WACO, TX – The school year may get easier for school districts after the Texas Education Agency chose to pause accountability ratings.
The A-F ratings are given out to schools based on students’ progress and test scores.
“The issuance of A-F ratings for schools has proven to be a valuable tool to support continuous improvement for our students, allowing educators, parents, and the general public to better identify and expand efforts that are working for kids. But the pandemic has disrupted school operations in fundamental ways that have often been outside the control of our school leaders, making it far more difficult to use these ratings as a tool to support student academic growth. As a result, we will not issue A-F ratings this school year,” said Texas Education Agency Commissioner Mike Morath.
Waco, Temple and Belton ISD superintendents were all in favor of the decision.
“We don’t see the need to rate our schools this year. We think this was the right decision. There’s too many variables,” said Waco ISD Superintendent Dr. Susan Kincannon.
However, one component that is continuing is the STAAR tests. However, some students say they are not prepared.
“We’ve been doing a lot of catching up and not needing to be where we’re at,” said Brianna Estill, a Junior at Belton ISD.
Despite statewide pleas to cancel the tests, Morath says the results will allow schools, teachers and parents to see how individual students are performing.
But with low attendance and enrollment, Kincannon predicts it will be difficult to get accurate data.
“We’re not a fan, but we do understand the need to measure our student academic achievement,” Kincannon added.
Although the ratings have been suspended, Kincannon says Waco ISD teachers will continue with the curriculum as they wait for more guidance regarding the STAAR tests.