The Willis ISD board of trustees passed a resolution during a special Sept. 11 meeting to allow the district to join a coalition of Texas school districts who have filed a lawsuit challenging the Texas Education Agency’s new A-F accountability system for public schools.

What happened

Willis ISD joins multiple school districts in the state already suing the agency to block the release of new ratings.
  • Schools districts in Texas receive annual accountability ratings on a scale of A-F based on student achievement, performance and closing performance gaps, according to the TEA.
  • The TEA announced Sept. 12 it would delay the release of accountability ratings even further to re-evaluate the methodology used to calculate the scores for the 2022-23 and 2023-24 school years. That new system was supposed to go into effect Sept. 28.
  • As of Sept. 15, accountability ratings were not expected to hit schools until approximately one month after the original Sept. 28 date.
  • However, according to Texas statute cited in WISD's release, TEA must present the accountability rating system and grading criteria to Texas school districts before the grading year begins.

The TEA began its refresh in 2021 that included new benchmarks students must attain in order for the school to receive a specific letter grade. Changes included:
  • Raising the cutoff point for a district to receive an A from 60% to 88% for college, career and military readiness
  • Evaluating district ratings with a weighted average for each campus instead of as a district
  • Removing dropout rates from overall campus performance
  • Adding a new growth indicator for accelerated instruction
What's next

WISD officials said their goal is to halt the publication of all district accountability ratings in Texas for this year due to Texas Education Code requirements not being met by the agency, as the accountability performance measures have not been finalized and would be retroactively applied.

The coalition is petitioning the court to postpone the implementation of this new system until at least next year and to retain the district's present rating for the current year.