Troubled Texas ISD To Be Shut Down

HOUSTON (AP) - Texas Education Commissioner Robert Scott has ordered a troubled Houston-area school district to close and be absorbed by the neighboring Houston Independent School District.

Scott's order shuts the 7,600-student North Forest Independent District in July 2012, after the upcoming school year. The district has a long history of poor academic scores and financial problems and received the state's lowest academic rating for the past three years.

Texas Education Agency spokeswoman Debbie Ratcliffe said Tuesday that the district high school's poor academic ranking is the longest streak for any school in the state. District officials have acknowledged a troubled past but said they had been encouraged that they were moving in the right direction.

Scott's order can be appealed and is subject to U.S. Justice Department scrutiny.