Winnsboro Independent School District

Texas Education Agency Releases District Rating on August 15

Dear Winnsboro ISD Families and Community Members,

On Wednesday, August 15, 2018, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) will release an A–F rating for districts based on data from the 2017-18 school year mixed with different high school student data from the two years prior. This law, passed by the Texas Legislature in 2015, is better known as the A-F Accountability System.

While Winnsboro ISD believes that schools and districts should be held accountable for providing the highest quality education for students, we encourage parents and community members to use caution when trying to interpret these A–F ratings for the following two reasons:

  1. This “simple” single letter grade is based upon a complicated system of calculations and not easily interpreted or transparent. The accountability manual has over 50 pages of explanation and calculations that are extremely complicated thus making it difficult to explain why one school is an A and another is ranked as an F.
  2. This grade does nothing to improve our performance nor showcase the growth towards our goals and local objectives, which include more than STAAR scores. A forced ranking is used as required by law that (5%) that must be identified as failing. Therefore, this A-F grade only serves to compare districts and schools against the state with very different demographics using a one-size fits all system based upon STAAR scores with a specific number required to fail.

While the data from these state reports provides us with information on how to improve related to the state testing, we refuse to let an accountability system based upon one measure define our identity in Winnsboro ISD. We do not embrace or recognize a rating or ranking of our schools based on this narrow indicator of a single day performance of our students. This does not measure the quality of our educational program for our students provided by our dedicated staff.

Winnsboro ISD will continue to use multiple measures to determine the success of our students. Consider this system in relationship, for example, to airline pilots who don’t use a single gauge to fly; they use a multitude of assessments to make accurate decisions to ensure the safety of their passengers. In the same way, a single letter grade for Winnsboro ISD does not accurately assess the wide variety of factors that are unique to our district and schools beyond the one day a year high-stakes STAAR assessment.

Our focus in Winnsboro ISD is to provide a high quality education that far exceeds the limited parameters of this state accountability design. Our schools are so much more than one test, and OUR STUDENTS are SO MUCH MORE than ONE SCORE! Our goal and mission is to personalize learning for each child and remain responsive to their needs in order for their continuous growth. We also know that when we focus on our students, personalize their learning and not focus on state assessments, the scores will speak for themselves as evident by recent gains this year. We appreciate the opportunity to share in the education of your child and look forward to the continued work to ensure the success of your child in life.

Sincerely,

Susan Morton

Winnsboro ISD Superintendent