The simple way that Texas arrived at its annual school accountability ratings for the past two decades mattered little to the parents and real estate agents who looked to the familiar labels to judge a school’s performance.
But it mattered to educators who have long argued that the heavy reliance upon standardized test scores has masked the complex challenges that schools face in raising up an increasingly diverse and low-income student population to higher state standards.
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Public School Accountability
In the first year of the new accountability system, schools will be deemed to have “met standard” or face “improvement required” based on a new measure that comprises four components. To meet state standards, each school and district must hit the target score on all indexes.
• Index 1: Student Achievement
Score is based on the percentage of test scores at or above the satisfactory level. All students and all tests. Target: 50
• Index 2: Student Progress
Score is a weighted composite based on the percentage of scores for test-takers that met or exceeded progress measures on reading, math and writing.
• Index 3: Closing Performance Gaps
Includes students who are economically disadvantaged and the two lowest performing ethnic groups the year before. Score is a composite based on percentage of scores for those students at and above Level 2 on each test. Target: 55
• Index 4*: Postsecondary Readiness
Score is derived from the combination of the graduation rate for select student groups and the rate for finishing recommended/distinguished plans. Target: 75
* Applies only to high schools and districts