1. Q: Did schools and districts receive a state accountability rating in 2012?
A: No. Under the state accountability system no ratings were assigned for 2012. However, under federal (AYP) accountability, schools and districts were assigned a status of Meets AYP, Missed AYP or Not Evaluated. For more information on federal accountability, please visit the AYP Home Page.
2. Q: Did the 2011 ratings "roll over" for 2012?
A: No. There were no ratings under state accountability for 2012, and the ratings for 2011 did not apply to 2012. See the PEG FAQ for information on how the lack of state ratings in 2012 will affect schools listed under the Public Education Grant (PEG).
3. Q: Will performance on the STAAR tests from 2012 be used in the 2013 accountability system?
A: It is possible that the 2012 STAAR performance will be used for purposes of calculating improvement from 2012 to 2013 in determining ratings for 2013.
4. Q: When will schools receive their next ratings?
A: Schools and districts will be rated under the new accountability system in 2013, and will receive those ratings on August 8, 2013.
5. Q: Why is Texas developing a different framework for public school accountability?
A: In the previous state accountability system, campuses and districts were required to meet criteria on up to 25 separate assessment measures (five subjects times five student groups), plus up to 10 dropout and high school completion measures in order to achieve the Academically Acceptable rating. Thus, a school could have been rated Academically Unacceptable because of poor performance on a single measure, even if all other measures indicated high performance.
Depending on how the HB 3 requirements for student progress measures and measures at the Advanced (Level III) performance standard are incorporated, it is possible that the number of measures could easily double or triple if the former system was continued. The new system under development will allow accountability on a large number of measures, without the rating dependent on a single one.
6. Q: What is a Performance Index?
A: With a Performance Index each measure contributes points to an index score. Districts and campuses are required to meet one accountability target—the total index score. With a Performance Index, the resulting rating reflects overall performance for the campus or district rather than the weakest performance of one student group/subject area.
7. Q: With a performance index, how will we ensure that individual student groups are not ignored?
A: Index 3 is specifically designed to address this concern. In addition to evaluating the economically disadvantaged student group, this index will identify the two lowest performing race/ethnicity student groups for the district and for each campus based on their prior year performance. Credit is assigned only if the students in these student groups meet the STAAR Satisfactory level (one point credit) or meet the STAAR Advanced level (two point credit). Index 3 will be the critical index in the overall district/campus evaluation that ensures that their lowest performing student groups receive focused interventions.
Additionally, the two previous state accountability systems only evaluated five student groups, as shown in the shaded boxes in the table below. The proposed system will evaluate the performance of each student group in the table below depending on the specific indicator and index.
||Two or More Races
|Students with Disabilities
|English Language Learners
System safeguards can also be applied to the index system to ensure that poor performance of a specific student group is addressed. Options for these safeguards are under discussion, such as assigning minimum performance floors for individual measures. Performance below a floor could potentially not contribute any points to the score, which would direct attention to the poorest areas, and/or could determine areas that would be required to be addressed in a school improvement plan.
8. Q: What are the proposed performance indexes for the new state of Texas accountability system?
A: Each of the four proposed indexes are designed to focus on specific measures of student performance in order to provide a comprehensive overview of school performance based on multiple indicators of student success.
- Index 1 - Student Achievement: This index provides an overall summary of the school’s performance at the Level II (Satisfactory) performance standard on the STAAR across all grade levels and subject areas tested.
- Index 2 - Student Progress: This index credits schools for demonstrating progress on the student growth measure that will be developed for the STAAR assessments following the spring 2013 administration.
- Index 3 - Closing the Performance Gaps: This index focuses on the economically disadvantaged student group and the two lowest performing race/ethnicity groups on the campus or district, recognizing performance gains that significantly close achievement gaps by the 2019-20 school year.
- Index 4 - Postsecondary Readiness: This index combines the following measures of postsecondary readiness: Level III (Advanced) performance on STAAR, four-year and five-year high school graduation rates, and RHSP/AHSP program graduates.
9. Q: What will be the rating labels in 2013? Will we still use Exemplary, Acceptable and so forth?
A: At this time no decisions have been made regarding the rating labels for 2013 and beyond. This is among the many issues to be discussed by the Accountability Technical Advisory Committee (ATAC) and the Accountability Policy Advisory Committee (APAC). Recommendations of these committees will be considered by the Commissioner of Education.
10. Q: Do any other states use a performance index for the state accountability systems?
A: Yes, a number of states use different variations of performance index systems to evaluate their schools. The accountability advisory committee members that developed the performance index proposal reviewed the performance index systems that are in place in the following states: California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Ohio, Oklahoma, North Carolina, and South Carolina.
11. Q: What type of progress measure will be used?
A: The agency is evaluating the use of transition tables that will give credit for students who progress to higher achievement bands within each of the three performance levels on the STAAR assessments.
12. Q: Will indicators of career and technical education be included in the state rating system?
A: As required by statute, new distinction designations for 21st Century Workforce Development Programs will be developed by an advisory committee of experts, educators, and community leaders appointed by the governor, lieutenant governor, and speaker of the house. The 21st Century Workforce Development Program committee will convene through 2013 to develop distinction designations that can be awarded as early as 2014. As distinction designations indicators for 21st Century Workforce Development Programs are developed, APAC and ATAC will examine whether some CTE measures are appropriate for inclusion in the performance index accountability system. See Distinction Designations below for more information.
13. Q: Who is helping TEA develop the system for 2013 and beyond?
A: Since March 2012, the Accountability Technical Advisory Committee (ATAC) and the Accountability Policy Advisory Committee (APAC) have met with TEA staff numerous times. These committees consider the complex technical issues related to accountability and propose solutions.
14. Q: Who are the members of the advisory groups that are developing the new accountability system?
A: In addition to educators representing campuses, school districts, and education service centers, the members of the Accountability Policy Advisory Committee (APAC) include legislative representatives, business and community leaders, representatives of higher education, and parents of children attending Texas public schools.
Members of the Accountability Technical Advisory Committee (ATAC) are Texas public school educators from districts and education service centers who have detailed knowledge of the state assessment and accountability systems.
15. Q: How will schools be evaluated in the first year of new state accountability system?
A: The STAAR Level III (Advanced) standard cannot be used to determine state accountability ratings in 2013. Also, the student progress measure will not be available in time for use in the 2013 accountability ratings. As a result, the 2013 ratings will be based on a limited number of indicators in the following performance indexes:
- Index 1: Student Achievement (including grade 11 TAKS)
- Index 3: Closing Performance Gaps (performance at the Level II (Satisfactory) standard only)
- Index 4: Postsecondary Readiness (graduation rates and high school diploma graduates only).
16. Q: When will districts be informed about the final decisions on the 2013 accountability system?
A: The commissioner is scheduled to release final decisions on the 2013 accountability system by the end of March 2013.
17. Q: Where can someone find additional information about the development of the new state accountability rating and distinction designations systems?
A: Accountability Development Materials are available online. This includes materials that have been reviewed with the accountability advisory groups.
18. Q: Will I have the opportunity to provide feedback?
A: Comments on proposals made in November were accepted from educators and the public through January 18, 2013. These comments will be compiled and presented to the Accountability Technical Advisory Committee for their February meeting.
19. Q: Will schools and districts be able to earn Gold Performance Acknowledgments in 2013?
A: Gold Performance Acknowledgments will no longer be awarded. TEC requires that Distinction Designations be assigned to campuses for outstanding achievement.
20. Q: What are the Distinction Designations?
A: For 2013, Distinction Designations will be awarded to schools and districts for Academic Achievement in reading/ELA and mathematics. See the Recommendations on Indicators, Framework, and Targets for Distinction Designations for more information. Other distinctions will be added to the system as they become available.
21. Q: What are the Academic Achievement Distinction Designations that are scheduled to be assigned in 2013?
A: Academic achievement distinction designations will be assigned to campuses in August 2013 to recognize outstanding academic achievement in English language arts (ELA) and mathematics. The indicators evaluated for these distinctions include performance at the STAAR Level III (Advanced) standard for selected grades and subject in elementary and middle schools, and SAT/ACT, PSAT/PLAN, and AP/IB participation and performance for high schools.
Adequate Yearly Progress
22. Q: How will the federal Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) statuses be determined in 2013?
A: As indicated in the September 6, 2012 Correspondence from the Commissioner, the agency plans to submit a waiver request to the United States Department of Education (USDE) in January or February 2013 that will include a request to use the new state accountability system to evaluate campuses and districts in place of AYP.
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