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Districts preparing for state’s new A-F accountability ratings in August; campus-level “What if” rat

The Texas Education Agency just released more information about the state’s timeline and plans for the new A-F accountability system rollout.

Since the legislature passed the new education accountability framework in HB 22, Texas Education Agency officials incorporated feedback from school officials and others around the state and worked on a considerably different plan than original “work in progress” versions.

The new A-F system, described in excerpts from TEA communications below, is more focused on student growth and equitable progress toward college and career readiness than ever before, but still primarily based on state STAAR testing results.

"Districts will [on August, 15, 2018] receive a rating of A, B, C, D, or F for overall performance and for performance in each domain. Campuses will receive a rating of Met Standard, Met Alternative Standard, or Improvement Required for overall performance and for performance in each domain.

Along with these ratings, TEA will release a significantly updated district and school report card with videos and other communication materials to help educators and the public fully understand the new rating system. These materials will be enhanced and expanded upon throughout the following year, leading up to campus-level A–F ratings, which will be issued in August 2019.

Please note, HB 22 also requires that before the end of the calendar year, TEA release a separate “What If” document noting what campus ratings would have been from the 2017–18 school year if given an A–F rating."

The HB 22 accountability framework sets the stage for a significant change in the way the state of Texas examines school performance, including an opportunity to shift our collective attention to a continuous improvement mindset, focused on achieving excellence for students, as opposed to complying with minimum performance standards.

* Best of Progress or Achievement: The prior accountability system placed a premium on student achievement as opposed to progress, given that three out of the four indices were based on student achievement. The new HB 22 three-domain framework uses the better of Student Achievement or School Progress for all students, while factoring in a weighted rating for the performance of specific student groups in Closing the Gaps. This allows us to highlight districts and campuses where educators have achieved tremendous gains for their students, even if students started with lower levels of proficiency. This also means that the relationship between levels of student poverty and overall district and campus ratings in the HB 22 framework is significantly lower than the relationship between assessment passing rates and student poverty, as districts and campuses that demonstrate strong growth on their path to proficiency can still achieve the highest rating.

* Holistic Measurement: The HB 22 framework continues our statewide focus on progress and achievement of students in the critical areas of reading and mathematics, but it also significantly broadens that focus to other measures of student achievement. When examining high schools and districts, the majority of the underlying rating is focused not on STAAR results but is instead focused on whether graduates are ready for college (verified in many ways, including SAT/ACT, AP/IB, dual credit, etc.), a career (verified if students have obtained a meaningful industry credential or have completed a sequence aligned to those credentials), or the military (verified if students have enlisted). At the elementary and middle school level, the HB 22 three-domain model is focused on reading and mathematics results on STAAR, but districts have the option of adding other key performance indicators for use in their local communities. A group of districts is currently working with TEA to help pilot this approach, with the goal of preparing a process available to all districts in time for campus-level A–F ratings under HB 22, which begin in 2019.


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