Updated - January 6, 2017
The ‘What if' ratings were released by the Texas Education Agency this morning. RISD received a grade of “B” in each of the four domains. Click the link below to see how grades were distributed to school districts across Texas. TEA Commissioner of Education Mike Morath released the following statement regarding these ratings:
“The ratings are for informational purposes to meet a legislative requirement and represent work-in-progress models that are likely to change before A–F ratings become effective in August 2018. No inferences about official district or campus performance in the 2015–16 school year should be drawn from these ratings, and these ratings should not be considered predictors of future district or campus performance ratings.”
Original Story 12/15/16
In 2015, the Texas Legislature passed a bill requiring the Texas Education Agency (TEA) to prepare an accountability system that rates each Texas public school with an A, B, C, D or F rating. Like previous accountability systems, the A-F system will be based primarily of the results of the standardized STAAR test, which students take once a year in different subjects, depending on grade level. Also like previous accountability systems, the formulas and process used to arrive at a single A-F rating for a school will be very complex, and difficult for staff and stakeholders to easily understand or explain.
The first formal school and district ratings of the new A-F system will be announced after the 2017-18 school year, in the summer of 2018. However, the Texas Legislature has required TEA to prepare a set of “what if” A-F ratings for each school in Texas, using data from the 2015-16 school year, that is scheduled to be released January 6, 2017. The “what if” ratings will label schools using a modified bell curve, meaning that schools will not receive a rating by attaining a specific level of performance, but will instead receive an A-F label based on where they fall relative to other schools in Texas, with the number of each type of ratings determined in advance. For example, approximately 1/3 of Texas schools will be assigned a rating of D or F in the “what if” ratings, regardless of the actual academic performance of students on the standardized STAAR test.
RISD Interim Superintendent Dr. Jeannie Stone has joined superintendents from across Texas to express their deep concerns about the A-F system.
“I don’t feel the A-F system will give parents and community members anything close to an accurate idea of how schools are performing,” said Stone. “Assigning a letter grade, based substantially on the outcome of a standardized test taken on one day of the year, simply can’t capture the year-long efforts of students, teachers, principals and everyone who supports teaching and learning. Entire school and communities will be painted with the brush of a single letter grade, even though individual students perform across a wide range of achievement levels on a number of different indicators. The A-F concept has been attempted - and has failed - elsewhere. We owe our students, teachers and communities better than this system.”
“The students wanted to make this day ‘so huge’ that it would have an impact and that the message would be remembered. They hope that this will start a movement on which others will build, and that this day will be talked about for years to come. They also speak about wanting our district to be one of ‘radical inclusiveness’ where everyone is kind to each other – every day.”
- Dr. Jeannie Stone, RISD Superintendent, on the district’s recent “Kindness Day”
“A trip like this, especially with the tours and places we get to visit, will, I believe, shed a different light and give us different perspective on our nation and its history. It is one thing to read about these places and events in a book, but getting to study them and experience them up close is a completely different story.”
- LHHS Wildcat Wrangler Erin Moudy, on performing for the Presidential Inauguration
“When you can put kids in an authentic work environment that is a skill that you can’t duplicate in a traditional brick and mortar school. You can have the same equipment, you can have the same teachers, you can have the same resources, but you can’t give them the vision of walking into a working hospital.”
- Sandra Hayes, the district’s assistant superintendent of district operations, to the Dallas Morning News during the Open House for RISD’s new Health Science Program at Methodist Richardson Medical Center