Time for a New Texas Public School Accountability System….That Makes Sense!!

In my previous post I used Mr. Ratliff’s speech to write:
Teachers: The Best Trained Fleas in the State of Texas!!!
Excerpt from Texasisd.com
Thomas Ratliff, candidate for the State Board of Education, was the speaker at the Lufkin Lions Club meeting in Lufkin, Texas, on February 14, 2012.
Now think about this. You absolutely cannot tell, by visiting a school, the difference between an exemplary school and a recognized or acceptable school. The difference is often times a small handful of kids and their score on one subject area of the TAKS test. For example, my son’s junior high is rated on 20 different criteria that include test scores on reading, writing, social studies, math, science, English-language learner progress, commended performance, and performance of White, Black, Hispanic and Economically disadvantaged students. Of those 20 criteria, the junior high was ranked “exemplary” on 13, “recognized” on 6, and academically acceptable on 1. So, according to the Texas Accountability System, the ENTIRE junior high was ranked academically acceptable and that’s what the local newspaper prints and that’s what the community is led to believe about my son’s junior high. That’s right, his entire junior high of approximately 300 kids was ranked based on the score in one subject of 5 students. Talk about distorting what is really going on.
I am referencing this speech again because the example paragraph is an issue that must be addressed. Based on Mr. Ratliff’s example, it is time for a system that makes sense. One that does not create a “label” for a school that is based only on the lowest test scores. The example school has been graded on 20 criteria, 19 are considered recognized or better, yet the school is rated academically acceptable based on a SINGLE score of academically acceptable.
I propose a system that is based on the current college 4.0 scale for grades.
If a sub-population scores 100% 4 points
If a sub-population score 90-99% 3 points or Exemplary
If a sub-population scores 80-89 2 points or Recognized
If a sub-population scores 70-79 1 point or Academically Acceptable
If a sub-population score below 70 0 points or Academically Unacceptable
Based on the above example:
13 x 3 = 52 points
6 x 2 = 18 point
1 x 1 = 1 point
Total points: 71 for an average of 3.55 or Exemplary
This system would eliminate the over emphasis on the negative. In the end, the current system only uses the lowest sub-population’s grades to determine the “quality” of a school or school district. The new system would still identify the areas that are in need of improvement. This system could also be used to determine which schools are in need of change. These changes can range from personnel to programs to instructional methods. If there is not an acceptable level of improvement, then the state will still have the option to implement large scale overhauls including, but not limited to, building reconstitution or consolidation.The new system would  also allow for a fairer comparision between school with the same subpopulations.
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