New A-F rating system includes fewer domains than original system

After statewide school boards and administrators called for a complete repeal of Texas’ original A-F accountability rating system, legislators approved House Bill 22, creating a revised version late in the Legislature’s special session, which ended Aug. 15. 

The revision reduces the number of domains rated with a letter grade of A, B, C, D or F from five to three, and requires State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, or STAAR, scores to account for less than 50 percent of accountability metrics at the high school level, said Sen. Larry Taylor, R-Friendswood.

Legislators pass new A-F rating system“Rather than repeal the A-F system, or leave it as-is, the Legislature worked to revise the system to improve it before it ever took effect,” said Taylor, who is the chairman of the Senate Education Committee.

The original system—passed by the Legislature in 2015—rated five domains: student achievement, student progress, closing performance gaps, postsecondary readiness, and community and student engagement. The revamped system measures student achievement, school progress and closing the gaps.

Conroe ISD board President Melanie Bush said she felt the original version did not accurately reflect what students were capable of achieving.

“The new A-F system allows for a more accurate representation of campus performance, especially at the elementary level with the elimination of the postsecondary measure that focused on attendance,” she said.

The system was to be implemented in the 2017-18 school year. However, the revision has pushed the rollout back by a year, Taylor said. Districts will receive ratings in August 2018, and schools will receive ratings in August 2019.

Another major difference provided by HB 22 allows school districts to develop their own local accountability systems, Taylor said. These are to be used in conjunction with the state-mandated domains, and districts will be able to rate their own campuses, he said.

Once an accountability plan is approved by the Texas Education Agency, districts and charter schools can develop additional domains and indicators. Each campus will receive an overall letter grade of A-F.

While the original system was met with negative feedback from local school districts, legislators did not want to rid the state of a rating system altogether, Taylor said.

Bush, who was opposed to the original system, said she believes this plan gives districts more freedom and felt district officials were given enough time to provide input for the new system.

“It allows districts to develop plans to locally evaluate their campuses,” she said. “The [local accountability] plan must be approved by TEA, but this could help with having more local say in what weight standardized tests play.”

By Beth Marshall
Born and raised in Montgomery County, Beth Marshall graduated from The University of Texas at San Antonio in 2015 with a bachelor's degree in communication and a minor in business. Originally hired as a reporter for The Woodlands edition in 2016, she became editor of the Sugar Land/Missouri City edition in October 2017.


Free COVID-19 testing will be available to festival staff, participants and patrons every weekend of the festival this fall. (Courtesy Steven David Photography)
Free COVID-19 testing at Texas Renaissance Festival and more Houston-area news

Read the latest business and community news from the Houston area.

Free COVID-19 testing will be available to festival staff, participants and patrons every weekend of the festival this fall. (Courtesy Steven David Photography)
Texas Renaissance Festival to offer free COVID-19 rapid testing throughout season

Additionally, a free drive-thru testing site will be set up in Todd Mission on Sept. 19.

Montgomery County will now include antigen cases in its total case counts. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Montgomery County to begin including antigen positive cases in COVID-19 daily reports

Antigen cases will now be included in total case counts. However, a breakdown of antigen versus PCR cases will be available.

Amazon 4-star's in-store offerings include books, games, electronics and home products. (Courtesy Amazon)
Amazon launches 4-star retail store at The Woodlands Mall

The tech company's physical location is stocked with highly rated products from its digital storefront.

Commercial data: Retail, office and industrial vacancies increase in The Woodlands area in August

See how vacancies and rental rates change from month to month in retail, office and industrial sectors in The Woodlands area.

Dr. Sam Rolon is a physician for Baylor St. Luke's Medical Group Creekside Family Medicine in The Woodlands. (Courtesy St. Luke's Health)
Q&A: St. Luke's physician shares advice on flu season, vaccine and prevention

The influenza vaccine is recommended for nearly all patients of all ages ahead of this year's flu season, Dr. Sam Rolon said.

student in mask
TEA launches statewide COVID-19 dashboard for public schools

The Texas Education Agency, in collaboration with the Texas Department of State Health Services, has launched its latest COVID-19 dashboard for positive cases in Texas public schools.

The Houston Food Bank is looking for more volunteers as it handles increased food distribution during COVID-19. (Courtesy Houston Food Bank)
Houston Food Bank: COVID-19 pandemic amplifies already-high food insecurity rates across region

Before COVID-19, the Houston Food Bank distributed about 400,000 pounds of food daily. That number has since increased to about 1 million pounds a day.

Gov. Greg Abbott said Sept. 17 that data from Texas' 22 hospital regions will dictate when certain businesses can reopen at 75% capacity. (Screenshot of Sept. 17 press conference)
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott: Retail stores, restaurants, office buildings, gyms can reopen at 75% capacity as early as Sept. 21

Nursing home and long-term care facilities will also be allowed to reopen for visitation as early as Sept. 24.

Entergy announces system updates, improvements through 2020 following widespread power outages

A total of 136,552 outages were reported in Montgomery County last month after Hurricane Laura affected the overall grid.

Vehicles drive alongside the Tomball Tollway in Harris County. (Anna Lotz/Community Impact Newspaper)
Newly formed corporation could divert Harris County toll road revenue to non-mobility projects

A new limited government corporation formed by Harris County Sept. 15 could result in surplus revenue from the Harris County Toll Road Authority going to other county needs outside of the realm of transportation and mobility.