Policy / Texas' A-F Accountability System Is A Powerful Tool

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Texas' A-F Accountability System Is A Powerful Tool

Texas spends over $60 billion each year on our public education system. How do we measure a return on this major investment? Our state’s A-F accountability system provides one of the most reliable metrics, because it produces consistent, transparent results that all Texans can use to compare school systems and individual campuses. That’s why, in collaboration with our partners at Texas 2036, Greater Houston Partnership, the Dallas Regional Chamber, Texas Business Leadership Council, Teach Plus Texas, the Austin Chamber, Educate Texas, and Good Reason Houston, we’ve produced a short video explaining the importance of this system.

This video follows a recent poll that shows 74% of North Texans support the state’s current system of assigning an A-F letter grade for schools. Texas’ A-F Accountability system assigns each district and campus a score corresponding to a letter grade. The scores, required by House Bill 22 (2017), reward the better of absolute achievement or year-over-year growth and measure schools’ progress in closing achievement gaps.

“Our state’s accountability system is vital to ensure families, school leaders, and lawmakers have access to apples-to-apples comparisons of student outcomes,” said Commit’s Managing Director of Policy Kate Greer. “Because of the actionable data provided in this system, we know that students on A- and B-rated campuses are nearly twice as likely to meet grade-level reading expectations, over two and half more likely to meet grade-level math expectations, and almost three times as likely to graduate college, career, and military ready as those on D or F campuses. As our state continues to recover from COVID-19 related learning loss, we must maintain our accountability system. Thankfully, North Texans agree.”

The video’s release also coincides with a 5-year regulatory review process in compliance with HB 22, the Texas Education Agency is undergoing entitled the “A-F Refresh.” Likely changes include bonus points for accelerated learning and better aligned CCMR metrics with in-demand fields, both important adjustments that respond to stakeholder feedback.

The A-F accountability system is designed to ensure every district and school has a fair chance of receiving a high letter grade – regardless of the number of students experiencing economic insecurity. In Commit’s latest interactive Hope Chart dashboard, it is clear that even districts with high levels of students experiencing economic insecurity can – and are – earning A’s, highlighting best practices that can be replicated across the state.

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