The student news site of Smithson Valley High School in Spring Branch, Texas

Valley Ventana

The student news site of Smithson Valley High School in Spring Branch, Texas

Valley Ventana

The student news site of Smithson Valley High School in Spring Branch, Texas

Valley Ventana

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Feb 27 / Boys Soccer
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Boerne Champion - Senior Night
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TEA should not change the way it rates districts

The+TEA+has+changed+the+way+districts+are+rated%2C+prompting+a+lawsuit+from+multiple+districts+around+Texas.+Photo+by+Jeswin+Thomas+via+Unsplash
The TEA has changed the way districts are rated, prompting a lawsuit from multiple districts around Texas. Photo by Jeswin Thomas via Unsplash

The Texas Education Agency releases a rating on every district in Texas each year, so parents can see how their districts perform.. Changes to the way the TEA rates districts were set to be released on Sept. 28, but districts were not made aware ahead of time As a result, more than 100 school districts – including Comal ISD – are suing TEA over this change.

TEA should issue ratings based on the previous standards until districts have a chance to adjust to the changes.

Districts especially object to changes in the way college, career and military readiness scores are figured. Originally, an A was granted if 60 percent of seniors went to college, a non-college career or the military after graduation, but TEA wants to change it to 88 percent. That’s an almost 50 percent increase¬† – without letting the districts know beforehand.

With such a big change, ratings would drop significantly. Many parents rely on these ratings to get a feel for how their district is performing, but with such a drastic and sudden change, neither the parents nor the districts can get a fair evaluation.

The rating system has been flawed for years with low income communities disproportionately receiving D and F ratings. School districts gets funding based on local property taxes and the school demographics, which means not all schools receive the same amount of money. Without proper resources to teach students, they are not able to receive high ratings. 

Judge Catherine Mauzy¬†in Travis County sided with districts and blocked TEA from releasing this year’s ratings. The agency says the ruling disregards the rules of the state and prevents parents from getting crucial information. Instead, TEA needs to follow its own rules. The TEA Code 39.0542 requires the agency to provide districts with a simple and accessible document outlining how ratings are given. Although the districts were given this document, it was not updated to the new standards, so its own code was not followed, prompting the lawsuit.

TEA should stick to its previous standards until districts have had an opportunity to adjust to the new ones. Additionally, the judge should continue siding with the districts and not allow the ratings to be released this year.

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