By Chris Edwards
AUSTIN – For the first time in three years, the Texas Education Agency has released, on Monday, its accountability ratings for the state’s school districts as well as individual campuses.
The A-F letter grade rating system, which was adopted in 2018, after a bill passed during the 85th Texas Legislature to establish the system as a simplified means of evaluating the academic performances of Texas schools.
The system uses a series of letter grades, A through F, as one would receive on a school report card. It is based primarily on standardized testing results from students in grades three through 12 throughout the academic year.
“The ratings examine student achievement, student progress, efforts to close the achievement gap and postsecondary readiness,” according to the TEA accountability website.
This year’s slate of ratings is the first since 2019 due to two years of COVID-related pauses, according to a news release issued Monday by TEA to announce the ratings’ release. “These results show our state’s significant investment in the post-pandemic recovery of Texas public school students is bearing fruit,” said TEA Commissioner Mike Morath.
Across the state, 1,195 districts and 8,451 campuses were rated this year, with noted significant gains in students’ academic growth. This year saw 25% of districts and 33% of campuses improve their letter grade from 2019’s reports.
All of Tyler County’s five school districts made the passing mark, with Chester, Colmesneil, Spurger and Warren receiving “B” grades and Woodville ISD receiving a “C.”
The last time the accountability ratings were issued, Spurger received a “D” rating, with its overall score a 62 out of 100. This year, it is up to 88 out of 100 in its overall score.
Morath said the driving force behind the rise in the numbers is upon the shoulders of teachers and local school leaders. “Statewide policy in Texas continues to remain focused on meeting the needs of students, with an accountability system that supports high expectations…and an investment in evidence-based training for our teachers,” Morath said.
At the statewide level, 33.1%, or 396 districts, received an “A” rating, compared to 25.3% or 301 districts in 2019. Fifty-four percent of the state’s school districts, or 645, received a “B” grade with the 2022 results.