Dear Waller ISD Family,
The Waller Independent School District (Waller ISD) is known for its long lasting tradition of academic excellence. I am especially proud of our students and educators for their hard work and dedication they put forth each day. I am also extremely proud that Waller ISD and all eight schools met the highest accountability rating possible this year. I am equally proud that Waller ISD earned 22 Distinction Designations this year and we were a Recognized school district by the former state accountability system in previous years. Waller ISD is considered a fast growth school district in Texas and continues to strive for excellence.
During the 84th Texas Legislative Session, lawmakers passed House Bill 2804 to redesign the accountability system to rate campuses and the school district to receive one of five letter grade ratings from A through F. The new rating system is intended to simplify the rating system so the public can more easily understand the grades our schools and district earned.
On Friday, January 6, 2017, the TEA released a ’what if‘ A-F grade scenario of each school and district based on last year’s data from five domains: Student Performance, Student Progress, Closing Performance Gaps, Postsecondary Readiness, and Community and Student Engagement
The criteria used to determine the A-F ‘what if’ rating are not equivalent to the criteria used in our schools to determine a letter grade for students. Instead, the letter grade consists of weighted averages from the Texas mandated STAAR tests results that our students took in the 2015-2016 school year.
Waller ISD schools use a combination of test scores, homework, and various other assignments to determine if a student is mastering the subject content. We do not solely rely on STAAR test results to determine if a student is mastering course content.
The new TEA rating system is not an accurate reflection of our educators’ and students’ hard work and their academic achievements. I am extremely concerned, just as other leaders in Texas, with the new A-F letter rating accountability system. Texas schools need a fair accountability rating system that accurately and equally evaluates all schools in Texas.
The new TEA A-F rating targets for each domain varies with different standards for elementary, junior high, high school, and districts, and has a lower target point standard than some charter schools and alternative campuses must meet compared to what public schools across Texas must meet. The TEA A-F rating target scale does not define a grade of a 90 to represent an ‘A’; nor does a grade of 80 represent a ‘B’, etc. – a rating scale that is familiar to our parents. Instead, the TEA created a point system that is not equal for all schools in Texas. The Austin American-Statesman reported that up to 75% of the schools received a grade of a “C” “D” or an “F.” In fact, there was a predetermined percentage of schools and districts who would receive an “F” before all grade distributions were complete. Roughly one third of the schools in Texas received an A or a B while two thirds of the schools received a C, D or an F. Thankfully, the TEA’s new A-F accountability rating system is a work-in-progress. Our Waller ISD School Board of Trustees has signed a resolution calling on all legislators to repeal the A-F system or fix it. The new A-F Accountability System will go into effect in the spring of 2018.
Waller ISD embraces accountability and will continue to strive for academic excellence for every child. We are “All About Kids.” In the meantime, Waller ISD will continue to strive for continuous improvement in all subject areas. Our mission focus will remain to provide our students the tools to graduate. We work hard to teach them skills that will allow them to make the next step to attain their goals after graduation.
See below for more information regarding the A-F Accountability System.
Danny Twardowski, Superintendent
Waller Independent School District
Texas Tribune - Texas' most populous districts see As through Ds in ratings
Austn American Statesman - Texas school and districts got their letter grade from state
John Tanner - Test Sense: The A-F Accountability Mistake
From the Austin American Statesman news source - Click here to view ENTIRE ARTICLE:
Up to 75 percent of schools get Cs or worse
Statewide, campuses also scored tepid marks:
• In student achievement, 13 percent got A’s, 18 percent got B’s, 36 percent got C’s and 32 percent got D’s and F’s.
• In student progress, 12 percent got A’s, 21 percent got B’s, 34 percent got C’s and 33 percent got D’s and F’s.
• In closing performance gaps, 10 percent got A’s, 25 percent got B’s and 23 percent got C’s and 42 percent got ‘Ds and F’s.
• In preparing students for college and careers, 11 percent got A’s, 24 percent got B’s and 35 percent got C’s and 31 percent got D’s and F’s.
(Percentages might not total 100 percent because of rounding.)