BISD Joins Lawsuit Against TEA

BISD Joins Lawsuit Against TEA Over Changes to Accountability Ratings
Posted on 09/19/2023
This is the image for the news article titled BISD Joins Lawsuit Against TEA Over Changes to Accountability RatingsIn a unanimous decision, the Brazosport Independent School District's Board of Trustees voted to join a lawsuit against the Texas Education Agency (TEA) to challenge recent changes to the A–F Accountability System. The decision was reached during the Board's meeting held on September 18, 2023, following concerns about transparency and compliance with state law.

The A–F Accountability System, implemented statewide by the TEA, assigns letter grades A–F to districts and campuses in Texas, evaluating their academic performance. However, TEA recently made substantial changes to the accountability ratings system, affecting every school district and campus across the state. These changes mean that the ratings expected to be issued in the fall of 2023 for the 2022–2023 school year will be based on a different set of rules than previous A–F ratings, making it impossible to compare the ratings issued by the TEA in 2022 and 2023 side by side.

The district believes that the TEA's actions have violated state law by failing to provide information regarding the changes to the A­­–F Accountability System before the start of the 2022–2023 school year. Even to this day, TEA has not provided a comprehensive explanation of the rules and methodologies used to determine district and campus ratings. “Our staff work extremely hard to ensure our students are learning at high levels, experiencing academic growth, and having outstanding learning experiences. Our staff deserve better than this,” stated Brazosport ISD Superintendent Danny Massey.

The Board of Trustees acknowledges that several school districts throughout the state have filed a lawsuit against the TEA, challenging the lack of transparency in the criteria used as part of the A–F Accountability System. These districts aim to prohibit the TEA from issuing performance ratings for the 2022–2023 school year based on measures, methods, and procedures that were not provided to school districts in advance, as required by state law.

The district is concerned about the harm caused by the lack of advance notice of the criteria and methods applied by the TEA for the 2022–2023 school year. This lack of transparency has left the district without a clear understanding of the expectations set by the State of Texas for school districts. As a result, the district has been unable to adequately adjust to the TEA's new accountability measures and allocate resources to meet state standards.

As a result of the Board's unanimous decision, the district administration is authorized to join the ongoing litigation against the TEA as an intervener. This legal action aims to challenge the TEA's failure to provide the district with advance notice of the accountability performance measures, methods, and procedures being applied as part of the A–F Accountability System for the 2022–2023 school year before the school year began, in violation of state law. The district administration is also empowered to engage legal counsel to represent the district in the lawsuit against the TEA.

The resolution to join this lawsuit was adopted by the vote of the majority of members of the Board of Trustees of the Brazosport Independent School District, during an open meeting of the Board on the 18th day of September 2023, at which a quorum was present.

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