Center Point ISD under state investigation for anomalous military enlistment data

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The Texas Education Agency (TEA) is investigating twelve school districts across the state, including Center Point ISD, that have reported much higher than average rates of military enlistment for graduating high school seniors.

Center Point ISD, a district with 576 students overall and 167 high school students, reported that over 30 percent of 2018 graduating seniors intended to enlist in the military — a data point that is much higher than the statewide average of 4 percent. At this time, the TEA has removed the 2018 data and placed a notice stating that “data integrity issues” exist.

The number of students headed to military service is important because it’s a factor in determining the district’s overall Accountability Rating. These ratings are an indicator of school and district performance, and is based on a combination of standardized test scores, dropout rates, high school completion rates, and more. The video below is produced by the TEA to explain what the ratings are all about.

Although Center Point’s 2018 data has been removed as part of this investigation, 2019 data does exist, and Center Point ISD reported that out of their 32 total graduates, 21 were set to enlist in the armed services — 66% of their graduates. (Source: TEA 2019 Accountability Ratings)

See the table below to compare how certain local districts reported the number of students intending to enlist in the military.

2019 Graduates Headed to Military Service

DistrictTotal GraduatesEntering MilitaryMilitary Pct.
Center Point ISD322166%
Ingram ISD72811%
Kerrville ISD3725114%

School districts self-report how many of their graduates are preparing to enter military service, and each district creates its own criteria for how to calculate that number. For instance, some districts required that students pass the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery, or ASVAB. But others tallied all students that signed in to talk with recruiters. It is unclear at this time what method CPISD used to tally military enlistment numbers. The US military does not provide enlistment data to the TEA, so the state gives some flexibility to districts in how to compute this number.

According to the Houston Chronicle‘s reporting, “State law allows the TEA to investigate districts for failing to provide accurate data used for calculating academic accountability ratings. If the agency substantiates allegations of wrongdoing, Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath could lower a district’s accreditation rating, resulting in possible sanctions ranging from a public notice of misconduct to replacement of the district’s school board.”

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