The Big Country's largest school district, Abilene ISD, failed to meet federal standards set by the No Child Left Behind Act, as did 71 percent of other public schools in Texas.
How does the district see this President George Bush era standard?
"I think it's very old, it's very antiquated and it's not realistic," Superintendent Heath Burns said.
"A district can be very highly ranked in the state system and very poorly ranked in the federal system," Burns said.
Abilene ISD failed to meet the federal standard because of test scores in reading and math. Both are measured in six categories: bilingual students, African-American, white, Hispanic and economically disadvantaged. That's 12 total that AISD needed to pass.
The district failed in only three of them. If those numbers shifted by only one or two percentage points the whole district would have met the standard.
"Thirty-three states in the nation have actually exempted themselves from AYP," Burns said.
AYP (Adequate Yearly Progress) is another term for the federal standard.
Gov, Rick Perry chose not to be exempt, so we're subject to the scrutiny.
AISD said it values the state standard over the federal.
"Regardless of whether it's a state measurement or a federal measurement we're going to keep our emphasis on each student getting better year in and year out on every assessment that they take," Burns said.
District leaders agree the standard is as rigorous as it gets.
Literally no room for failure, you're either perfectly adequate or you're not.
Here are some interesting facts about AISD's numbers.
Of the 30 Abilene campuses measured, 14 met the federal standard.
In English language and math testing, the district improved on every category from the 2010-2011 school year to 2011-2012, except for two: bilingual students who took English language tests dropped by one percent and white students who took the math test remained the same.
And another staggering figure: under the No Child Left Behind Act, by 2014 passing rates must rise to 100 percent of students on the mathematics and reading tests.