The Texas Education Agency announced a ‘temporary’ delay in releasing the A-F accountability ratings that are assigned to school districts according to their performance.
School districts receive A-F ratings based on student achievement, student progress, and how well they are closing the gaps in academic performance for certain groups of students.
“The postponement of ratings for approximately one month [from September 28] will allow for a further re-examination of the baseline data used in the calculation of Progress to ensure ratings reflect the most appropriate goals for students,” noted TEA in a press release.
Before 2017, the TEA updated the metrics used in the accountability system annually. However, following the passage of House Bill 22 in 2017, metrics for the ratings were to be updated periodically and communicated to citizens through an A-F rating system.
The State Board of Education then determined that the metrics should be updated every five years.
Now, the metrics need to be ‘refreshed’ and are set to be based on data collected from state assessments (STAAR testing), graduation rates, and college, career, and military readiness (CCMR) outcomes.
TEA is partly attributing the delay in the ratings release to “appropriately account[ing] for the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.” According to TEA, school districts performed poorly in the 2019-2020, 2020-2021, and 2021-2022 school years.
“Analysis of that growth data shows that the 2021-22 growth was more anomalous than expected, so setting baselines that partially incorporate data from the 2021-22 school year may not adequately take into account the impact of the pandemic,” noted TEA.
However, school districts across the state have sued the TEA, claiming the new metrics will lower school districts’ ratings.
At least sixteen school districts are involved in the lawsuit against TEA.
According to this Thursday’s school board agenda, Waller Independent School District, located northwest of Houston, is currently considering joining the lawsuit against the TEA.
“Wouldn’t the money be better used for an after-school bus for our students who need tutoring instead of a lawsuit?” Local parent and education advocate Cassandra Posey told Texas Scorecard. “Wouldn’t that be a better way to try and raise our rating versus fighting the rating system?”
The A-F ratings could be announced as early as October 28.