The state instituted dramatically tougher math standards this school year. For some grades, teachers were challenged to pack in the equivalent of an extra half-year of instruction to bring students up to the new norms. For months, many educators have complained that it would be unfair to use this year’s STAAR results in the accountability ratings.
“The teachers I have spoken with have confidence that Texas students will, in time, adjust to the more rigorous math standards, but for accountability purposes asked for a transition year,” he said in a statement. “Based on what I hear from those working in the classroom, I agree and will not count grades 3-8 math assessment results in 2015 accountability ratings for schools, charters and districts.”
Among school districts raising an alarm early this school year was Wylie ISD in Collin County. Superintendent David Vinson took his complaints to the State Board of Education. In February, 14 of the 15 board members sent a letter to Williams asking that State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness math results not be used to determine ratings for a year or two.
Wednesday’s decision was a good first step, Vinson said. But the larger problem, he said, is that teachers have not been given the training they need to help students meet the new standards.
Results from this year’s third- through eighth-grade STAAR math tests will not be used to rate Texas schools or districts, Education Commissioner Michael Williams announced Wednesday.