Adopted Amendment to 19 TAC Chapter 97, Planning and Accountability, Subchapter AA, Accountability and Performance Monitoring, §97.1001, Accountability Rating System
I. Statutory Citations (PDF)
II. Text of Adopted Amendment to 19 TAC Chapter 97, Planning and Accountability, Subchapter AA, Accountability and Performance Monitoring, §97.1001, Accountability Rating System (PDF)
The rule action presented in this item will be filed as adopted with the Texas Register under the commissioner's rulemaking authority. This item adopts amendment to 19 TAC Chapter 97, Planning and Accountability, Subchapter AA, Accountability and Performance Monitoring, §97.1001, Accountability Rating System. The amendment adopts applicable excerpts of the 2009 Accountability Manual. Earlier versions of the manual will remain in effect with respect to the school years for which they were developed. No changes have been made to the rule or manual since published as proposed.
Texas Education Code, §§39.051(c)-(d), 39.072(c), 39.0721, 39.073, and 29.081(e).
July 22, 2009.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION AND SIGNIFICANT ISSUES:
Legal counsel with the Texas Education Agency (TEA) has recommended that the procedures for issuing accountability ratings for public school districts and campuses be adopted as part of the Texas Administrative Code. This decision was made in 2000 given a court decision challenging state agency decision making via administrative letter/publications. Given the statewide application of the accountability rating process and the existence of sufficient statutory authority for the commissioner of education to formally adopt rules in this area, portions of each annual accountability manual have been adopted since 2000. The accountability system evolves from year to year so the criteria and standards for rating and acknowledging schools in the most current year differ to some degree over those applied in the prior year. The intention is to annually update 19 TAC §97.1001 to refer to the most recently published accountability manual.
The amendment to 19 TAC §97.1001 adopts excerpts of the 2009 Accountability Manual into rule as a figure. The excerpts, Chapters 2-6, 8, 10-13, 15-17, and Appendix K of the 2009 Accountability Manual, specify the indicators, standards, and procedures used by the commissioner of education to determine accountability ratings, both standard and alternative education accountability (AEA) procedures, for districts, campuses, and charter schools. These chapters also specify indicators, standards, and procedures used to determine Gold Performance Acknowledgment (GPA) on additional indicators for Texas public school districts and campuses. The TEA will issue accountability ratings under the procedures specified in the 2009 Accountability Manual by August 1, 2009. Ratings may be revised as a result of investigative activities by the commissioner as authorized under TEC, §39.074 and §39.075.
In 2009, campuses and districts will be evaluated using three base indicators: Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) results, completion rates, and annual dropout rates. In 2009, the GPA system will award acknowledgment on up to 15 separate indicators to districts and campuses rated Academically Acceptable, AEA Academically Acceptable, or higher: Attendance Rate for Grades 1-12; Advanced Course/Dual Enrollment Completion; Advanced Placement/International Baccalaureate Results; College Admissions Test Results; Commended Performance on Reading/English Language Arts (ELA), Mathematics, Writing, Science and/or Social Studies; Recommended High School Program/Distinguished Achievement Program Participation; Comparable Improvement on Reading/ELA and Mathematics; Texas Success Initiative - Higher Education Readiness Component on ELA and/or Mathematics; and College-Ready Graduates.
The adopted amendment also modifies subsection (e) to specify that accountability manuals adopted for school years prior to 2009-2010 will remain in effect with respect to those school years.
No changes have been made to the rule or manual since published as proposed.
The TEA has determined that there are no additional costs to persons or entities required to comply with the proposed rule action. In addition, there is no direct adverse economic impact for small businesses and microbusinesses; therefore, no regulatory flexibility analysis, specified in Texas Government Code, §2006.002, is required.
PUBLIC AND STUDENT BENEFIT:
The adopted amendment continues to inform the public of the existence of annual manuals specifying rating procedures for the public schools by including this rule in the Texas Administrative Code.
PROCEDURAL AND REPORTING IMPLICATIONS:
The rule actions place the specific procedures contained in Chapters 2-6, 8, 10-13, 15-17, and Appendix K of the 2009 Accountability Manual for annually rating school districts and campuses in the Texas Administrative Code. Applicable procedures will be adopted each year as annual versions of the accountability manual are published.
LOCALLY MAINTAINED PAPERWORK REQUIREMENTS:
The adopted amendment has no locally maintained paperwork requirements.
The public comment period on the proposal began May 29, 2009, and ended June 29, 2009. Following is a summary of the public comments received and corresponding agency response regarding the proposed amendment to 19 TAC Chapter 97, Planning and Accountability, Subchapter AA, Accountability and Performance Monitoring, §97.1001, Accountability Rating System.
Comment: The superintendents of Dallas Independent School District (ISD), Houston ISD, El Paso ISD, and Grand Prairie ISD requested the minimum performance floor be reinstated to 10 points below the standard for Grade 8 science for use of the exceptions provision to gate up to Academically Acceptable in the 2009 state accountability system.
Agency Response: The agency disagrees and has maintained language as published as proposed. During the development of the 2009 accountability system procedures, the Educator Focus Group and the Commissioner's Accountability Advisory Committee (CAAC) reviewed and discussed the change in this floor requirement from 10 points to the more rigorous five points below the standard.
The advisory groups understood that middle schools will not have the same benefit of the Texas Projection Measure (TPM) in science as will elementary and high schools in 2009. However Required Improvement (RI) will continue to be included in the 2009 accountability system as a mechanism to elevate a rating to either Academically Acceptable or Recognized. The primary concern with lowering the performance floor relates to the Academically Acceptable science standard of only 50%. A 10 point floor would allow campuses with 60% failure rates to be rated as acceptable in 2009. The five point floor allows eligible campuses to achieve that rating even with only 45% of their students passing Grade 8 science. It is the agency's response that the performance floors recommended by the advisory groups and finalized this past spring by the commissioner are appropriate for the 2009 accountability ratings.
Comment: The superintendent of Richardson ISD requested the commissioner reconsider the accountability standards for the Completion Rate I indicator used to evaluate campuses and districts under standard procedures. The standards are 75.0%, 85.0%, and 95.0% for Academically Acceptable, Recognized, and Exemplary, respectively. Richardson ISD requested they be set at 70.0%, 80.0%, and 90.0% instead.
Agency Response: The agency disagrees and has maintained language as published as proposed. During the development of the 2009 accountability system procedures, the Educator Focus Group and the CAAC considered alternatives for the Completion Rate I standards. Ultimately the commissioner decided to maintain the standards for 2009 as they were published in the 2008 Accountability Manual and adopted as commissioner rule. These standards were published well in advance of their use, establishing clear expectations of the completion rate standards districts needed to meet. In addition, the School Leaver Provision (SLP) was extended to apply to both the 2007 and 2008 ratings year, giving districts additional time to prepare and adjust to the changes in the completion rate definition. Though the Exception Provision does not apply to completion rates, districts and campuses are able to meet the completion rate criteria for achieving Academically Acceptable or Recognized by either meeting the absolute standard or demonstrating RI. With improved passing rates on the TAKS exit-level test for the class of 2008, improved completion rates were expected for some campuses and districts despite the continued phase-in of the NCES dropout definition. Finally, a lower Academically Acceptable standard would allow more than 25.0% of a class to be non-completers, an unacceptable starting point for phasing in to higher completion standards over time.
OTHER COMMENTS AND RELATED ISSUES:
Staff Member Responsible:
Criss Cloudt, Associate Commissioner, Assessment, Accountability, and Data Quality
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