In its September 18 meeting, the Irving Independent School District (ISD) Board of Trustees voted to join a legal challenge against the Texas Education Agency (TEA) regarding concerns over transparency in the calculation of school district accountability ratings.
“As educators, we recognize the importance of accountability and the relevance of assessments as measurements of student achievement,” says Irving ISD Superintendent of Schools Magda Hernandez. “We also believe in increasing rigor because we know our students can rise to the standards set for them. But those standards must be clear.”
The TEA recently implemented substantial changes to the accountability ratings system, which will have implications for every school district and campus across Texas. The upcoming ratings, scheduled for release this fall for the 2022–2023 school year, will be based on a different set of rules than the previous A–F ratings. These alterations will make it impossible to make direct comparisons between the 2022 and 2023 ratings.
One of the key issues raised by Irving ISD and other school districts is the lack of communication from the TEA regarding changes to the A-F accountability system before the start of the 2022–2023 school year. This lack of information has left districts unable to adapt to the new accountability measures and allocate resources in a manner that aligns with state standards. Furthermore, the TEA has not provided a comprehensive explanation of the rules and methodologies used to determine district and campus ratings.
Irving ISD's Superintendent Hernandez reiterated the district's commitment to providing the best possible education to its students, despite the ongoing challenges. She emphasized that student success extends beyond test scores.
Irving ISD now joins more than 20 other school districts across Texas in this legal action against the TEA. The lawsuit seeks greater transparency and clarity in the accountability ratings system, with the goal of ensuring that schools and districts can effectively support their students' educational needs.