TAB Responds to New 2014 Accountability Ratings for Texas Schools
Accountability Measure Standards Don’t Make the Grade
AUSTIN — Education Commissioner Michael Williams today released the 2014 accountability system ratings touting that 85 percent of campuses have met expectations. Bill Hammond, CEO of the Texas Association of Business, said the new accountability system is an inaccurate measure of our schools when only 25 percent of our students are graduating college and career ready.
“Only nine percent of schools are being ranked as low performing under this system,” said Hammond. “These ratings allow our education system to appear successful while the true story is that more students are ill-prepared to enter college or establish a career upon graduation. “
Under the rating system, a student is only required to pass two end-of-course exams to be considered college ready.
“Unfortunately, not all our exams indicate college readiness. A student passing only the history and biology exams are considered college ready.
“Another problem with this standard is that a student is considered college ready without even being eligible to graduate high school. In order to graduate high school, students have to pass end-of-course exams in English I and II, Algebra I, history and biology. That should be the minimum to be considered college ready,” said Hammond.
Hammond added that he is disappointed by what he views are weaker standards that are being adopted as part of a new accountability system. “There is no doubt that Commissioner Williams is doing what he thinks is right for the school children of Texas, but I think this does our students and our employers a disservice. This is not the time to go backward, but I believe that is exactly what we are doing. I think the commissioner is missing a golden opportunity to make our education system stronger and more responsive to the needs of both students and employers.”
Founded in 1922, the Texas Association of Business is a broad-based, bipartisan organization representing more than 4,000 small and large Texas employers and 200 local chambers of commerce.