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2013 Accountability Ratings Released – All RISD Schools Met Standard
The Texas Education Agency today released 2013 accountability ratings for public schools and districts across Texas after not issuing ratings in 2012 as the state planned its new accountability system. The 2013 ratings are based primarily on student results on the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) taken this past spring in grades 3-8 and at the end of specific courses in grades 9-12 (EOCs). For this year only, as the state continues to implement a new ratings system, just two ratings are possible: Met Standard and Improvement Required. Almost every school and district in Texas will receive one of these two ratings in 2013, replacing the former ratings of Exemplary, Recognized, Academically Acceptable and Academically Unacceptable. In future years, different, yet-to-be-named ratings will be issued for schools and districts.

2013 RISD Ratings
Richardson ISD and every RISD school received a 2013 rating of Met Standard. No RISD schools received a rating of Improvement Required.

In addition to an overall rating, each school in 2013 could earn distinctions in up to three specific academic areas: Reading/English Language Arts, Math and Student Progress. Distinctions in these three areas can be earned by school performance that places it in the top 25% of a group of the 40 most similar schools around Texas, as identified by the Texas Education Agency. While individual schools can earn distinctions in 2013, districts cannot.

Please click here to see the distinctions earned by RISD schools in 2013

"Overall, we are pleased with our 2013 ratings," said RISD Superintendent Dr. Kay Waggoner. "Every RISD school met the state standards, and more than 75% of our eligible schools earned a distinction through high academic performance. We are continuing to evaluate performance data and our curriculum with the goal of improving student achievement."

What Goes into the Ratings?

In order to earn a Met Standard rating, each school and district must meet a standard for a calculated index score in each of three (for elementary schools and junior highs) or four (districts and high schools) separate areas. The four areas include Student Achievement, Student Progress, Closing Performance Gaps and Postsecondary Readiness. This is a change from the previous state accountability system which relied on a one-day snapshot of student passage rates on the state TAKS test to determine ratings, rather than a calculated index score. The advantage of moving to an index-based accountability system is that additional factors beyond state test scores can be included to contribute to a school's rating. The disadvantage of an index-based system is that it is more difficult for parents and other stakeholders to understand. For example, a passage rate of 95 is widely understood as excellent, but an equally excellent calculated index score might be 62.

More explanation for each index:

Index 1 Student Achievement
This index is the straightforward measure of student passage rates for a school or district, similar to the previous accountability system.

Index 2 Student Progress
This index measures how well a school or district performs in helping students improve STAAR scores or maintain high STAAR scores.

Index 3 Closing Performance Gaps

This index measures how well a school or district performs in increasing the passage rate for students historically having the highest gaps in learning, specifically, the economically disadvantaged student group and the two historically lowest performing student ethnicity groups for a campus or district.

Index 4 College & Career Readiness

This index for high schools and districts measures how well prepared students are for college or career choices after graduation. This measure includes STAAR EOC performance at a college-ready level, graduation rates and how many students are graduating under a distinguished plan. For junior high and elementary schools this index measures how many students are well prepared to proceed to the next grade level.

The STAAR results factored into the ratings are based on student passing rates, which is the percent of students that met the passing standard on STAAR tests. The passing standard is what percent of answers a student needs to answer correctly on a STAAR test to "pass." As the state of Texas continues to transition to the new accountability system, passing standards are being phased in, gradually increasing until permanent passing standards are reached for each STAAR test. Additional indicators will be added in some indices in future years, such as ACT scores, and student participation and performance in advanced placement courses.

The state of Texas accountability and rating system is complex and remains in transition, with many aspects still undetermined. The 2013 school and district ratings reflect a partially implemented system, based on phased-in STAAR passing standards. For a much more comprehensive look at the 2013 performance index framework and accountability ratings, please click here to see a presentation from RISD's Department of Accountability and Continuous Improvement.

For additional information, please see the Texas Education Agency page on 2013 Accountability here.
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