Superintendent Massey's Letter to Staff Addressing A-F System

Superintendent Massey's Letter to Staff Addressing A-F System
Posted on 01/09/2017
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Brazosport ISD staff,

As you may have heard, the Texas Education Agency released “Work in Progress” letter grades today in Domains I-IV based on last year’s student performance in an over 300 page document to meet a legislative requirement. I would say “Work in Progress” is a complete understatement. In the document sent to our state legislatures with a letter grade in each of the four domains also are these statements below:

  • “The ratings in this report are for informational purposes to meet a legislative requirement.”
  • “No inferences about district or campus performance in the 2015–16 school year should be drawn from these ratings, and these ratings should not be considered predictors of future district or campus performance ratings.”
  • “The Domain I-IV targets used to determine the A–F ratings in this report are based on rating cut points determined by the commissioner for the purpose of demonstrating one possible, but not necessarily the final, approach."
  • "The final methodology to determine the overall rating label, including the process to convert the domain outcomes to a scale that can be weighted across the five domains, will be developed with further stakeholder input and is expected to be adopted in the Texas Administrative Code in spring 2018."

I know educators at all our campuses in BISD are deeply committed and work extremely hard to create student success for each and every child who comes through our doors.  T.E.A. sends campus letter grades to the public and state legislatures, admit they are meaningless, and a work in progress.  Well, letter grades are NOT meaningless to educators. Student performance is something we all take very seriously.

T.E.A has put in place a terribly flawed accountability system based on a terribly flawed state assessment. This is the same state assessment that T.E.A. Commissioner Morath himself put a halt to administering last June. School districts were all told not to administer the third state assessment to 5th and 8th graders. We were also told by Commissioner Morath not to hold students accountable for passing it, because it was so flawed.

This is the same state assessment the results for the entire Lake Jackson Intermediate’s 7th grade class (381 students) were sent to another district. T.E.A could not give LJIS letter grades, and their entire Academic Performance Report has been blanked out. It is like they never even took the state assessments.

I’m extremely proud of the teaching and learning occurring across the district. Every day, I see teachers finding new and creative ways to help our students understand math concepts, fall in love with reading, improve their writing, and prepare for college, a career, and life. Our work is about so much more than a flawed state assessment and a flawed letter grade accountability system.

I believe strongly in the value of accountability, and I think our schools should be held accountable for our communities’ expectations; however, this work in progress A-F system is not an accurate representation of the accomplishments of our students and staff. The great state of Texas can do better.

Please consider contacting your state legislatures urging them to repeal the A-F accountability system.

Continue to give your all to our students and to each other.

We Believe!

Danny Massey
Superintendent of Schools

A-F Statement from Superintendents in Brazoria County

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