TASA: 461 Texas school districts oppose A-F rating system

For the first time, Texas public schools will be graded based on an A-F system.

DALLAS - Four hundred sixty-one school districts in Texas oppose an A-F rating system for the state’s public schools, according to the Texas Association of School Administrators.

All 461 districts have approved resolutions calling for the Texas Legislature to repeal the system passed in 2015, set to be put in place for the 2017-18 school year.

At least 131 of those districts are located in North Texas. Dallas ISD and Birdville ISD filed resolutions Thursday night.

A TASA spokesperson told KENS 5's sister station, WFAA, that the association gets numerous alerts each day, and the total number of districts opposing the rating system could continue to rise before the end of the day Friday.

House Bill 2804 calls for schools to be evaluated using letter grades A, B, C, D, or F. The letter ratings will evaluate five categories the state is calling "domains" and one overall letter grade.

The domain categories are student achievement, student progress, closing performance gaps, post-secondary readiness and community and student engagement. In simpler terms:

  • Domain 1: How well do students perform on standardized testing?
  • Domain 2: How are students performing on standardized testing over time?
  • Domain 3: How are students from low income families performing compared to other students?
  • Domain 4: How prepared are students for college and life after graduation? This category is based off attendance, courses, dropout rate and graduation rate.
  • Domain 5: Community and student engagement. This category is based off different factors each school and district independently choose.

News 8 obtained the resolution filed Thursday by Birdville ISD, which lists what it considers to be flaws in the A-F system. It points out that 55 percent of the grades are based on STAAR tests, claiming the standardized test “provides little meaningful information to guide student learning, inform teachers or report academic progress to parents.”

Sixteen other states already use a system similar to the A-F system set to be used in Texas. Birdville ISD’s resolution says there is “no definitive research that suggest these ratings have improved student or school performance.”

The district’s resolution proposes the following as an alternative to the A-F rating system:

“A community-based accountability system that empowers districts to design their own internal systems of assessment and accountability that, while meeting general state standards, allows districts to innovate and customize curriculum and instruction to meet the needs and interests of each student and their communities.”

TASA writes on its website that it opposes the A-F rating system, and instead advocates for a "comprehensive accountability system" that looks beyond high-stakes standardized tests.

News 8 has reached out to Dallas ISD in regards to its resolution passed Thursday night.

Birdville ISD A-F system resolution by wfaachannel8 on Scribd

Contributing: KHOU

Copyright 2016 WFAA


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