A-F rating system

House Bill (HB) 2804, passed by the 84th Texas Legislature in 2015, made significant changes to the state accountability system, which are scheduled to take effect in the 2017-18 school year. The first official ratings under this system will be released in August of 2018.

This new accountability system includes the creation of an A-F rating system to “grade” campus and district performance, similar to grades students receive on their report cards. Campuses and districts have previously been rated as Met Standard, Met Alternative Standard, Improvement Required or Not Rated.

Projected ratings

The Texas Education Agency (TEA) has released projected ratings using information based on the results from 2015-2016 student performance. These are dubbed “what if” ratings and will be shared with state legislators when they convene later in January.

How does the new system compare to the one used now?

Like the current ratings, the A-F ratings are based on select criteria. The current system uses the word “index”, while the new system uses the term “domain”. 

For example, in the index system, Index 1 calculates the percentage of students performing at the satisfactory level across all assessments in all content areas at all grade levels. In the A-F rating system, Domain 1 calculates the percentage of students performing at satisfactory, postsecondary readiness, and advanced levels across all assessments in all content areas at all grade levels and averages the three performance levels together.

Each domain in the new system has specific criteria used for measurement of performance:

Domain I: Student Achievement-Meeting standards at satisfactory, college readiness and advanced levels on STAAR

Domain II: Student Progress-STAAR annual reading and mathematics growth, indicating meeting and exceeding growth expectations

Domain III: Closing Performance Gaps-Evaluating academic performance of students from low socioeconomic backgrounds and comparing actual performance to predicted performance 

Domain IV: Postsecondary Readiness-Academic attainments (other than STAAR) that differ by campus level. At the high school level, this combines graduation rates and college/career readiness indicators, including Career and Technology Education (CTE) sequence completion, Advanced Placement (AP) course completion, postsecondary course credit, and Texas Success Initiative (TSI) benchmarks.

Domain V: Community and Student Engagement-Three self-selected categories of the Community and Student Engagement ratings. These are not included in the “what if” predictions.

For details on specific indicators used to evaluate district and campus performance for the preliminary “what if” results and for the August 2018 results, see the A-F Indicators information on the TEA website.

The Texas Education Agency has created a video to further explain the new system.