Texas schools get credit for kids who fail

Texas schools are expected to get higher ratings under a new state rule that counts students who fail the state exam as passing if they’re expected to pass in the future. School accountability ratings have changed so much, it’s “a test in itself to figure out if a school is doing better, doing worse or holding even,” writes the Dallas Morning News.

Say a seventh-grader failed the math TAKS. The Texas Education Agency developed a statistical formula that predicts whether that student will pass the math test in eighth grade. The formula considers the student’s math and reading TAKS scores, plus the average math TAKS score at his school.

If the student is predicted to pass, the school gets to count him as actually passing – even though he really failed.

If the student fails in the future, nothing happens to the school’s rating, says Education Gadfly.

Say a sixth grader fails TAKS but is projected to pass in eighth grade; if that same student actually fails in eighth grade, the school is not penalized. Instead, projections readjust, and our former-sixth-now-eighth-grader’s scores are now calibrated to predictions for passing the eleventh grade test. As Education Trust’s Daria Hall explains, “From a school perspective, a student never has to actually be proficient. It’s always projected into future grades.”

Some day, my proficiency will come.

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  1. This is bogus. Other states, with more realistic rules, look bad in comparison.

  2. Insane.

  3. We are planning ahead here in Texas, right?

  4. texas-style non-accountability

  5. tim-10-ber says:

    I am pretty certain this is true in Tennessee as it is the home of the value added model. If you state has introduced the value added model then your state probably does the same thing. Good luck!! The schools are not held accountable when the child fails to meet the already low level of proficient. Forced school is more and more of a farce…

    Oh…I am reading The Myth of the Common School. Thanks for the recommendation. It is very, very interesting.

    Forced schooling has never been about educating the child in the sense of learning reading, writing, math, etc. It has always been about making the a good citizen…you can take it from here…

  6. Let me put it a little more clearly. In Texas, there are over 30 indicators of success or failure, 30 different groups of students that are examined for levels of success. If you fail at JUST ONE, you fail the whole assessment and drop a level of accountability. Is that fair?

    Also, if a student is performing in math on a sixth grade level and is in the ninth grade, that students will probably have to take the ninth grade TAKS test. There is no way that student could pass, and the school is marked down for it. Now, however, if the student was on a fifth grade level the year before and IMPROVES their score from the previous assessment, they are now counted as success, not as failure. I for one think this is much more fair than saying that because their ability level doesn’t match their performance level, it’s an automatic failure.

    We need to stop measuring failures and measure successes. Which is more uplifting for the student, parent, teacher, and community?

  7. Ragnarok says:

    “Also, if a student is performing in math on a sixth grade level and is in the ninth grade,…”

    Then he shouldn’t be in the 9th-grade.