The following was included in TCTA's 2018-19 Survival Guide, the ultimate reference tool for Texas educators, and is current as of September 2018 but is subject to change.

Districts get first grades in A-F state accountability system

Legislation passed in 2017 revised the current state account-ability system, effective August 2018, including reducing the current five-domain system to three domains: student achieve-ment, school progress and closing the gaps. Indicators in the student achievement domain for high schools will include a long list of non-STAAR-based options for demonstration of college/career readiness.

The revised accountability system also incorporates campus ratings from approved local accountability plans for up to 50 percent of the overall rating awarded to an eligible campus (effectively replacing current Domain 5/community and student engagement). For comprehensive details on the new system, click here

TEA must also report to the Texas Legislature by Dec. 1, 2022, the feasibility of incorporating extra/co-curricular indicators in the accountability system after studying the issue.

Although A-F ratings were assigned to school districts begin-ning in August 2018, A-F ratings for campuses will not take effect until August 2019, with a “What if” report by the Texas Education Agency to the legislature previewing what campus grades would look like under the new system due by January 2019. A change was made so that a rating of “D” no longer means unacceptable but instead means “needs improvement” (still high enough to be eligible to pursue District of Innovation status).

The commissioner of education, who is charged with making decisions about how the new system will be implemented, published his final decisions for public comment in the form of the 2018 Accountability Manual. The manual includes significant details regarding definitions of indicators, the weight assigned to the indicators, and how accountability ratings will be calculated, among others. One of the major decisions made by the commissioner was how districts and schools impacted by Hurricane Harvey would be handled under the new system.

TEA said 109 school districts and open-enrollment charter schools directly affected by Hurricane Harvey were eligible for special evaluation in this year’s state accountability system because they met at least one of a number of specific criteria. Those districts and charters that would have received a grade lower than an A were labeled “Not Rated” in 2018. Campuses meeting at least one of the following criteria that would have otherwise been rated “Improvement Required” also received a “Not Rated” rating for 2018:

  • The campus identified 10 percent or more of enrolled students with specific crisis codes for displaced or homeless students (campus enrollment is based on October snapshot data); OR
  • The campus reported that 10 percent or more of its teachers experienced homelessness due to Hurricane Harvey (as reported in a Homeless Survey in Feb. 14, 2018); OR
  • The campus was reported to TEA as closed for 10 or more instructional days due to Hurricane Harvey; OR
  • The campus was reported to TEA as displaced due to Hurricane Harvey either because the student population was relocated to another geographic location (at least through winter break) or the student population was required to share its own campus facility with the students of another campus closed as a direct result of Hurricane Harvey (at least through winter break).

Additionally, if 10 percent or more of the school district or open-enrollment charter school’s students were enrolled in a campus labeled “Not Rated” under the Hurricane Harvey Provision, the school district or open-enrollment charter school was labeled “Not Rated.” For purposes of required interventions based on consecutive years of receiving low ratings, 2017 and 2019 will be considered consecutive for school districts, open-enrollment charter schools and campuses receiving a “Not Rated” label in 2018 due to hurricane-related issues. To see this year’s district and campus ratings, click here.