HAYS COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) – The Board of Trustees of Hays Consolidated Independent School District voted 6-0 Monday evening to join a lawsuit against the Texas Education Commissioner.
The lawsuit says the new rules for how the state will grade schools and districts were not provided before the school year they will be applied to.
The lawsuit asks a judge to prevent the Texas Education Agency from releasing scores that use the newest metrics.
Other school districts, including Del Valle and Pflugerville, are already a part of the lawsuit alleging the TEA violated state law by not providing districts with the new methods and metrics earlier.
TEA planned to release the 2023 A-F accountability ratings on Sept. 28. On Sept. 12, the agency said it would the delay the release by one month.
The districts said new methods will dramatically decrease campus and district scores statewide.
“Our kids have worked extremely hard. Our employees have worked extremely hard. We’re showing growth across almost every area. And yet the rating that we get is going to reflect that we went backwards instead of forwards.”Dr. Eric Wright, Superintendent, Hays CISD
The A-F ratings are based on multiple factors — including graduation rates, the number of students who are college, career, and military-ready as well as State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) results.
An overview of the changes posted to the agency’s website said: “The refreshed A-F system will make adjustments to better reflect the three objectives of the system: rigor for students, fairness for districts and campuses, and transparency for parents and the public.”
“As schools are improving, parents need to know that, and as schools are not and regressing, parents need to know that as well,” Texas Education Agency Commissioner Mike Morath said in May.
Under the newest methods of the A-F accountability rating, many high schools would need higher graduation rates and more students to be considered college, military, and career-ready to maintain their campus scores.
The previous scales would have given a campus an A if 60% of its students were college, career, and military-ready. However, under the new metrics, a campus would need 88% of its students to be college-, career-, and military-ready to get an A score.
Under the new rules, high schools would need a 98% graduation rate in order to get an A rating. Previously, a 96% graduation rate would have resulted in an A.
Along with new metrics for judging A-F ratings, the grades will also factor in the results of the re-designed STAAR test.