but Acceptable district
Q: All the campuses
in our district are Exemplary or Recognized, but
the district is rated Acceptable. How can that be?
A: It is often
the case that individual schools have higher ratings than their
district. Any one of a number of situations may explain it:
- First of all, there are fewer students
at the school level. That is, while schools and districts are
held accountable for the performance of all students, the individual
student groups (African American, Hispanic, White, and Economically
Disadvantaged) must have at least 30 students to be considered
in the ratings system. For that reason, an elementary school
might be judged on only 7 or 8 indicators because it had very
few students taking (for example) 5th grade TAKS science. On
the other hand, at the district level, where science is tested
in grades 5, 8, 10, and 11, there may be enough students in each
group, so the district is held accountable for the performance
of every student group in science.
- Second, students who move from campus to campus within the
same district during the school year may have their results removed
from each campus's performance. However, their results
are included in the district's performance. This is referred
to as the Accountability
Subset. See Chapter 2 in the 2009
Accountability Manual for more information.
- Third, elementary and middle schools are not accountable for
the Completion Rate indicator. As a result, districts are more
likely to be held accountable for all 35 indicators, while many
schools are held accountable for fewer than 10 indicators.
- Finally, a district's rating is held to Academically Acceptable if any of its campuses is are rated Academically Unacceptable
or if certain problems are found with the quality of the district's
data leaver reporting.
Q: I carefully checked
the performance of my district on every indicator, and it appears
they should be rated Recognized, but the state rated them
Acceptable. How can this be?
A: A district
whose performance is at the Recognized or Exemplary
level can be held to a rating of Academically Acceptable if
it has one or more campuses rated Academically
Texas Projection Measure (TPM) and Status by Measure Columns
Q: Why does the 2009 Data Table look different from the 2008 Data Table?
A: The Texas Projection
Measure is a new feature in the 2009 Accountability System. As
a result, several new columns were added to the data tables. The
tables are now arranged to allow a simple step-by-step process
to determine a rating. The first set of columns show
the percent that met the TAKS standard. That is followed by columns
showing whether or not the school or district met Required Improvement.
The TPM column follows, listing the number and the percent meeting
the standard with TPM. The percent meeting the standard with TPM
can be used to elevate the rating of an indicator. Finally, another
new feature—the Status by Measure columns—shows the status of each
evaluated TAKS measure, beginning with Met Standard, then after
applying Required Improvement, TPM, and Exceptions, ending with
the final status of the measure in the *** summary column. For
more information on how to read the data tables, see Chapter 4
in the 2009
Accountability Manual; for more information regarding
Ethnic Groups that Count Toward
Q: Why is it that
the groups looked at to determine a school's rating do
not include Asian students? What happens
to the scores that
do not fall under the White, Hispanic, African American, or economically disadvantaged?
A: The performance
of all students—regardless of ethnicity—is included
as part of All
Students. The performance of White, Hispanic, African American,
and economically disadvantaged student groups is looked at if there
are enough students to comprise a statistic of reliable size.
Ethnic groups with very small populations statewide, such as Asian/Pacific
Islander and Native American are not considered separately because
there are rarely enough of them in a given school or district to
count as an additional indicator. Again, the performance of these
students is not omitted; it is included with All
The ethnic groups that are part of school and district accountability
comprise at least 10% of the state population. For 2008-09, the
population of students in Texas public schools was as follows:
African American 14%, Hispanic 47%, Native American 0.3%, Asian/Pacific
Islander 3.4%, White 35%.
For more information on minimum size in accountability,
please see Chapter 2 in the 2009
Q: What happens when
a student comes to my school just a week before the TAKS test? We
try hard to get them ready for the tests, but it's difficult with
so little time. Will their performance affect our rating?
A: No, students
who change schools after the PEIMS snapshot date (end of October)
and before the date of testing are taken out of the accountability
subset. Please see Chapter 2, Table 4 in the 2009
Accountability Manual for a complete explanation.
Q: My high school
improved on TAKS over last year's performance, and their Completion
rate was the same. This year they received a lower rating.
How can this be?
A: Last year, with
the School Leaver Provision in place, high schools and districts
were not adversely affected by their Completion or Dropout rates.
In 2009, the School Leaver Provision is no longer in place, and
school and district ratings may be affected by their Dropout and
Q: Why does the
data table for my school show >99% under Percent Met Standard?
I know that 100% of the students passed that test!
A: The accountability
data tables now employ more masking of assessment data than has
been used in the past, in order to comply with the federal Family
Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). For more detailed information,
please see the Explanation of Masking.
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