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Feedback Sought on TEA Accountability Metrics

TEA
School classroom | Image by Lopolo/Shutterstock

State education officials have released the proposed 2024 Accountability Manual, which they hope to adopt in May and implement for the 2024-2025 school term.

The Texas Education Agency (TEA) published its new manual, which contains the recently updated A-F accountability system for publicly funded school districts across the state, on February 15. The proposed rule to adopt the manual will be published in the Texas Register on February 23, beginning a 30-day public comment period that will close on March 25.

A public hearing will be held on March 5 to go over a motion to adopt the proposed manual. Those wishing to attend the meeting virtually can register here. During the public comment period, comments can be submitted electronically using the public comment form.

TEA made several changes to the accountability system for the 2022-2023 school year, which will remain the same despite backlash from public school officials at the district level.

As covered by The Dallas Express, a lawsuit filed against TEA by a number of Texas school districts has kept the latest student achievement scores under wraps.

The plaintiffs include Dallas ISD — the second largest in the state — whose superintendent, Stephanie Elizalde, has argued that student achievement scores would likely drop under the new metrics developed under Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath.

“We all know parents do now look at these letter grades when they’re choosing where to live, so this could have an impact on property values, it could have an impact on student enrollment,” she previously said, according to NBC 5 DFW.

In 2021-2022, the TEA accountability report had Dallas ISD underperforming across several metrics. Only 41% of students scored at grade level on their STAAR exams, while almost 20% of graduating seniors did not earn a diploma within four years.

The revised A-F accountability system came on the heels of a STAAR exam redesign, updating metrics related to performance on the STAAR exam and college, career, and military readiness, among others.

Many education experts consider the accountability system to be vital to student success, as districts can use the ratings to adjust and target weak areas.

“The harsh reality of this situation is that when Texas schools don’t have accountability ratings, the group that suffers the most are students,” said Mary Lynn Pruneda, a policy advisor with the nonprofit Texas 2036, according to The Texas Tribune. “After the pandemic, only about half of our students are on grade level, and we’re graduating more than 120,000 students each year who aren’t ready for either college or a career.”

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