No more “curved” scores
By Elsa Maxey
Considering that Fort Bend ISD is the 7th largest school district in Texas and among the 100 largest in the U.S., when rumors about it start circulating, they are worth checking out. The latest one about FBISD is that its “Recognized” rating status changed. In answer to the Star’s inquiry, the district’s communications director Nancy Porter said, “TEA will announce the official ratings on July 29 and Fort Bend ISD will send out a news release after the official ratings are released.”
This could mean that the district may already know, but it is “mum” at this point until Friday.
So it will be at the end of the week that the Fort Bend community will get word from the Texas Education Agency which will announce school ratings for all of the 1,000 plus school districts across the state. The schools will receive accountability ratings with exemplary, recognized, acceptable or unacceptable status categories based on academic performance. This year, the ratings will not include a controversial Texas Projection Measure. Reports show that it was used for two years, and it was highly criticized.
Instead of using students’ actual scores from standardized tests, the results with the Texas Projection measure formula gauged students’ future test scores on a campus-wide average and reportedly had the affect of boosting ratings. This year, the ratings that will be released will show what students actually did by way of scoring performance, not what they are predicted to do.
Last year with the use of the Texas Projection Measure, three-fourths of the state’s public schools were reported to be ranked exemplary or recognized. Fewer than two percent of schools were ranked in the unacceptable category.
Whether the ranking category totals will change considerably this year remains to be seen. In the end, the accountability ratings are a representation of how schools are performing. They’re worth a good look and in the absence of the formula that skews results, a much better representation of what is.