The status quo: In the annual “Quality Counts” report from Education Week’s research center (a report they’ve been producing for two decades) in 2016, Texas ranked 43rd in the nation in public education and spent $3,000 less per student than the national average.
Since 2010, spending on pre-K to 12th grade has fallen by almost $3.6 billion.
Yet Texas has one of the strongest economies thanks to being a low-tax state, so businesses remain profitable while our schools suffer.
Consider this: All public schools and districts received preliminary grades in early January in four categories — student achievement, student progress, closing performance gaps and college and career readiness — as part of the transition to a new state accountability system that will be officially rolled out in August 2018.
The new report rates schools and districts in four domains:
D1: Student achievement
D2: Student progress
D3: Closing performance gaps
D4: Postsecondary readiness
So where does your district rank?
|Carrollton/Farmers Branch ISD||C||B||B||C|
|Highland Park ISD||A||A||C|
|Little Elm ISD||C||B||C||C|
Source: TEA report to 85th Legislature
Educators argue that the preliminary grades are not representative of their work in schools — such as increasing access to AP courses or improving performance on exams — are based on math too complex for parents to understand and often contradict previous school ratings.
They have also argued that schools and campuses with higher percentages of low-income students have scored poorly. But proponents of the A-F ratings argue that the new accountability system actually helps schools with more low-income students to judge their progress because one category grades how well schools are closing the achievement gap.
"If we can grade our students — if their futures are impacted like that — our schools should be under the same grades," Patrick says.