State releases ‘work-in-progress’ report on new accountability system

Methodology likely to change before official A-F ratings are released in 2018

The Texas Education Agency on Friday released a “work-in-progress” report on school accountability ratings in an effort to preview how the actual ratings might look in 2018.

In 2015, the Texas Legislature passed a law requiring all public schools and districts to be issued a single overall grade of A, B, C, D, or F. These future ratings are to be based on student performance in five areas, or domains: student achievement, student progress, closing performance gaps, post-secondary readiness, and community and student engagement.

Even though the A-F rating system won’t be in place for another year, the Texas Legislature has required the public release of a report previewing the upcoming system. This report should be viewed with many caveats:

  • Districts throughout Texas, including HISD, reported widespread problems with the state’s administration of the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) exams during the 2015-2016 school year.
  • The work-in-progress grades are incomplete, evaluating schools and districts in only four of the five required domains. The student engagement domain is not included.
  • Rather than give schools a single composite grade, this work-in-progress report gives four different A-F ratings – one for each of the four domains.
  • The report is based on student achievement data from the 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 school years, and no data from the current school year.

The most recent official Texas school accountability ratings were issued in late 2016. These ratings awarded districts and schools ratings of either “met standard” or “improvement required.” Under these official ratings, HISD earned an overall “met standard” district rating, as did 86 percent of campuses. This represented an improvement from 2015, when 79 percent of HISD schools were rated “met standard.” To view the TEA’s latest official school accountability results, click here.

Texas Commissioner of Education Mike Morath issued the following statement regarding this report:

“It is important to note that the Met Standard/Improvement Required ratings issued in August 2016 and updated in November 2016 are the official academic accountability ratings for the 2015–16 school year,” Morath said. “A similar process will be used for the 2016–17 school year.”

“The ratings in this report are for informational purposes to meet a legislative requirement and represent work-in-progress models that are likely to change before A–F ratings become effective in August 2018,” Morath said. “No inferences about official district or campus performance in the 2015–16 school year should be drawn from these ratings, and these ratings should not be considered predictors of future district or campus performance ratings.”

To learn more about the transition to a new accountability system and its implementation, visit the Texas Education Agency A-F Resources Page on the TEA website at http://tea.texas.gov/Student_Testing_and_Accountability/Accountability/A-F_Accountability_Resources/.

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