The Robstown Independent School District was listed as "Academically Unacceptable" in preliminary accountability ratings released Friday by the Texas Education Agency.
Robstown High School was cited by the TEA for having a graduation rate of less than 70 percent, with the completion rate falling from 71 percent in 2007 to 66 percent in 2008 for all students.
In science, the high school did not perform well, showing an overall decrease of 50 percent passing in 2007 to 46 percent in 2008.
However, in mathematics, the campus saw an overall increase from 50 percent in 2007 to 57 percent in 2008. The district was cited for not meeting state standards.
Interim superintendent Tony Morales said the definition the TEA used to gauge the dropout rate might have played a role in the rating that was given to the district.
"Another thing is that we only have one high school," Morales said. "So, if they get affected, it affects the whole district."
However, he would not allow the dropout rate to serve as an excuse for the poor rating. Rather, Morales said he wants to see ideas brought forward in order to address the problem of dropouts and how to prevent it from getting worse.
"Our kids are not completing (school) and we need to address that," Morales said. "We need to keep these kids in school. There's no 'ifs,' 'ands' or 'buts' about it."
As far as the decline in science scores, school officials are aiming to figure out why that occurred in order to improve them in the future.
"If that's what kills us now, then we need to fix it," Morales said. "Anytime you see a decrease, it's not healthy. My concern is why? If we don't all work together, we're not going to be able to fix it."
Future meetings will be held with campus administration to address the issue, he added.
"If (the plan) didn't work and (our score) dropped…then maybe we didn't do enough of something," Morales said.
In order to impact the dropout rate, Morales said options could include the hiring of more truant officers or additional counseling to identify at-risk youths. Addressing that problem would be just the first step, he said, to helping bring the RISD back to being a "Recognized" school district.
"I want exemplary in all the schools and we're going to work on it," Morales said.
San Pedro, Lotspeich, Hattie Martin and Salazar elementary schools earned "Recognized" ratings, while Ortiz Intermediate School and Seale Junior High School received "Academically Acceptable" ratings.
The district's Alternative Learning Center was listed as "Academically Unacceptable" as well.
Morales said those ratings are not what he has envisioned for the district.
"'Unacceptable' is totally unacceptable," he said.
RISD school board president Roberto Tapia had no comment on the ratings issued by the TEA.