Bracing for a Lower A-F grade Following Accountability Overhaul


Last updated 7/18/2023 at 4:33pm

West Orange-Cove CISD is bracing for a lower state-assessed letter grade after Texas

Education Agency's overhaul of the A-F accountability system, just one year after we celebrated a high rating. Due to many changes in the accountability system, there is a possibility that we will experience a two-grade letter drop as a district.

As you know, we were rated as a B district last year. We were extremely proud of this rating because of the hard work of our students and staff. Under the new system, we will be rated lower despite performing better on the STAAR test this year in many areas. For example, our high school had gains in every area on the STAAR exam but will likely be rated a letter grade lower than last year.

As a district, we have been preparing for the new STAAR test design and a new formula for calculating College, Career, and Military Readiness (CCMR) scores. The CCMR component comprises 40% of a district's Domain 1 score and plays a significant role in the calculation of scores in Domains 2 and 3. Any significant changes to the methodology could tremendously impact a district's scores. We hoped that our proactive steps would offset any changes TEA would make in the system. To our surprise, there was no way we could have prepared for such a change. Some of the more impactful changes that have caught most districts off-guard include a 28 percentage points change in the minimum cut score to receive an A in the area of College, Career, and Military Readiness (CCMR) and changing how districts will be rated for closing the learning gaps among the various subpopulations of students in Domain 3.

This so-called "A-F Refresh" represents a complete overhaul of the accountability system that, we believe, will place an unnecessary negative light on the efforts of our students and staff in the eyes of the community. Even though it is estimated that 66 percent of the districts in the state will see at least a letter grade drop in their accountability rating, I felt it is only right by the students and staff of our district to inform the community that these changes are not due to the district performing worse but that the rating system has changed. As stated earlier, the district performed better in many areas on STAAR. Nevertheless, West Orange-Cove CISD will continue to focus our attention on transforming the lives of students every day.

I asked that the parents, students, and staff band together to overcome this obstacle, as we have done many times before.

Striving toward excellence,

Dr. Rickie R. Harris


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