Friday, March 1, 2024

Decision to pause A-F school ratings gets mixed reviews from 2 local superintendents

WACO, TX – The state’s decision to pause A-F school ratings for the 2020-2021 school year drew mixed reviews Friday from two Central Texas superintendents.

On Thursday the Texas Education Agency announced that A-F school ratings will be paused for the current school year because of the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, but STAAR testing will proceed.

However, the test results won’t be used for accountability purposes, and may be removed from teacher evaluations should districts choose to do so, the TEA said.

“We are pleased that the state decided to suspend these ratings for Waco ISD,” WISD Superintendent Dr. Susan Kincannon said Friday.

“We had been hoping for this announcement for a while now,” she said.

“We don’t see the need to rate our schools this year because there are just too many variables,” she says.

“This was the right decision.”

Kincannon says attendance in the district has been an issue as has enrollment.

The district says it’s being “held harmless” throughout the school year so far, meaning it won’t be penalized by the state.

However, Kincannon says that could change.

“For Waco ISD our preliminary projections show that if we aren’t held harmless that could be a $5 million impact for us,” she said.

Dr. Daryl Henson, the superintendent of the struggling Marlin ISD, was disappointed by the TEA’s decision, however.

“I am a little bummed that the A-F ratings are paused because I am strongly confident in the success Marlin ISD would have shown,” Henson said.

He says that the district still plans to use the STAAR tests to help craft next year’s lesson plans.

“Despite ratings being paused we are going to utilize the data from the tests to inform us,” Henson said.

“It’ll be as if A-F was going to be counting for this year,” he said.

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