The year 2017 has begun and with that brings many new things. But I want to talk about what will be happening in 2018 when Texas moves to a new system that will assign public schools and districts grades from A-F based on how well they’re educating kids, as determined mainly by test scores. If you have questions about this new system you can refer to our front page article.
You ask why I would be concerned. Recently the preliminary results were released to show an example of how districts and their campuses would rate if the new system was in effect now. Education Commissioner Mike Morath was quoted “grades will give families a better understanding of how their schools are doing while crediting schools for the progress they are making”. I have a problem with his statement. While districts in our community meet the current state standards when you look at the grades they would have made, several of our area schools would have made an F in at least one of the four categories with the new grading system.
This system does not take into consideration schools that are in disadvantaged neighborhoods. Citizens of our community should raise concerns why? If any of our local schools or districts receives a low grade, our property values will fall. As parents consider where to relocate, a failing grade for our local districts would affect our resale value of our homes. Even our local small business would suffer because residents would relocate to a higher graded school district.
I am urging you to contact your local state representative. In our area we have State Representative Yvonne Davis, State Representative Helen Giddings and State Senator Royce West. If you are not sure how to contact them, you can go to: http://www.house.state.tx.us/members/find-your-representative/
The only way we can make a change is to have our voices heard.