District Says A-F Ratings Not True Measure of a School

The recently released provisional, or “mock”, A-F rankings of public schools and districts across Texas have generated much discussion – and controversy – statewide, including in Spring Branch ISD. The A-F rating system isn’t to go “live” until August of 2018 but the provisional rankings are sticking in the public’s minds.

Critics say the A-F rating system relies too heavily on STAAR results, a single-day high-stakes test that provides only one measure of a student’s success.

Superintendent Dr. Scott Muri told district staff and the Spring Branch community that SBISD does believe that the A-F system is the best way to hold schools accountable, and that a single letter grad is not the best measure of telling who SBISD is. SBISD believes in multiple measures for student success and thinks that multiple measures are best for telling a school’s story.

SBISD is developing multiple measures under The Learner’s Journey, the new strategic plan, measures that point to the district’s singular goal of T-2-4 – every SBISD graduate will complete a technical certification or military training, or a two- or four-year degree.

Public education advocates want the recently convened Texas Legislature to take up the A-F rating system this session. A bill to change the rating labels has been filed in the House, while the Senate has not indicated what it might do. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said recently that the A-F rating system is “not going away” but acknowledged that the system may need some “tweaking.”

A blog posting by Assistant Superintendent Rob Thornell of Northwest ISD near Fort Worth – he’s both an administrator and a father – expressed both dismay with the new system and joy for what his children were learning in a “’D’ or worse” school. The post has gone viral through social media with more than 500,000 views.


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