In 2019 HB 3906 created transformative changes for this year's STAAR assessment, 2022-2023 school year. A few of those major changes include online testing for students in grades 3 through high school, the addition of writing for Reading Language Arts (RLA) assessments for grades 3-8 and a 75 percent cap on multiple choice questions.
"For the first time our students in grades 3-12 took all STAAR assessments online vs. paper/pencil," explains Krista Moffatt, Comal ISD assistant superintendent. " This year the assessments introduced 14 new test item types. In addition, written responses were included across content areas and grade levels and our accountability methodology was altered to include increased expectations. These factors may impact our overall A-F ratings."
What To Expect From 2023 A-F Ratings
The Texas Education Agency (TEA) oversees the state’s accountability ratings and assigns A-F letter grades for elementary and middle schools based on the scores they earn for STAAR performance. High Schools are evaluated in three areas: students’ readiness for college or career, STAAR assessments and graduation rates.
- New rules expected to be finalized from TEA in August will raise the minimum college, career and military readiness (CCMR) score required for each letter grade.
- The CCMR score accounts for 40 percent of a high school’s overall score. STAAR tests also count 40 percent and graduation rates count 20 percent.
- In addition, TEA is changing the way that individual campus scores are combined for the district as a whole.
- Both changes are expected to result in lower letter grades for the same student performance as in past years.
In March, nearly 250 school districts – including Comal ISD and neighboring districts – asked Texas Governor Greg Abbott and the Education Commissioner Mike Morath to pause the new CCMR grading system. In particular, the districts expressed concern that TEA plans to apply the new CCMR grades retroactively to students who graduated in May 2022, long after schools could affect their performance.
"We would have preferred a gradual increase in CCMR expectations instead of the 28-point recommended increase," says Corbee Wunderlich, Comal ISD assistant superintendent. "Over the last two years we have been working to improve our systems that impact our CCMR score."
CCMR changes: From 2017-2022, if 60 percent of graduates from a high school were found to achieve CCMR, the school received a score of 90, which earned an A from the TEA.
- Under the new rules, the same CCMR achievement rate will only earn a 67 – a grade of D.
- To earn an A, 88 percent of a high school’s graduates will need to achieve CCMR – a 47 percent increase in grading standards.
District score changes: From 2017-22, a school district’s score – and corresponding letter grade – was calculated by combining all student scores, as if the district were one big school.
- Under the new rules, the district rating for 2023 will instead be a compilation of the scores earned by each campus in the district.
- Each school will contribute a percentage of the district’s rating based on the size of the school.
Bottom line: A school or district could achieve the exact same level of success as in prior years but receive a much lower letter grade from TEA.
Look for These Dates for STAAR and Accountability Ratings
Spring 2023 STAAR Reporting Timeline
- Friday, June 30 - Results available for families: Algebra I, Biology, English I, English II and U.S. History
- Wednesday, August 16 - Results available for families: Grades 3-8 - Reading and Math; Grades 5 and 8 - Science; and Grade 8 - Social Studies
- Late September