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Important Message from the Superintendent on TEA’s A-F Ratings

Dear Southside ISD Parents and Patrons,

I pray that you will have a wonderful Christmas break. The entire SISD staff continues to work hard to serve our students and provide them a positive educational experience. Great things are happening every day in Southside ISD and we are moving forward. I encourage you to visit our website or visit our campuses to experience some of our many successes.

This letter provides information regarding the A-F Campus and District Rating System that will be published by TEA in January of 2017. The school leaders in the Region 20 Educational Service Center area and the Bexar County superintendents have met to discuss the impact of the A-F system. Input was gathered from local and state level elected representatives. The Texas Association of School Administrators (TASA) has also published information concerning the A-F system available at the web address.

I along with many educators believe that an A-F system is an inaccurate, simplification of the complexity involved in evaluating a campus or school system. A letter grade will convey no information about where or how a school needs to improve. There is no rigorous research to show that any rating system, by itself, improves school performance. SISD will continue to work toward improving our school performance regardless of a rating.

The preliminary ratings the public will see in January of 2017 will not reflect the hard work and improvements SISD has achieved because the state will be using the 2015-16 data. We believe a single grade misrepresents so much of what is occurring on our campuses. Additionally, the letter grade will very likely align with any community’s relative level of wealth. As it has been noted in other states, grades of D-F are highly correlated with schools that serve large numbers of economically disadvantaged students. In this way an A-F system will create a false impression about neighborhoods and communities. Texas should not have an accountability system that harms families and communities because of economic situations.

I am in communication with our state law makers to dissolve or improve this rating system and encourage you to do the same. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact your campus principals or email us with your questions or concerns.

Happy Holidays and God bless you all,

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Mark E. Eads
Proud Superintendent of Southside ISD

PDF Document – Letter for Superintendent

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