TEA accountability goalposts moving

By James Draper
Texas Education Agency’s changes to the state accountability system are apparently moving the goalposts on standardized tests – it’s certainly likely to have an impact on local scores.
The changes were enacted during the 2022-2023 school year, and the latest projections indicate they could shift Gladewater ISD’s results by an entire letter grade, or more, on campus test scores.
According to GISD’s superintendent, the two factors impacted most by the accountability system changes were the state assessments (the STAAR test and End of Course (EOC) exams) as well as the accountability engine, or calculator.
“Though we are much more than our accountability score, GISD students and teachers worked hard last year to show growth,” Dr. Sedric Clark emphasized. “Preliminary student scores have been released. In virtually every situation, GISD students performed as well or better than years past.”
On the original scores for 2021-2022, Gladewater High School came in at 72, a C grade; Gladewater Middle School rated an 84 (B); while Weldon Elementary School and Gladewater Primary School both earned a 77 (C) for an overall district score of 80 (B).
“In May, TEA published ‘what if’ scores,” Clark added, indicating “what would happen if the 21-22 results were put in the 22-23 calculator.”
According to the hypothetical figures, GHS slides from a 72 to a 53 (C to D), the GMS score actually increases (84 to 86, still a B) while Weldon and the primary school both drop from B to C (77 to 68).
The district’s score falls two letter grades with the updated accountability engine, dropping from an 80 to a 69, B to D.
Major changes to the state assessments included administering all assessments to students via computer, incorporating a writing component into all assessments and increasing the rigor of each assessment. The key changes to the calculator raised the standards for College, Career and Military Readiness (CCMR) and changed the weights and means of calculation of some factors.
With the ultimate results from the changed accountability parameters still pending, Clark underscored the district’s faculty and students are still working hard and seeing positive results. Official accountability ratings will be released at the end of the month.
In addition to the initial scores, “They also performed at the same levels and, in some instances, higher than other students in our region and the state,” Clark noted. “Additionally, our CCMR rate increased. We are waiting to see what the results are when those scores are placed in the new accountability engine.
“Whatever the results, our students and teachers are committed to growing and pursuing excellence.”

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