Eight schools within AISD considered failing

The Texas Education Agency reports that eight schools within the Austin ISD are considered to be failing under the state's accountability system. But, school officials are learning how to tackle the system and make improvements.

Michaela Robledo is just 12 years old but she's well beyond her years.

"I want to go to UT and I want to be a veterinarian because I love animals," says Michaela Robledo, Martin Middle School student.

She currently attends Martin Middle School, which is one of four schools that worked hard to raise the bar. This year they each met all expectations on the state's accountability system.

"It makes me feel happy now because I'm done with it. It makes me more encouraged to do more," says Robledo.

Teachers explain how this was achieved.

"I think to be an effective teacher, an effective educator, you have to have the students trust you. Of course they have to relate to you in some form and that aspect is overlooked a lot," says Aadrian Pedroza, Martin Middle School teacher.

It was more more than a year in the making.

"We would spend hours planning. What do the kids like? We kind of integrated their culture, their background and integrated it with reading. They really loved what we did in the classroom," says John Neeley, Martin Middle School teacher.

The Texas Education Agency released preliminary ratings on Monday. Austin ISD has 130 schools. Out of those, 113 were rated "met standard" or "met alternative standard."

Those are the highest ratings schools can earn. But, currently eight schools are considered to be failing under the state's system. Superintendent Paul Ruiz says that won't be for long.

"Focus on literacy, literacy and writing. Making sure that kids can read fluently and that they comprehend," says Dr. Paul Ruiz, Austin ISD Superintendent.

That been a big help for Michaela.

"I kind of knew some big words but not fully until I came into 6th grade. I started learning words that I didn't even know before. So it helped me a bunch," says Michaela.

In the end, the superintendent reminds everyone that students are measured beyond just the STAAR test.

The eight schools considered to be failing under the state's accountability system are: Norman and Pickle Elementary Schools. Burnet, Dobie, Garcia and Mendez Middle Schools Graduation Pathways Academy at Lanier and International High School. Keep in mind, the accountability ratings aren't final until December.