The Texas Education Agency released a preliminary set of accountability ratings for school districts and campuses across the state Friday morning based on a new A-F rating system. The system change comes as a result of House Bill 2804, which was passed by the 84th Texas Legislature in 2015.
According to the TEA, the new rating system measures year-over-year district and student performance beyond State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness results. This system will officially be implemented in the 2017-18 academic year, reflecting district and student performance in the 2016-17 academic year. The data released Friday is based on the 2015-16 school year and is intended as a trial run.
“We are always supportive of new ways to share information about our schools, but are concerned that assigning simple letter grades to a complex accountability system may result in misrepresenting actual campus performance and creating confusion for our patrons,” CISD Superintendent Don Stockton.
The A-F ratings are a change from the “met standard,” “met alternative standard,” and “improvement required” ratings given to school districts and campuses in previous years.
“The current system is either you make standard or you need improvement,” TEA spokesperson DeEtta Culbertson said. “There’s no in-between.”
However, some school districts feel the new rating system does not accurately reflect the level of education of local schools. Sonja Lopez, Montgomery ISD Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources, said she questioned the ability of the TEA to properly evaluate schools and districts throughout the school year based on a single exam.
“There is no way one letter grade based on one test on one day can be a fair assessment of what occurs over an entire year,” Lopez said. “I don’t see any benefit in once again changing an evaluation system of our schools. The complex system will now take time and resources away from teaching students as educators try to make sense of how state legislators now evaluate performance. It is a moving target.”
Willis ISD also questioned the TEA ratings being released on a trial basis this year when different metrics will be used for the new system once it is officially implemented.
“Today’s release of ‘what-if’ ratings does not impact Willis ISD’s official district or campus accountability ratings for 2016, or the accountability rating we will receive in the fall of 2017,” Fails said. “In fact, according to the TEA in a report to the Texas legislature, ‘no inferences about district or campus performance in the 2015-16 school year should be drawn from the ratings released today because campus and district ratings for 2017-18 will use different data and different indicators than were used for this report.'”
The new rating system looks at four separate domains on a campus and district level.
Domain I looks at student achievement.
Domain II measures student progress, specifically how each student’s State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness score compares to the previous year.
Domain III looks at closing achievement gaps. Economically disadvantaged numbers play into this.
Domain IV measures postsecondary readiness. At the high school level, this is based on the graduation rate and the percentage of students who graduate ready for college, career or the military.
Here are the letter grades received in each domain by Conroe ISD, Montgomery ISD and Willis ISD.
Conroe ISD: B|A|B|C
Montgomery ISD: B|B|C|B
Willis ISD: C|D|D|D
Individual schools in each district were rated by the trial system as well.
Conroe High School: C|D|C|D
Montgomery High School: B|C|C|C
Willis High School: C|C|C|F
Junior high schools:
Irons Junior High School: B|B|B|C
Peet Junior High School: C|B|C|C
Washington Junior High School: C|C|B|B
Montgomery Junior High School B|C|D|C
Bozman Intermediate School: B|C|B|B
Cryar Intermediate School: B|C|B|D
Grangerland Intermediate School: C|C|C|D
Travis Intermediate School: C|B|B|C
Montgomery Intermediate School: B|B|C|C
Montgomery Middle School: B|D|D|D
Lynn Lucas Middle School: F|F|D|D
Robert P. Brabham Middle School: C|D|D|B
Anderson Elementary School: B|C|A|C
Armstrong Elementary School: C|D|B|C
Austin Elementary School: D|D|D|C
Creighton Elementary School: D|D|C|D
Giesinger Elementary School: A|B|C|A
Houser Elementary School: C|F|C|C
Houston Elementary School: F|F|D|D
Milam Elementary School: D|F|D|C
Patterson Elementary School: B|C|A|C
Reaves Elementary School: B|C|B|B
Rice Elementary School: C|F|D|B
Runyan Elementary School: C|D|B|C
San Jacinto Elementary School: C|D|C|F
Stewart Elementary School: A|D|D|C
Wilkinson Elementary School: A|F|B|C
Lone Star Elementary School: B|B|F|C
Madeley Ranch Elementary School: A|D|B|D
Montgomery Elementary School: B|D|C|F
Stewart Creek Elementary School: B|C|B|D
C.C. Hardy Elementary School: D|D|C|C
Edward B. Cannan Elementary School: C|C|B|D
Parmley Elementary School: C|C|D|D
Turner Elementary School: B|C|C|B
William Lloyd Meador Elementary School: B|B|B|D