Prosper ISD officials joined more than 50 Texas school districts in a lawsuit against the Texas Education Agency.

“I’m thankful for all the districts in the state of Texas who have taken this stand on behalf of Texas public schools,” Prosper ISD Superintendent Holly Ferguson said at the Sept. 18 board meeting.

What’s happening?

The district’s board of trustees unanimously voted to join a lawsuit against the TEA over its failure to adequately notify school districts on the changes made to the way accountability ratings are calculated as well as the lack of transparency in making the changes, according to the board’s resolution.

The TEA’s failure to provide advance notice to school districts of the changes made to the A-F accountability system violated state law, the resolution stated. Per Texas Education Code 39.0542, the education commissioner is required to provide school districts with a “simple, accessible” document explaining the accountability performance measures, methods and procedures that will be applied to their campus performance ratings. The lack of advanced notice harmed the district, the board's resolution stated.

“This is an opportunity for our board to advocate for our teachers [and] for our students,” Trustee Dena Dixon said.

What you need to know

New accountability ratings for Texas schools were scheduled to be released Sept. 28 based on adjusted criteria, including a new threshold for college, career and military readiness scores, raising it from 60% to 88% to earn an A rating.

The TEA announced Sept. 12 the scores will be temporarily delayed for approximately one month to allow for “further re-examination of the baseline data” used in the calculations, according to a news release.

The districts signing onto the lawsuit include but are not limited to:“I wish the state of Texas would ask us what the true experience of a child is in Prosper ISD,” Ferguson said. “It has nothing to do with a [State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness] test or an [end-of-course] test; it has everything to do with the programs, the opportunities, the teachers and the educators."