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Commissioner Releases Final Version of the 2013 Accountability System

The Commissioner released details of the “new” 2013 accountability system on Tuesday, though ratings are still largely based on STAAR performance. Ratings for schools and districts under the new system will be issued on August 8.  However, it’s possible the changes will be postponed for one year based on pending legislation. If passed, Senate Bill 1109 by Deuell, would suspend the ratings until 2014.

The new accountability system will use a performance index framework made up of four components:

Index 1: Student Achievement – Requires satisfactory performance on STAAR, across all subjects, on both the general and alternative assessments, and for 2013 only, satisfactory performance on the grade 11 TAKS (All Students).

Index 2: Student Progress – Schools must show improvements made on overall achievement levels in reading, math and writing. Progress is evaluated by subject and by student group (All Students; Student Groups by Race/Ethnicity; English Language Learners; Special Education). Credit is based on weighted performance, with one point given for each percentage of students at the Met Growth expectation level and two points given for each percentage of students at the Exceeded level.

Index 3: Closing Performance Gaps – Emphasizes advanced academic achievement of the economically disadvantaged student group and the lowest performing race/ethnicity student groups at each campus or district by each subject area—reading, ELA, math, writing, science and social studies (All Students; Student Groups by Race/Ethnicity). One point given for each percentage of students meeting the phase-in Level II performance standard.

Index 4: Postsecondary Readiness – For 2013, Postsecondary Readiness will be based on high school graduation rates and the percentage of students who graduate on the Recommended or Distinguished Achievement plans.  Beginning in 2014, STAAR EOC performance at the postsecondary readiness standard will become an indicator (All Students; Student Groups by Race/Ethnicity; English Language Learners; Special Education).

Districts and campuses with students in grade 9 or above must meet targets on all four indexes. Districts and campuses with students in grade 8 or lower must meet targets on the first three indexes only (postsecondary readiness is excluded).

Districts, campuses and charter schools will receive one of three ratings:

  • Met Standard – Met accountability targets on all indexes for which they have performance data in 2013.
  • Met Alternative Standard – Met modified performance index targets for alternative education campuses or districts.
  • Improvement Required – Did not meet one or more performance index targets.

For eligible campuses that achieve the rating of Met Standard, distinction designations in the following areas will also be assigned for outstanding academic achievement: 

  • Top 25 Percent Student Progress
  • Academic Achievement in Reading/English language arts
  • Academic Achievement in Mathematics

These designations will be based on campus performance in relation to a comparison group of campuses.

Because all aspects of the performance index framework cannot be fully implemented at this time, 2013 will be considered a transition year. Accountability advisory groups will reconvene later this year to finalize recommendations for accountability ratings criteria for 2014 and beyond.

In addition, work will continue on the conversion of this new system into an A-F rating system for 2014.

Commissioner Williams acknowledged that various aspects of the state accountability system are currently being discussed by the Texas Legislature. Any changes in bills passed during the legislative session can and will be incorporated into the system.