The Texas Education Agency will DELAY the release of A-F accountability scores for the state’s public schools until later this fall in order to tweak a new formula that would have sent many districts’ grades plunging, the agency announced Tuesday.
“You do want to set reasonable goals,” said TEA Commissioner Mike Morath. “And if no campuses in the state can possibly achieve it given current levels of performance, that isn't a reasonable goal.”
The new benchmarks, proposed in January, will effectively up the bar schools must meet to qualify for the best grades. TEA officials say the goal is to raise the performance of all schools. The benchmarks were last updated in 2017.
But the proposed changes have drawn criticism and a lawsuit from several district leaders who say they’re unfair and could lay the groundwork for state sanctions. Districts with a campus that receives a failing grade for five straight years open themselves up to state takeover, such as what happened at Houston ISD this summer. The rankings also give the public insight into how schools are performing.
In a call with reporters Monday, Morath said the agency’s newly developed scoring system would have resulted in more drastic accountability drops than TEA expected.
He said the revisions will require a “slight administrative delay,” and the new scores will likely be released by the end of October or early November, instead of the planned date of Sept. 28.