The Texas Education Agency announced today that A-F ratings would be paused for 2020-21 school year due to the ongoing disruptions associated with COVID-19. The STAAR test will proceed for the 2020-21 school year in order to provide critically important information about individual student learning that teachers and parents can use to help students grow. For those schools that incorporate STAAR results into teacher evaluations, TEA is providing flexibility to allow them to remove that component this school year.
Last month the Greater Arlington Chamber signed onto a letter along with Chambers in the Metro 8 Chambers and a variety of other interested organizations requesting TEA take this action.
In another, unrelated action, TEA has eliminated enlisting in the military as proof of successful completion of high school and entry into the workforce. The action was taken in response to apparent overstatement of the number of military recruits graduating from some state high school districts. The military, citing privacy rules, will not provide information on enlistments to the TEA or local school districts. While the normal average of enlistments is in the 5% range, these districts reported enlistments in the 30% range. Without the enlistment numbers, the districts would have received failing grades on the A-F district evaluation scale.
TEA has not yet ruled on continuing to hold harmless district finances from reduction due to lower average daily attendance. The Greater Arlington Chamber also participated in a letter to TEA requesting this action. Most districts in the state are having trouble getting all of their enrolled students to attend in person or virtual classes. The funds for continuing to fund at the higher level were appropriated by the legislature. Without the hold, harmless provisions districts stand to lose up to 10% of their funding in the second half of this school year.