Today I detailed for listeners all the schools that did not meet the state’s new so-called accountability standards. It was easy to do in a half-hour because the “standards” are so low, and the new reporting system so vague, that few schools show up as not having “met standards”.

Morgan Smith at the Texas Tribune had a story headlined: Under New State Ratings, Most Schools Met Standards.

“Under the new system, districts and campuses are placed in two categories, “met standard” or “needs improvement.” They are judged on how well they do across four areas: student achievement; student progress; closing performance gaps between low-achieving demographics; and post-secondary readiness. The state agency announced Thursday that almost 93 percent of Texas school districts and charters achieved the first designation. When broken down by campuses, about 91 percent did,” the story reported.

The claim is that the new system does allow for schools to earn distinctions for high performance but, you’d never be able to tell that from looking at the TEA report. In fact, the new report lumps 93% of schools together as meeting standards masking the superior work done in some as well as the poor performance in others. And worse, no school “fails” under the new system, the worst schools simply “need improvement.”

This vague system is just what districts have always wanted. The new A through F system will come on-line in a year or two but it only rates districts as a whole which leaves parents in the dark as to the quality of individual campuses.

The new TEA rating system meets no reasonable standard and “needs improvement.”

Pratt on Texas

Robert Pratt has been active in Texas Republican politics since the Reagan re-elect in 1984. He has served as Lubbock County Republican chairman, and in 2006 founded the Pratt on Texas radio network, providing the news and commentary of Texas on both radio and podcast. Learn more at