TEA News Releases
March 25, 2010
State orders closure of Kendleton ISD; annexes district to Lamar Consolidated ISD
AUSTIN - Commissioner of Education Robert Scott is revoking Kendleton Independent School District’s authority to operate as a public school district because of chronic academic problems. The district will be annexed to a neighboring district, the Lamar Consolidated Independent School District, pending preclearance of this action by the U.S. Department of Justice.
The annexation is effective July 1.
“While it saddens me to close a school district, years of effort, including reconstituting its school, have failed to turn this district around. I believe students would be ill-served if Kendleton is allowed to continue to operate. The Texas Education Agency pledges to work with the citizens of Kendleton and Lamar Consolidated to make this transition as smooth as possible,” Scott said.
Dr. Shirley Johnson, a state-appointed conservator, will help facilitate the annexation process.
Kendleton is located in Fort Bend County, outside of Houston. It has one school, Powell Point Elementary, that serves 78 students in early childhood through sixth grade. Middle school and high school students in the district already attend Lamar Consolidated schools.
The district recently was assigned a 2009-2010 accreditation status of Not Accredited- Revoked. The accreditation system looks at academic and financial accountability ratings for 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009. Kendleton received an academic rating of Academically Unacceptable for all four years. In 2009, the low rating was due to writing performance on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS). In 2008, the unacceptable rating was due to reading performance. Low math passing rates in 2007 and low science passing rates in 2006 also caused unacceptable ratings.
Additionally, the long-troubled district also received the state’s lowest rating in 2005 and 1997 through 2000 as well.
Kendleton officials asked for a record review of the decision to revoke its accreditation. Agency staff met with Kendleton officials in February and reviewed the information, but TEA officials announced today that they found no reason to change the initial decision.
Because Texas, like other southern states, remains under the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the commissioner must ask the U.S. Department of Justice to preclear the annexation of Kendleton to Lamar CISD. TEA will shortly file that preclearance request. The U.S. Department of Justice has 60 days to review the preclearance request.
This is the first time the commissioner has revoked the authority of a district to operate as a public school system since the current accreditation system was implemented in 2006.
However, past commissioners have used other state authority to close Wilmer-Hutchins ISD in 2006, Mirando City ISD in 2005 and Asherton ISD in 1999.