TEA releases accountability ratings
Fredericksburg and Harper Independent School Districts received the Texas Education Agency (TEA) accountability ratings on Wednesday, Aug. 15.
Both districts earned B-ratings on an A-F scale, having “Met Standards” and becoming state-recognized districts.
The ratings are based on student performance on the state standardized STAAR tests and graduation rates. The ratings examine student achievement, student progress, efforts to close the achievement gap and postsecondary readiness.
Besides receiving letter grades A, B, C, D or F, districts received Met Standard, Met Alternative Standard, or Improvement Required labels.
“I am excited that we received an overall B for the district, but we want to do better. We want the community to understand that the state rating does not depict all the great things that are going on in our district,” FISD Superintendent Dr. Jeff Brasher said.
In 2016, TEA rolled out a four-index rating system and was met with controversy across the state. School districts felt the ratings handed down by TEA were harsh.
Beginning with the 2017-2018 school year, both districts and campuses were rated on TEA’s new domain system established by House Bill 22.
According to the TEA website, districts receive a grade or rating based on performance in three areas:
• Student Achievement — Measures what students know and can do by the end of the year exams. It includes results from state assessments across all subjects for all students, on both general and alternate assessments, College, Career, and Military Readiness (CCMR) indicators, like AP and ACT results, and graduation rates.
• School Progress — Measures how students are doing on the STAAR test this year versus last year, and how students are doing academically relative to schools with similar percentages of economically disadvantaged students.
• Closing the Gaps — Looks at performance among student groups, including various racial/ethnic groups, socioeconomic backgrounds and other factors.
“The scoring this year is so different than what has been done in the past. We were happy to receive a B and be considered as state-recognized,” Harper Superintendent Chris Stevenson said. “You’re not just being scored as a district, as they are comparing you also to other schools across the state. It is a challenge in a more rural school district to get students career, college and military ready. That is something we will be working more toward in the near future.”
Fredericksburg High School earned academic achievement in English Language Arts/Reading, Social Studies and a distinction in post-secondary readiness.
Fredericksburg Middle School earned academic achievement in Science and English Language Arts/Reading.
Stonewall Elementary received academic achievement in Mathematics and Science and earned distinctions in postsecondary readiness and were in the top 25 percent comparative closing the gaps.
Harper High School earned academic achievement in Social Studies.
Harper Middle School was provided a postsecondary readiness distinction and academic achievement in English Language Arts/Reading.
Harper Elementary earned academic achievement in Mathematics and a distinction in postsecondary readiness.
Both districts intend on looking at specific areas that require improvement and building upon them.
Harper ISD is looking to increase opportunities for more students to become CCMR.
“Obviously, with student achievement, we want to do better in performance areas. We are going to spend a lot of time in the college and military readiness area. We are also looking for ways our kids can obtain career certifications and opportunities,” Stevenson said.
TEA’s accountability ratings and full reports may be viewed at www.txschools.org and searching by district name.