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Texas Is Giving School Districts A-F Grades Today as Part of New Ratings System

For the first time Wednesday, Texas school districts received official ratings that show their performance on a scale from A through F

Ninth-graders Sijay Flowers (left) and Latoria Jenkins (right) study English at Pinkston High School in Dallas, Texas, on April 4, 2018.

The Texas Education Agency is rolling out a new A through F accountability system Wednesday that measures the academic performance of school districts.

The districts are being graded on three areas: Student Achievement, School Progress and Closing the Gaps. They’ll receive an overall letter grade of A, B, C, D or F and a grade in each of the three areas.

Every year, the state grades school districts, schools and charters, but this is the first time it’s issuing letter grades, replacing the previous pass/fail system.

Individual schools won’t receive a letter grade until next school year. For now, they’re being graded on the pass/fail ratings system. For example, struggling schools receive a rating of “Improvement Required,” while schools that meet the state’s mininum standards receive a “Met Standard” rating.

During a recent interview for the newly launched TEA Time podcast, Education Commissioner Mike Morath explained how this new evaluation system works and why it changed. He said giving letter grades will help people distinguish among districts and campuses that are average, good and great.

“It also allows us to change our focus and conversation from just the campuses that are ‘Improvement Required’ to campuses that are excellent, to our A campuses,” Morath said. “It is generally beneficial for us to sort of focus on our highest-performing campuses, our highest-performing teacher teams and ask ourselves: ‘What are they doing?’ and ‘How can we replicate their work? How can we expand their work to get that level of excellence for as many kids as possible?’”

To see how your school district and school fared, you can visit the state’s new accountability website, (which will be available to the public around mid-morning Wednesday.)

 

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