements have been made based on the current year’s performance.