2023 A–F Refresh: Release of Cut Scores, Scaling Resources, and Amendment to the State’s Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) State Plan

Date:  January 2, 2023
Subject: 2023 A–F Refresh: Release of Cut Scores, Scaling Resources, and Amendment to the State’s Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) State Plan
Category: Notice
Next Steps:  Share with appropriate staff


This letter is to notify you of updates related to the 2023 A–F accountability system refresh. The Texas Education Agency (TEA) has released cut scores and scaling resources. Additionally, TEA intends to submit an amendment to the state’s Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) state plan to adjust the methodology and targets within the Closing the Gaps domain in alignment with the refresh. Please submit comments on the proposed amendment through the ESSA Amendment Feedback Form by Wednesday, February 1, 2023. 

The Preliminary 2023 A–F System Framework has continued to progress based on stakeholder feedback and detailed modeling since the updated version was released in November 2022. More recent updates are outlined in January Updates to Preliminary A–F Refresh Framework, including: 

  • STAAR proficiency cut scores remain unchanged from 2017 to account for COVID-19 and the STAAR redesign. 
  • STAAR growth measured in School Progress, Part A: Academic Growth has been updated to evaluate outcomes for accelerated learning as bonus points. 
  • The transition plan to integrate Program of Study requirements with industry-based certifications (IBCs) has been deferred one year; the transition plan maintains the Completer requirement when fully implemented. 
  • Sunsetting IBCs will continue to generate College, Career, and Military Readiness (CCMR) credit, but a per campus limit will be applied based on students who only qualify for CCMR credit via a sunsetting IBC. The limit ensures that districts offer their students multiple paths for postsecondary success and is set at five graduates, or 20 percent of graduates, whichever is higher. Based on modeled data, the sunsetting IBC limit will impact a very small number of campuses and ensures that cut scores are not unfairly driven up by high CCMR scores that rely heavily on sunsetting IBCs alone.  

These updates have been incorporated into the released resources below. 

Release of 2023 A–F Refresh Cut Scores and Scaling Resources  

In order to align letter grades and scores used in the A–F academic accountability system to the common conception of letter grades, raw domain and component scores are adjusted or “scaled.” Scaling processes are used by campus type. 

Cut scores and scaling resources for the 2023 A–F refresh will be available on the 2023 Accountability Development webpage, including the following:  

  • Preliminary 2023 A–F Refresh Cut Scores and Scaling Resources provides baseline data sources as well as 2023 scaled score lookup tables for domain and domain component scores 
  • Preliminary 2023 A–F Refresh Scaled Score Conversion Tool (coming soon) can be used to determine the scaled score associated with a domain or domain component score 

These cut scores and scaling resources reflect the November Preliminary 2023 A–F Academic Accountability System Framework and the January Updates to Preliminary A–F Refresh Framework on the 2023 webpage. 

More information about scaling and the formulas used will be made available when the proposed 2023 Accountability Manual is published this spring. As a reminder, scaling resources do not contain district scaling tables; beginning with 2023, district ratings will be determined proportionally based on the scaled domain outcomes of their campuses. 

Amendment to the State’s ESSA State Plan  

The Closing the Gaps domain uses disaggregated data to demonstrate differentials among racial/ethnic groups, socioeconomic backgrounds, and other factors. The indicators included in this domain, as well as the domain’s construction, align the state accountability system with ESSA requirements.  

A detailed summary of the proposed Closing the Gaps changes and a full draft of the ESSA amendment with changes highlighted is available here.  

Please submit comments on the proposed ESSA amendment through the ESSA Amendment Feedback Form by Wednesday, February 1, 2023. 

For Further Information  

For additional information about the 2023 A–F system refresh, please visit the 2023 Accountability Development page. Specific questions and/or feedback on the A–F refresh can be submitted here.