Understanding School Performance Ratings
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The Texas Education Agency does not rank schools based on performance; rather, it assigns each school an accountability rating that takes performance into consideration. These scores are updated by the end of August each year; typical fluctuation in ratings is normally less than ¾ of a point either way from year to year.
The Academic Excellence Indicator System (AEIS) collects data to rank Texas schools and districts according to a specific set of criteria. The new system, which went into effect in the 2013 -2014 school year, classifies districts and schools as Met Standard, Met Alternative Standard, or Improvement Required.
Reports are released each fall (see the Public School District listing in this section for a brief synopsis of each Austin-area school district’s AEIS report). The reports include information on how the school, or the district, performed on various standardized tests, such as the SAT, ACT and other performance indicators including:
- New STAAR cumulative Passing Rates;
- Attendance Rates;
- Annual Dropout Rates (grades 7-8, grades 7-12, and grades 9-12);
- College Readiness Indicators, including completion of advanced/dual enrollment courses and participation and Performance on Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) Examinations, among others.
It is important to note the percentage of students reporting on the College Readiness Indicators. Often times, the percentage of students who actually took the SAT or ACT is only 55%-75% of the student population.
Performance on each of these indicators is also shown disaggregated by ethnicity, sex, special education, low- income status, limited English proficient status, at- r isk status, and by bilingual/ ESL for the district, region and state. The reports also provide extensive information on school and district staff, finances, programs, and student demographics.
Parents can tailor searches by district, county, region, state and more. In all, the reports are a good resource for parents when learning about the schools their children will attend. Access school and district AEIS reports via the Texas Education Agency website at www.tea.state.tx.us in the Testing/Accountability section of the site.
The overall concept of the STAAR scoring metric is to track student growth and progress within a given school district. Alternatively, population changes can greatly affect these scores and ratings. While over- all not the only consideration that should be noted by parents looking to move into a new district, these scores are applicable to the overall growth of students within a district.
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