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Katy Independent School District

Governmental Relations

​2014-15 Texas Legislative House Bill 2804: A- F Accountability Ratings FAQs


What are A-F grade-based ratings?
TEA designed a new system to be compliant with House Bill 2804 that includes five domains. TEA will assign a letter grade to each domain based on calculated measures of variables such as absenteeism, CTE course enrollment, passing rate on STAAR, and other values. The unofficial letter grades will be released on December 30. The official letter grades will be released in August 2018 and will be based on 2016-17 student data.

What data is used for the 2015-16 unofficial ratings?
The data measured in the unofficial ratings report is 2015-16 student data.

What data will be used for the 2017-18 official ratings?
The data measured in the official ratings report will be 2016-17 student data.

What do the domains measure?

  • Domain I, Student Achievement reports student passing rates on the STAAR assessments at the three standards (Level II Phase in, Level II Final, and Level III Advanced).
  • Domain II, Student Progress reports the percent of students who met or exceeded progress from the previous year on STAAR.
  • Domain III, Closing Performance Gaps reports performance of economically disadvantaged students based on a regression, or deviation from expected value based on the total percent of economically disadvantaged students for the campus or district.
  • Domain IV, Postsecondary Readiness reports different data based on grade span.
    • Elementary campuses are rated based on the percent of chronically absent students for the campus. This is a new data point for the state accountability system. 

    • Junior High/middle schools are rated based on chronic absenteeism and the annual grades 7-8 dropout rate.

    • High School/K-12 campuses and districts are rated on a combination of graduation rate (29% of Domain Four weight), graduation plan (14% of Domain Four weight) type and numbers of graduates who complete at least one of the following: a CTE coherent sequence of courses, completed 12 or more hours of postsecondary credit (Dual Credit), or complete one or more AP/IB course (57% of Domain Four weight). 

  • Domain V, Community and School Engagement ratings are not part of the unofficial ratings released December 30, 2016, but will be incorporated into the new system. Currently these ratings are part of a separate data collection and reporting requirement. 

 
Why are the Domain IV variables for high school campus ratings (i.e. graduation rate (29%), graduation plan (14%), and a coherent sequence of specific courses (57%)) weighted differently?
The TEA formula assigns weights to each variable within Domain IV. Katy ISD is very concerned about the formula used for Domain IV, as the state appears to be placing a greater value on the specific courses students take, than graduation rates.

My high school campus received a less than average rating in Domain IV.  It appears that enrollment in related CTE courses is counted in the accountability system, whereas enrollment in fine arts courses or a course load that reflects variety is not. Is that correct?
That is correct. TEA has determined that enrollment in a “coherent” sequence of career and technical education (CTE) courses, would count towards accountability. However, enrollment in fine arts courses, or a sequence of courses that do not include enrollment in related CTE courses, AP or dual credit, ARE NOT included in the new accountability system.

What is considered a “coherent” sequence of CTE courses in high school?
A coherent sequence of courses is two or more CTE courses within the same pathway. For example, Business Information Management I and II would be a coherent sequence of courses. However, a course in Floral Design, followed by a course in Business Information Management, would not be considered a coherent sequence.

Why wouldn’t a student be enrolled in a coherent sequence of courses?
Student choice is essential to the course selection process. If a student is enrolled in core content courses, and is involved in fine arts or athletics, there may not be room in the student’s schedule for CTE courses. CTE courses are considered electives.

When were districts informed of the five domains and the variables within the domains?
When HB 2804 passed the Legislature in 2015, Districts were aware that changes would be made to the current accountability system. In August 2015, the Texas Education Agency released a set of possible data points that could meet the requirements of HB 2804. On December 1, 2016 the Commissioner of Education released the assessments that would be associated with the five Domains, and on December 16, 2016, the data points and methodology for each of the first four Domains was sent to districts.

When were districts informed of how the variables in Domain IV, Post-Secondary Readiness would be measured and weighted?
Districts were informed of all data points and methodology for Domains I – IV on Friday December 16, 2016. This included the weights of each of the data sets in Domain IV.

Why are the 2015-16 ratings considered unofficial/preliminary?
The A-F ratings House Bill does not take effect until 2017-18. The December 30, 2016 report released by TEA models ratings to help the Legislature understand the measures that will be applied to the new system, as well as see what the 2017-18 ratings may look like. The ratings released on December 30 are not actual ratings, nor are they being calculated using complete or timely data. It is very likely that additional changes will be made to the accountability system that starts with the 2017-18 school year.

What do the unofficial/preliminary ratings mean for my campus?
These unofficial/preliminary ratings are not final and are being used by the state Legislature and TEA to see what the legislatively required system could look like. Campus and district instructional staff will continue to use data to guide instruction so students are successful in multiple areas.

What is Katy ISD and my campus doing to improve ratings before the official report in 2017-18?
Campuses will review their individual ratings and take steps necessary to improve ratings when they become official. These steps may include ensuring that high school students enroll in a sequence of CTE courses, enroll in dual enrollment courses or AP courses to better prepare them for college and career choices after high school, and to meet the TEA measures in Domain IV. All campuses will continue to provide unparalleled learning experiences that will ensure students will perform at the highest levels on the state assessment, and exceed progress over last year’s assessment results.

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