New for Texas Public Schools

On August 15, 2018 the Texas Education Agency (TEA) will release district grades using the new A-F Accountability Rating System. Individual schools will not be ranked using this system until August 2019. For 2018, schools will continue to be rated as either “Met Standard” or “Improvement Required,” and can earn “Distinctions.” This blog post will give you a basic overview of the new rating system as well as provide links to TEA resources.

TEA describes an A as “Exemplary Performance,” a B as “Recognized Performance,” a C as “Acceptable Performance,” a D as “In Need of Improvement,” and a F as “Unacceptable Performance.” The letter grade will come from looking at three domains of data: Student Achievement, School Progress, and Closing the Gaps. The better score from either Student Achievement or School Progress is used in the final calculation. 70% of the grade comes from that score and 30% comes from the Closing the Gaps calculation.

The following is a brief explanation on how the score in each domain is determined. For Student Achievement at the elementary and middle school levels, the score comes from performance on the STAAR assessment. Student Achievement at the high school level is calculated using data from STAAR; College, Career, and Military Readiness (CCMR); and graduation rates. The School Progress score is calculated in two ways—one part looks at a student’s STAAR score from the previous year and compares it to the current year; the second part compares a school’s performance to those with a similar percent of economically disadvantaged students. The higher score from these two calculations will be used for the overall School Progress score. The Closing the Gaps score is determined by looking at 14 different student groups (aligned to Federal requirements in Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)) and is calculated on how many student groups met the achievement target. The infographic below comes from TEA’s website (http://tea4avcastro.tea.state.tx.us/A-F/overall_performance.png).

The way the scores are calculated it would be possible for all schools and districts to earn an A rating. Additionally, the rating is strictly an academic one, and other factors (such as attendance) help to create the whole picture of a school or district.

I encourage you to learn more about the upcoming changes by visiting the A-F Resources website at https://tea.texas.gov/A-F/ , the Commissioner’s Blog on the topic at https://tea.texas.gov/Home/Commissioner_Blog/A-F_Accountability__What_Parents_Should_Know/ , and the website http://txschools.org/ .

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