Although both chambers expressed an interest in making changes to the current school accountability system this session, the versions of HB 22 that have passed the House and Senate are substantially different in some respects. The House currently faces a decision about whether to accept the Senate version or attempt to negotiate through the conference committee process. (UPDATE: On Friday, the House refused to concur with Senate amendments and appointed a conference committee.)

Among the provisions included in both versions of the bill is clarification that a “D” rating under the new A-F system is considered “needs improvement” rather than “unacceptable.” Both versions also include more non-test based indicators in an attempt to reduce the emphasis in the accountability system on student performance on standardized tests.

HOUSE

As it passed the House, HB 22, authored by House Public Education Committee Chair Dan Huberty:

Delays full implementation of A-F ratings until the 2019-20 school year

  • Collapses the current five-domain system into three domains: student achievement, school performance, and school climate
  • Sanctions the use of student performance on state tests as part of a teacher quality indicator, limited to no more than 25% of the indicator
  • Requires a school climate survey as part of the school climate domain
  • Does not require a single, summative letter grade for a district or campus, instead each domain is given a letter grade
  • Provides that student test results cannot count for more than 50% in any given domain

 

SENATE

The Senate version, sponsored by Senate Education Committee Chair Larry Taylor:

  • Does not delay the A-F ratings; current law provides that schools and districts would receive A-F ratings beginning with the 2018-19 school year
  • Continues current law requiring an overall letter grade rating for districts and campuses
  • Collapses the current five domains into four – the three included in the House version plus a fourth called “closing the gaps”
  • Does not include student test performance in the teacher quality indicator; the indicator would include the percentage of teachers teaching in their field of certification and efforts by districts and campuses to increase teacher retention, including providing mentoring programs and professional development opportunities
  • Does not include a limit on the weight of student test scores in a domain