TEA releases school accountability ratings

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The Texas Education Agency has released its "A-F work-in-progress" school accountability ratings.

The Texas Education Agency has released its "A-F work-in-progress" school accountability ratings.

The report is the result of the 84th Texas legislature and its decision to create a new accountability rating system.

The school accountability system was changed by the legislature to give schools and districts a grade, much like a student gets, an "A" thru an "F".

This 494-page progress report goes into great detail about its ratings of schools and school districts, detailing findings in four key categories or "domains": student achievement, student progress, closing performance gaps and post-secondary readiness.

The TEA graded those domains and we have posted them respectively below for the five largest school districts in the greater Houston area:

The ratings are meant for informational purposes only and they should not be used to infer actual school performance, the TEA said. Commissioner of Education Mike Morath issued a statement reading in part: "These ratings should not be considered predictors of future district or campus performance ratings."

Some districts are already calling the results questionable.

"I think the report issued by TEA today says nothing about Fort Bend ISD," said superintendent Dr. Charles Dupree.

He says the grades do not accurately reflect the learning taking place or the work done in classrooms every day.

"The whole process that they're using in Austin, it doesn't reflect any of the work we are doing," he said.

Parents are just finding out about the ratings. Their greater questions are more about the process than anything. This was an exchange we had with one father:

"How are they ranking the schools?" said Vincent Gulley.
"That's a good question right, do you even know?" said reporter Kevin Quinn.
"No," said Gulley.
"Does it make you wonder?" Quinn asked.
"Yes!" Gulley said.

For a look at the complete report released by the TEA you can go to its website.

According to the Texas Association of School Administrators, over 150 school districts across the state have asked the legislature to repeal this new accountability rating system. Among them are Fort Bend ISD, Klein, Aldine, Alief, Angleton, Cleveland, and Klein ISD.

Katy ISD Superintendent Dr. Lance Hindt issued the below statement:

"We continue to wait for more information from TEA on the evolving methodology of the new A-F rating system. Tell us the rules and we will learn to comply. Accountability is an important part of tracking and measuring student success. However, this latest attack on our state's public schools, is simply an attack for political gain.

Our legislators 'ranking' and comparing of public schools, feeds the agenda of those claiming our public schools are failing and vouchers, tax credits, scholarships, etc. are the answer. Meanwhile, public schools are underfunded and over-mandated by the state and federal governments. Our private school counterparts would never accept funding that tied them to the mandates the legislature and the TEA places on our public schools - essentially eroding communities' local control."

Fort Bend ISD's School Board President has written an editorial on the issue, you can read it on the district website.

Klein ISD's superintendent issued a statement about the ratings on Youtube.
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