April 10, 2018
TO THE ADMINISTRATOR ADDRESSED:
Subject: House Bill 22 2018 Accountability Decisions Framework
The purpose of this letter is to communicate decisions regarding the construction of the 2018 state academic accountability system, established by House Bill (HB) 22 (85th Texas Legislature).
These decisions were informed by extensive feedback from educators and the public, including over 100 meetings and focus groups and countless individual communications gathered over the course of the last two years, which in turn were also reviewed and further refined by recommendations from the Accountability Policy Advisory Committee (APAC) and Accountability Technical Advisory Committee (ATAC).
TEA took this feedback into account when making decisions, in some cases significantly altering the system’s design (see attached description of some adjustments). These accountability system decisions have been summarized into the attached Decisions Framework document, which will serve as the basis for the 2018 Accountability Manual. The 2018 Accountability Manual is scheduled to be published as a proposed rule for further public comment in mid-May.
The HB 22 accountability framework sets the stage for a significant change in the way the state of Texas examines school performance, including an opportunity to shift our collective attention to a continuous improvement mindset, focused on achieving excellence for students, as opposed to complying with minimum performance standards. A few key design elements are worth noting:
- Best of Progress or Achievement: The prior accountability system placed a premium on student achievement as opposed to progress, given that three out of the four indices were based on student achievement. The new HB 22 three-domain framework uses the better of Student Achievement or School Progress for all students, while factoring in a weighted rating for the performance of specific student groups in Closing the Gaps. This allows us to highlight districts and campuses where educators have achieved tremendous gains for their students, even if students started with lower levels of proficiency. This also means that the relationship between levels of student poverty and overall district and campus ratings in the HB 22 framework is significantly lower than the relationship between assessment passing rates and student poverty, as districts and campuses that demonstrate strong growth on their path to proficiency can still achieve the highest rating.
- Holistic Measurement: The HB 22 framework continues our statewide focus on progress and achievement of students in the critical areas of reading and mathematics, but it also significantly broadens that focus to other measures of student achievement. When examining high schools and districts, the majority of the underlying rating is focused not on STAAR results but is instead focused on whether graduates are ready for college (verified in many ways, including SAT/ACT, AP/IB, dual credit, etc.), a career (verified if students have obtained a meaningful industry credential or have completed a sequence aligned to those credentials), or the military (verified if students have enlisted). At the elementary and middle school level, the HB 22 three-domain model is focused on reading and mathematics results on STAAR, but districts have the option of adding other key performance indicators for use in their local communities. A group of districts is currently working with TEA to help pilot this approach, with the goal of preparing a process available to all districts in time for campus-level A–F ratings under HB 22, which begin in 2019.
The Decisions Framework answers many but not all questions about the specific design of the HB 22 accountability system. The 2018 Accountability Manual will provide the remaining details of the accountability system. The manual will be posted online as a proposed rule in mid-May and will be finalized subject to public comment in late summer (see timeline below).
For districts and campuses impacted by Hurricane Harvey, an appendix to the 2018 Accountability Manual will be published as a proposed rule separately in June. This appendix will provide specific answers as to what adjustments to accountability determinations will be made because of the storm.
The Decisions Framework document and other relevant materials are available at http://tea.texas.gov/2018AccountabilityDevelopment/.
The following timeline outlines anticipated dates for the release of the 2018 Accountability Manual and additional materials associated with the A–F accountability system.
May 2018—The proposed 2018 Accountability Manual will be published in the Texas Register for public comment.
June 2018—A proposed appendix to the 2018 Accountability Manual containing the methodology and data sources used to make decisions related to Hurricane Harvey will be published in the Texas Register for public comment.
August 2018—The 2018 Accountability Manual will be adopted into the Texas Administrative Code.
August 2018—The appendix associated with Hurricane Harvey decisions will be adopted into the Texas Administrative Code.
August 15, 2018—Districts will receive a rating of A, B, C, D, or F for overall performance and for performance in each domain. Campuses will receive a rating of Met Standard, Met Alternative Standard, or Improvement Required for overall performance and for performance in each domain. Along with these ratings, TEA will release a significantly updated district and school report card with videos and other communication materials to help educators and the public fully understand the new rating system.
These materials will be enhanced and expanded upon throughout the following year, leading up to campus-level A–F ratings, which will be issued in August 2019.
Please note, HB 22 also requires that before the end of the calendar year, TEA release a separate “What If” document noting what campus ratings would have been from the 2017–18 school year if given an A–F rating.
If you have questions regarding this Decisions Framework or the soon-to-be proposed rules for accountability, please contact the Performance Reporting Department at (512) 463-9704 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Texas Education Agency
Office of Academics
Penny Schwinn, Chief Deputy Commissioner
Performance Reporting–Jamie Crowe, Executive Director
Attachment—Notable Changes to House Bill 22 Framework Based on Feedback