Lubbock-Cooper ISD Releases Statement Blasting TEA’s A Through F Accountability Rating System
Late Thursday evening, Lubbock-Cooper ISD released a lengthy statement on their official Facebook page blasting the Texas Education Agency’s new letter-grade accountability system that debuts Friday.
The first paragraph of LCISD’s statement reads:
“We do not consider ratings generated by the “A-F system” to be an accurate or all-encompassing measurement of the success of students and teachers in our district or in any Texas public school. The mission of Lubbock-Cooper ISD is to love students, keep students safe, and teach students well – none of which can be gauged by this incomplete and flawed system.”
The TEA’s current accountability system gives public school district campuses and districts one of two ratings: “met standard” or “improvement required.”
However, two years ago during the 84th Legislature, House Bill 2804 was passed, calling for changes to rating system — specifically moving to letter grades of A through F.
“It is very much a work-in-progress report,” Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath explained to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram during a roundtable with education reporters in December.
According to the Austin American Statesman, the new letter-grade accountability system goes into effect in August 2018. The report released publicly on Friday is to provide a preview of what the new rating system will look like in a year-and-a-half.
The complete statement from Lubbock-Cooper ISD concerning the Texas Education Agency’s new letter-grade accountability rating system can be read below:
We do not consider ratings generated by the “A-F system” to be an accurate or all-encompassing measurement of the success of students and teachers in our district or in any Texas public school. The mission of Lubbock-Cooper ISD is to love students, keep students safe, and teach students well – none of which can be gauged by this incomplete and flawed system.
While the “A-F system” is not yet finalized and measurement components have not yet been explained to public schools (making the release of ratings premature and deficient), what we know so far is that the system does not provide a summary of student achievement or progress throughout the school year. Instead, ratings are calculated based on one test (STAAR) which is administered on a handful of days and requires that all students achieve the same passing standard, regardless of individual student needs or competency. The system also applies a forced curve, meaning that the percentage of schools receiving each grade has been predetermined. Regardless of performance, only 10 percent of Texas public schools are “allowed” to receive an “A” rating.
The “A-F system” is a step backward in the measurement of student achievement. As a public school, we are charged with providing quality education to ALL students by meeting their very individualized needs and administering the attention and resources each student deserves. Each student is unique. Their backgrounds, abilities, and requirements vary. This system ignores diversity, socioeconomic status, and potential educational obstacles of Texas students. It does not meet students where they are, but demands that all students fit the mold of what legislators consider the ideal learner. This system is inherently unfair, favoring the communities, schools, and students of affluence and only further reducing resources so desperately needed by schools serving diverse populations.
Lubbock-Cooper ISD has a long-standing record of not only meeting, but exceeding all goals set by state lawmakers, and we believe the appraisal of our students and teachers is a necessary and critical component of our accountability to the public. We cannot support an inadequate system which provides a convoluted portrayal of success. Texas students and teachers deserve to be appraised by a system that measures their success accurately, wholly, and without bias.