Friday, December 8, 2023

Local school districts join lawsuit against Texas Education Agency

Some local school districts recently joined more than 100 others around the state in a lawsuit against the Texas Education Agency over its A-F accountability ratings.

The TEA is “refreshing” its accountability system and methodology, its website says. The lawsuit alleges that the changes “were not provided to districts in the beginning of the 2022-23 school year as required by state statute,” and they “will lower performance ratings for many school districts and campuses even though their performance improved.”

Denton ISD joined the lawsuit last week. Argyle ISD’s Board of Trustees held a special meeting on Wednesday night and voted to join it, too.

“Argyle ISD joining the TEA A-F Accountability litigation was important to our district administration and the Board of Trustees,” Board President Sam Slaton said. “We strongly feel that Commissioner Morath needs to uphold the accountability rating system that our State Legislature established and charged the TEA to enact. Argyle ISD, along with dozens of other Texas school districts, believe it is a disservice to our educators and students for the Commissioner to make attempts to retroactively change our accountability standards thus arbitrarily lowering district ratings. Argyle ISD is proud of its standard for academic excellence, give us a goal, and together we will soar to achieve it. For Commissioner Morath to change the goal after the fact is something that we stand united against.”

Denton ISD said in a statement that it expects “the retroactively applied change to the accountability system will likely lower the rating for Denton ISD and most districts in Texas.”

“TEA has essentially asked us to take the test, given us a grade and changed the scale,” Denton ISD Superintendent Dr. Jamie Wilson said.

Northwest ISD has no plans to join the lawsuit, a district spokesman said. A Lewisville ISD spokesperson did not respond immediately Thursday to a request for comment on the lawsuit. The TEA does not comment on pending litigation.

Mark Smith
Mark Smith
Mark Smith is the Digital Editor of The Cross Timbers Gazette.

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