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LDISD Board Approves A-F Accountability Rating Resolution

Lake Dallas ISD joins the charge across the state in demanding the State of Texas fix its Accountability System 

Monday, Jan. 23, the Lake Dallas ISD (LDISD) Board of Trustees approved a resolution concerning the A through F accountability rating system for Texas public schools.

The proposed rating system utilizing A through F grades for schools and districts includes five domains and numerous unrelated indicators selected by the Texas Commissioner of Education to determine a single grade, leaving the public with an invalid reflection of school quality. 

Ultimately, LDISD’s Board is calling on the Texas Legislature to repeal the rating system utilizing A through F grades for schools and districts, and instead to develop a community-based accountability system that empowers school districts to design their own internal systems of assessment and accountability that, while meeting general state standards, allows districts to innovate and customize curriculum and instruction to meet the needs and interests of each student and their communities. 

Read the complete resolution for more information.

District Stance

Lake Dallas ISD received preliminary results from the Texas Education Agency’s proposed school accountability system that will be used starting the fall of 2018. The results released are based on the 2015-16 school year and are being used by the state as a “what if” assessment for districts across the state, but no school district will be assigned its trial rating. Under this system, all Texas public school districts and individual campuses will receive a letter grade - A, B, C, D, or F - mostly based on the state's achievement test (the STAAR).  These letter grades will be given in four different academic areas (or domains), and this system goes into effect with five domains during the 2017-18 school year. 

“The A-F State Accountability System has been designed to reflect the quality of a school based on one state test,” said Dr. Gayle Stinson, LDISD Superintendent. “We do not embrace or recognize a rating or ranking of our schools based on this narrow of an indicator or a single day performance of our students. Our focus is to provide a quality 21st century education that far exceeds the limited parameters of this state accountability design.  Our schools are so much more than one test, and our students are so much more than one score.”

Currently, Lake Dallas ISD is rated as “met standard” by the TEA accountability system. The district consistently exceeds the state average in all subjects in all grade levels.

Under the proposed system, Lake Dallas ISD posted a B in Domain 1-student achievement, a B in Domain 2-student progress, a C in Domain 3-closing performance gaps among students and scores a B in Domain 4- postsecondary readiness. The final score, in postsecondary readiness, was tabulated using data from the 2014-15 school year. No scores were released for the fifth domain, which will rate community and student engagement, but final measures have not been determined by TEA.

Dr. Stinson has long supported and valued campus and district accountability, but believes strongly that communities cannot measure the complexity of educating students by a single letter grade based on a complicated system of metrics and calculations. She encourages the LDISD community to focus on the great things happening in the district – 100% graduation rate, 96% attendance rate, students training to be leaders and taking leadership responsibilities on all campuses, dual credit opportunities allowing students to prepare for higher education degrees and careers, STEM courses and clubs, career and technical education opportunities as well as community involvement and fine arts and athletic opportunities.  
LDISD believes that a school district and its campuses are a culmination of learned experiences which students acquire over time. The quality of a campus or district should be determined by how well this culmination of experiences prepares each and every school member for their futures, whether it be higher education or occupational. Quality, in large part, should not be determined by the results of a single assessment given on a single day, producing a statistical average that is then translated into a letter grade.

The 85th Legislative Session begins this week. If you wish to speak out about the rating system, you can contact our legislative representatives:

Texas State Senator

Texas State Senate District 12--Senator Jane Nelson
Capitol Office: CAP 1E.5
Capitol Phone: (512) 463-0112
Capitol Address: P.O. Box 12068, Capitol Station, Austin, TX 78711
District Address: 1225 S. Main St., Suite 100, Grapevine TX 76051
Phone: (817) 424-3446

Texas House Representative

Texas State House District 64 - Representative Lynn Stucky
Capitol Office: Room E2.420
Capitol Phone: (512) 463-0582 
Capitol Address: P.O. Box 2910, Austin, TX 78768 


2015-16 A-F Ratings with Caveats

The 2015-16 A-F Ratings have been released by the Texas Education Agency, along with a TEA report to the 85th Texas Legislature. In the report TEA offered several caveats which provided further insight into the current and future ratings.

Spotlight on Caveats

  • Campuses and district ratings for 2017-18 will use different data and different indicators than those used for the current A-F ratings.
  • Final targets used for A-F ratings assigned in 2017-18 are expected to be adopted in the Texas Administrative Code in spring 2018. The rule-making process will include a 30-day public comment period.
  • The ratings DO NOT include data for all the indicators planned for 2017-18.
  • The final methodology to determine the overall rating label, including the process to convert the domain outcomes to a scale that can be weighted across the five domains, will be developed with further stakeholder input and is expected to be adopted in the Texas Administrative Code in spring 2018.
  • The statutory constraint that a district cannot earn a rating of A in a domain if one of its campuses earn a D or F was not applied to the 2016 report but will be applied in the 2017-18 ratings.

Spotlight on Domain I

  • The data include more ELL and STAAR Alternate 2 assessment outcomes than does Index 1 in the current system.
  • These ratings include outcomes for assessments at advanced level standards that are not explicitly required by statute.

Spotlight on Domain II

  • The growth measure used may not be the same in the 2017-18 school year.
  • The Domain II methodology will be reviewed with accountability advisory groups and other stakeholders for possible modifications prior to use in the 2017-18 rating system.

Spotlight on Domain III

  • These ratings include only students who are economically disadvantaged.

Spotlight on Domain IV

  • Data is not included in the 2016 rating for all indicators planned for 2017-18.
  • CCR 2017-18 indicators will also include students who earn industry (nationally recognized) certifications or those that enlist in the U.S. Armed Forces. 
  • Prep courses for middle school indicators will also include 7th or 8th grade students who received instruction in preparing for high school, college, and career (HB 18- 84th R).
  • Data in the 2016 ratings use chronic absenteeism from 2015-16 school year making it a current indicator but in future reports it will be a lagging indicator.

Spotlight on Domain V

  • The Community and Student Engagement indicator missing from the 2015-16 ratings will be in the 2017-18 ratings. Three locally determined indicators that will be reported for each district and campus. All three Case indicators as well as the overall Domain V indicator will be rated A-F.