Texas PTA supports modifications to an A-F rating system that will yield valid, reliable and balanced results which will focus less on the state assessment and recognizes other attributes including, but not limited to, fine arts and physical education. In addition, Texas PTA supports strengthening Domain 5 so that an objective self-evaluation is required making it a more relevant indicator of community and student engagement.
New Accountability System
- Reduces to 55% the weight of state test scores on a school’s overall accountability rating
- Builds on community and student engagement evaluation. Markers of a successful school - number of students who take AP tests, dual enrollment courses, attendance, dropout rates, etc. - will be considered in the new system. Creation of community and student engagement evaluation was a good 1st step toward acknowledging that parent involvement is the strongest predictor of student success and that schools and districts should be recognized for more than student test scores, but the implementation of this portion of the system is weak.
- Schools will be ranked beginning in 2017-2018 using A-F school rankings
- A-F performance ratings will replace ratings of “met standard” or “needs improvement”.
- While Texas PTA wants a system that is easy for parents to understand, the change to an A-F system drew opposition from many organizations, including Texas PTA.
- New ratings will be based on a school’s performance in five domains. Student performance on STAAR will continue to be the primary measure of school performance (55 percent), but other factors will account for 45%.
Texas PTA will work with legislative leaders and with school leaders engaged in the process to improve the A-F system of accountability. Changes are needed in calculation methodologies for Domains 1-4 and in Domain 5. Texas PTA seeks a requirement that schools survey parents annually and, at the higher grades, students, to learn how they perceive their school and school district to be performing on community and student engagement. Results from these surveys should be utilized in the development of goals for improving engagement in schools’ annual improvement plan.