The Texas Education Agency announced Tuesday that the 2022-2023 A-F accountability ratings, initially set for release on Sept. 28, would be delayed. This appears to be welcome news; many education advocates assumed the release of ratings (with new, revamped criteria) prior to the expected special session was intended to make schools appear as though they are failing in order to push a taxpayer-funded voucher agenda.
TEA and Commissioner Mike Morath have drawn the ire of districts across the state since the announcement this spring that adjustments to how the ratings are calculated would be applied retroactively to the prior school year after seniors had graduated and a majority of students encountered a revamped STAAR test. Seven districts filed suit against Morath for these changes, and the number of districts in the suit continues to grow.
TEA claims that the growth models it was initially using to assess Domain 2 (Progress) did not properly take into account the massive growth students experienced in 2021-2022 after returning from the pandemic. The delay in releasing the ratings, TEA says, stems from the need to further analyze the current school year data and set different cut scores.
TEA anticipates the additional growth analysis will delay the issuance of final ratings by approximately one month, and the agency will provide specific dates for 2022-2023 ratings release at least two weeks ahead of their public release.
In August, a report by the Select Committee for Education Opportunity and Enrichment included a recommendation that the Legislature consider reigning in the commissioner’s arbitrary authority to make changes to the A-F system and instead set a cycle for these updates that is predictable for districts.