Why Ratings Don’t Matter

Excerpt from a recent speech by Bill Ratliff, former Lieutenant Governor

You absolutely cannot tell, by visiting a school, the difference between an exemplary school and a recognized or acceptable school. The difference is often times a small handful of kids and their score on one subject area of the TAKS test. For example, my son’s junior high is rated on 20 different criteria that include test scores on reading, writing, social studies, math, science, English-language learner progress, commended performance, and performance of White, Black, Hispanic and Economically disadvantaged students. Of those 20 criteria, the junior high was ranked “exemplary” on 13, “recognized” on 6, and academically acceptable on 1. So, according to the Texas Accountability System, the ENTIRE junior high was ranked academically acceptable and that’s what the local newspaper prints and that’s what the community is led to believe about my son’s junior high. That’s right, his entire junior high of approximately 300 kids was ranked based on the score in one subject of 5 students. Talk about distorting what is really going on.

Read and Download Thomas Ratliff’s entire speech here.

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