A Message from the Superintendent on the Accountability Systems
Alief ISD students continue to make tremendous advances due to the dedicated efforts of teachers, administrators, and parents. Although our district received an overall grade of a B (85) and 90% of our campuses received A’s, B’s, or C’s from the Texas Education Agency (TEA)'s accountability system, we believe that a student, school and district should be measured on more than how students perform on one exam (STAAR) given on one day during the school year. While we continue to believe the current TEA assessment and accountability system is significantly flawed, we will continue to do everything possible to prepare our students through a meaningful education.
In order to distinguish between an accountability system that measures test scores versus an accountability system that measures multiple student indicators (including test scores), Alief ISD is proud to have the state system as well as a local accountability system (LAS). If you believe a student, school, and district should be measured on how students perform on a multiple-choice test, then you will like the TEA system. If you believe a student, school, and district should be measured by multiple meaningful and rigorous indicators, then you will like the LAS.
As mentioned, TEA’s A-F rating system relies heavily on the STAAR exam. Analysis of the STAAR reading exam by literacy experts, researchers, and educators across the state and nation have shown that the exam’s questions are written an average of two grade levels above a student’s current grade level. We believe that is unfair not only to students but to teachers and specialists who are being placed in a high stress, high stakes environment where they are at a disadvantage from the start. TEA’s system also benefits more affluent school districts, whereas districts with higher economically disadvantaged students are over-represented with D’s and F’s. Because of this, educators and researchers across Texas do not trust many of the results that our STAAR assessment and accountability system provide.
The Local Accountability System (LAS) measures not only student academic growth but also culture and climate, as well as development in ensuring students are well-rounded and prepared for college, the workforce or the armed services. The LAS focuses on the whole child and presents parents with a true picture of what students have achieved. Please know the LAS is rigorous and meaningful and Alief ISD students and our community are much more than a letter grade based off a state test.