CCAISD joins with school districts across the State to protest A-F rating system

The Culberson County – Allamoore ISD Trustees joined with school districts across the state in passing a resolution asking that the Texas legislature review the process for the A-F Rating System for school districts scheduled to go into effect in 2018.  The 2015-2016 A-F Rating report submitted to the 85th Texas Legislature from the Texas Education Agency on December 30, 2016 is a massive tome of over 400 pages. The report gives an overview of the A-F Rating System and attempts to explain how the grades will be calculated followed by the ratings for every school district in the State. Complex formulas using various ratios and percentages go into calculating the grade for each of five “domains” that make up the final grade for each campus.  55% of the grade is directly related to the state’s mandatory standardized assessment test results which have already proven to be a flawed system.

And the results are all over the place.  The following table shows the ratings for CCAISD and a sampling of other districts in the region.

It is incomprehensible how CCAISD could be given a grade of F for student achievement, yet those same students earn the District an A in postsecondary readiness. It would seem that student achievement would be a predictor of a student’s readiness for postsecondary endeavors.

House Bill 2804 passed in the 84th Legislature created this quagmire. The intent of the law is to change the Texas school accountability system so that every campus and district receive one of five ratings from A-F.  The ratings in this report are just a trail run with the actual ratings to be issued in August 2018. The legislature required this report “as a work-in-progress.”

Commissioner of Education Mike Morath issued the following statement regarding this report:

“It is important to note that the Met Standard/Improvement Required ratings issued in August 2016 and updated in November 2016 are the official academic accountability ratings for the 2015–16 school year. A similar process will be used for the 2016–17 school year.

TASB issued the following statement from Executive Director James B. Crow on the preliminary ratings:

The Texas Legislature’s requirement to grade schools on an A–F scale is a flawed concept, and the preliminary ratings released to the public today fail to provide meaningful information about schools.

These new A-F ratings are just a symptom of the larger sickness: an unhealthy fixation on standardized testing and standardized expectations.

There are 1,028 school districts in Texas, and no two are exactly the same. Trying to apply the same accountability measures primarily based on one standardized test is a disservice to our kids, their families, and our educators.

As school districts join forces to express their concerns to the 85th Legislature, we can do our part by contacting our state representatives as well.

The ratings in this report are for informational purposes to meet a legislative requirement and represent work-in-progress models that are likely to change before A–F ratings become effective in August 2018. No inferences about official district or campus performance in the 2015–16 school year should be drawn from these ratings, and these ratings should not be considered predictors of future district or campus performance ratings.”