With New Rating System, Majority Of Texas Schools Make The Grade

Thursday the Texas Education Agency released the 2013 ratings for schools and districts. They are the first ratings calculated by a brand new system.

The five biggest school districts in Greater Houston all got the same rating for 2013 from the state.

The Houston, Cypress-Fairbanks, Fort Bend, Aldine and Katy school districts all “met standard.”

It’s the higher of the two ratings on Texas’ brand new accountability system.

“We’re very proud of campuses and our students and our teachers for the work that they did,” says Linda Macias with Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District.

It’s one of the largest districts in Texas with over 100,000 students.

She says not only the district but all of their schools got that rating.

"We are very proud of our campuses and our teachers and students for the work that they did."

In fact, across Texas more than 80 percent of all public schools and charter schools “met standard” with the brand new rating system.

Nine percent of Texas schools were marked as “improvement required.”

Spring Branch Superintendent Duncan Klussmann says the new system is better than the old one in some ways.

“I’ve always had concern with the previous labels of exemplary, recognized, acceptable and low performing. And I think these are much more accurate labels.

But like other school leaders, he has some concerns with the new, more complicated system.

“The piece that’s going to be a little bit of concern for parents and for the state is just it’s a more complex system and the ability to explain how the data is actually developed.”

For example, he says it’s not clear how the state calculates student growth. That’s one of the four areas that make up the overall rating.

DeEtta Culbertson with the Texas Education Agency says parents can get detailed information and data for their child’s school online at the TEA website.

“It gives the parent a report card. They can look at how that school is faring according to state standards.”

She also has this advice for parents: Accountability is just one piece of the whole picture.

“But we also encourage parents to look at the school overall, and look at it as a whole – what  programs do they offer, do they meet specific requirements for that parent’s child, and we encourage them to visit also.”

Even as the state launches this new rating system, the Texas Education Commissioner says they will make tweaks and changes based on feedback from school leaders, teachers and parents.

And in a few years, the state will release another new rating system for districts.

 

Here is a look at how individual schools in Texas performed in 2013 under the new rating system. Source: Texas Education Agency:

RATING

ELEM

MIDDLE

HS

MULTI

TOTAL

PERCENT

Met Standard/Alternative

4,062

1,511

1,338

295

7,206

84.2%

Met Standard

4,062

1,504

1,156

264

6,986

81.7%

Met Alternative Standard

N/A

7

182

31

220

2.6%

Improvement Required

477

133

129

39

778

9.1%

Not Rated

73

62

280

156

571

6.7%

TOTAL

4,612

1,706

1,747

490

8,555

100.0%

 
Bio photo of Laura Isensee

Laura Isensee

Education Reporter

Laura Isensee covers education for KUHF, including K-12 and higher education.

Previously, she was a staff reporter at The Miami Herald and regularly contributed to WLRN, the local NPR affiliate and Miami Herald news partner...