The Future of Testing and
School Accountability in Texas

In October 2021, Raise Your Hand Texas set out to have conversations with over 10,000 people across the state about Assessment and Accountability. We listened and learned what qualities they want most from their public schools and what they want for the future of Texas public education.

Currently, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) grades Texas public schools on an A-F scale. However, for elementary and middle school campuses, the only element they are graded on is their students’ STAAR Test scores. 

Our schools do more than administer the STAAR Test. Texas deserves better. 

We strongly believe that our students are more than one test on one day. From last fall to May 2022, we sought out feedback from teachers, parents, administrators, students, and community members to see what else should be added to the equation that holds our schools accountable. 

It’s time to Measure What Matters.

Texas Voices

on Testing and Accountability

Our statewide team of Regional Advocacy Directors held conversations across the state of Texas by hosting listening circles, then guided attendees to a survey. To ensure we heard from all corners of Texas and increase accessibility, we also launched an online version promoted through social media, websites, community groups, and more to encourage all Texans to have a voice. Their community-based efforts and our online outreach resulted in more than 15,600 completed surveys from parents, educators, students, and community members. That effort included hearing from parents, educators, students, and community members across our state.

Our statewide outreach was comprehensive. We visited with school districts, schools, PTAs, other parent groups, as well as civic, community and business groups across Texas.

Who did we meet with
Who participated in our Texas Voices survey
Participants in the survey were able to identify themselves as more than one category if applicable.

What the data tells us is that Texans believe in accountability, but want more out of the current A-F system for our schools. More than 80% of respondents said they do not believe the STAAR Test alone can effectively determine if their child’s school is good or not.

They also overwhelmingly said the STAAR Test is not enough to accurately assess the effectiveness of our schools.  Only 1% of respondents felt the STAAR Test was a very accurate measure of a school.

Our outreach was comprehensive in who we heard from as well as where they are. Listening circles were held and responses came in from every region of the state.

Texans are telling us they are not satisfied with the current system. Texans want more from the state when it comes to rating our schools because more goes into a school year than one test on one day.

It is time to Measure What Matters. Sign up today to receive our Measure What Matters Report by email in Fall 2022.

Measure What Matters data points

What are Texans Saying?

During our Listening Circles we heard from you. Here is some of what a few of you shared…

Measure What Matters

Assessment and Accountability Council

What happens with all this feedback we received from Texans? All of the results were reviewed by our Measure What Matters Advisory Council, as well as Raise Your Hand Texas’ policy team. Additional research and survey results will shape our Assessment and Accountability policy recommendations for the 2023 legislative session. 

The Measure What Matters Assessment and Accountability Council was announced in January 2022. Later that month, the first-ever Measure What Matters Conference was held in-person and live-streamed. The event featured presentations from experts in their field on assessment and accountability and advocacy. Learn more about the conference, view videos and presentations below.

Our policy recommendations will be added below when the Council finalizes their recommendations in Fall 2022. Be sure to check back to see what we will be fighting for in 2023 and sharing with legislators before the 88th Texas Legislature Session begins.

Events

on Testing and Accountability

Leading up to the 2023 legislative session, Raise Your Hand will host a series of events on our findings from what Texans have told us, presenting and explaining them to advocates throughout the state.

Raise Your Hand also will continue to convene a series of accountability panel discussions geared towards legislators, staff, and advocates on topics such as different models for assessments, innovative accountability practices from across the country, federal requirements, and more. 

All of these collective meetings, conversations, and interactions will culminate in a series of legislative recommendations presented prior to the 2023 legislative session.

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!

Are you interested in building a better testing and accountability system in Texas? We want to hear from you! Sign up below to receive an email of our full Measure What Matters Report upon its completion in September 2022.

You also can become involved in your community. Learn more about how to become an advocate for public education by connecting with your local regional advocacy director.