Not One Texas District Reports Unacceptable Community and Student Engagement

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We are in an age of extremely polarizing views on a whole gamut of issues from presidential politics to public education. As was reiterated by participants at our stop in Amarillo this week, district and campus accountability isn’t immune to that phenomenon.

Texas Aspires is excited to see folks weighing in on the issue, and we hope to continue the dialogue about how we can use public policy to increase student success. Unfortunately, true accountability is often vehemently resisted by adult interests, which is evident in the recent push to increase the weight of self-reported effectiveness measures in school and district accountability ratings.

The latest Community and Student Engagement ratings, a locally-assigned measure of schools’ and districts’ performance in the area of engagement, shows the dangers of putting more emphasis on self-reporting. District leadership from across the state reported that 100% of districts and nearly 100% of campuses achieved an “acceptable” or higher level of engagement.

In our new accountability system, the measure will account for 10% of a campus or district rating. As we can see from the ratings mentioned above, self-reported data on school and district effectiveness is subjective and doesn’t necessarily show us what is really happening in our schools.

When we glaze over opportunities to improve, we fail Texas students, and we’ve seen that happen time and again with self-reported measures. Only by orienting our accountability system around objective measures that show both our strengths and weaknesses do we have a shot at real improvement. Let’s commit to that.

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We believe every Texas child, regardless of race, ethnicity or zip code, deserves a quality education. You can help make that happen.