Remembering the Big Idea of School Accountability

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Improving Texas’ assessment and accountability system won’t be easy, and it will require thoughtful and deliberate decision-making.
The House Public Education Committee heard 24 bills Tuesday in a rapid-fire eight-hour hearing. Bills intended to refine and improve Texas’ assessment and accountability system were heard throughout the day, including House Bill 22 by Chairman Huberty.

 

The Texas Aspires team weighed in on six bills during the hearing: HB 22, HB 515, HB 1057, HB 1993, HB 3104, and HB 3607. Our statements on the bills are here, and below is a summary of our recommendations:
  1. It is imperative legislators be bold and give clear guidance so our accountability system has a solid foundation for years to come. Only then can accountability have a lasting, positive impact.
  2. Student performance and growth should only be calculated by objective and measurable outcomes-based measures. Participation and completion rates are not adequate measures of either growth or performance.
  3. Accountability was created to protect all Texas students. Any attempt to hide the performance of subpopulations or weight the performance of certain students less than others is inexcusable.
  4. While it may seem attractive to let districts select their own assessment instruments, Texas’ assessment system should remain uniform across the state. Common measures of performance are vital for the state to maintain a productive role in school effectiveness.
  5. We should not rely on federal minimum requirements to dictate our state’s assessment and accountability system. We should instead lead the way and create a system that works for Texas while in compliance with important federal requirements.
Improving Texas’ assessment and accountability system won’t be easy, and it will require thoughtful and deliberate decision-making. We are thrilled that so many legislators have put forward proposals to strengthen Texas education, and we look forward to working with them to formulate a plan¬†that moves the state of Texas forward.
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