Bill scales back contentious system that grades Texas schools with A-F


Highlights

The A-F system is not yet in effect.

Several school officials have criticized the A-F system, saying it stigmatizes public schools.

House Bill 22 wouldn’t give an overall grade to campuses and school districts.

A bill filed Thursday would scale back a new state grading system for school districts and campuses.

House Bill 22 filed by state Rep. Dan Huberty, R-Houston and the chairman of the House Public Education Committee, would change the A-F accountability system that school districts have criticized since it was proposed in 2015. The A-F system hasn’t gone into effect yet, but the state assigned letter grades to school districts and campuses in January that showed how they would have performed if the A-F accountability system were in use.

School district officials were unhappy, saying that the system — which will be implemented in August 2018 — unfairly penalizes schools with large numbers of low-income students. They also said that assigning letter grades stigmatizes public schools while providing little useful information to the public. Proponents said the system is a more transparent and comprehensive way of grading schools.

Among the changes the bill would make is push back implementation of the A-F system a year.

READ: Texas schools and districts get their letter grades from state

“TASA appreciates that Chairman Huberty is willing to work on the A-F accountability system and improve its flaws. We also applaud that HB 22 pushes back the implementation of A-F to 2019 to allow more time to develop a better accountability system,” said Casey McCreary with the Texas Association of School Administrators.

The bill would reduce the number of categories in which each campus and school district would be graded. The categories eliminated are ones that grade how well districts and campuses prepare students for careers and college and how well they reduce the performance gap between between low-income and higher-income students. Campuses and school districts would still be graded on overall student performance and progress and their “school climate” — how well they engage with students and the community.

Some parts of the eliminated categories would be integrated into existing ones.

Based on a preliminary review of the bill, Clay Robison with the Texas State Teachers Association said the bill still weighs heavily on standardized tests and will disproportionately hurt campuses with high numbers of poor kids.

“If Chairman Huberty is attempting to make A-F more acceptable to educators, I’m not sure he gets there,” Robison said.

The bill also would eliminate assigning an overall letter grade to each school district and campus. The bill would only give letter grades in each of the three categories. Currently, school districts and campuses receive an overall label that indicates whether they met state requirements for the year or if they need improvement.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Texas News & Politics

Sheriff: Williamson Co. apartment stay indoors, “situation developing”
Sheriff: Williamson Co. apartment stay indoors, “situation developing”

The Williamson County sheriff’s office is asking residents at the Preserve at Rolling Hills Apartments south of Round Rock to shelter in place Sunday night due to a “situation developing.” Williamson County Sheriff Robert Chody tweeted shortly before 6 p.m. about a possible incident at the complex, which is located in the 15000 block...
Border Patrol agent dies, partner seriously injured in Big Bend area

The FBI has taken charge of an investigation into the death of a U.S. Customs and Border Protection agent and the serious injury of another Sunday in the Big Bend area of Texas. Border Patrol agent Rogelio Martinez and his partner were taken to a hospital after sustaining injuries while on duty around Big Bend. Martinez died and his partner, whose...
Man accused of baseball bat attacks in North Austin, police say

NORTH AUSTIN Man accused of baseball bat attacks A 26-year-old man was charged with five counts of aggravated assault after police said he struck five people with his hands and an aluminum baseball bat in North Austin. Kenney Irons was booked into the Travis County Jail in lieu of bail set at $100,000 following the incident at Zoe’s Helping Hand...
JUST IN: Man injured in rollover crash in northeast Austin Sunday
JUST IN: Man injured in rollover crash in northeast Austin Sunday

One man was injured in a rollover crash in northeast Austin on Sunday, Austin-Travis County EMS said. The wreck occurred on the southbound service road of Texas 130 near East Pflugerville Parkway shortly before 3 p.m., EMS said. A man in his 30s was pulled from his vehicle and taken to Seton Medical Center Williamson with potentially serious injuries...
Police: Florida woman kills husband, hides his duct taped body in closet
Police: Florida woman kills husband, hides his duct taped body in closet

A 65-year-old Florida woman was arrested and accused of murdering her husband and then hiding his duct-taped body behind a brick wall she built inside a closet.  Barbara Wozniak, of Shalimar, was charged with second-degree murder Friday night while she was already in the Okaloosa County jail on another charge of tampering with evidence...
More Stories