Burkburnett ISD Develops a Community-Based Accountability System
Beginning with school year 2021-2022, Burkburnett ISD will supplement the state-defined accountability system with a self-reported Community-Based Accountability System (CBAS). Information in this report will include everything from data on student achievement and safety to data on student engagement and college, career, and military readiness.
Both formal and informal accountability utilized effectively throughout the year can be a powerful force within an organization that helps to define what success looks like in a variety of ways. In BISD, we believe that true accountability should align to the vision, mission, and beliefs of our district and to the hopes and dreams of our local community.
Over the last couple of years, community members, parents, and district staff have come together to define a multitude of data points that identify what success means to the community. Within the new CBAS, the district will report progress towards these data points to the community multiple times during the school year. This is different from the current state system, which reports out school ratings once per year.
Where we’ve been
Historically in Texas, student scores on standardized tests have largely determined whether a school is deemed successful in teaching students.
The Texas Education Agency has provided the public with accountability ratings since 2003, when it rated schools based on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) scores, attendance rates, dropout rates and college readiness levels. The ratings varied from “Academically Unacceptable” to “Exemplary.”
Beginning in 2013, schools earned either a “Met Standard” or “Improvement Required” rating, which mostly depended on student achievement on the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR).
Where we are
August 2019 was the first time the Texas Education Agency assigned an A-F rating to all schools in addition to districts.
Each campus and district receives an overall letter grade and a letter grade for each category:
- Student Achievement - how well students perform on state standardized tests and whether they are ready for college and careers (70% of overall grade if higher than School Progress score)
- School Progress - how much students improve on state tests from year to year (70% of overall grade if higher than Student Achievement score)
- Closing the Gaps - how well schools boost scores for subgroups such as students with special needs, low-income students and English language learners as evidenced in state tests (30% of grade)
The continued heavy reliance on state test scores as a measure of student performance is evident.
Where we’re headed
Burkburnett ISD realizes how important accountability is in schools, but the two questions we seek to address is what we are accountable for and to whom we are accountable. Burkburnett ISD believes that we should be accountable for providing engaging, authentic learning experiences for ALL learners that ensures they are able to apply their knowledge in ways that will improve their lives and guarantee their well-being.
Our schools are full of students who possess unique characteristics that make them individuals. We have to do better and implement an accountability system that honors our students for who they are and recognizes their growth. The current system only assesses the four core academic areas and excludes critical domains such as fine arts, career and technical education, athletics, foreign languages, and other electives. True accountability incorporates all of these areas, respects the creativity and passion of individual students, and celebrates the whole child.
Our Community-Based Accountability System will include multiple, comprehensive measures that will provide evidences that accurately reflect our students’ experiences in relation to the expectations of our community. For school year 2021-2022, our system will report progress according to the following CBAS pillars:
- Student Learning and Progress
- Professional Learning and Quality Staff
- Engaged, Well-Rounded Students
- Safety and Well-Being
Implementing the CBAS process empowers our community and students in defining what we are accountable for and to whom we are accountable. Our system should be reflective of the hopes, dreams our community has for our students, and should report on educational outcomes beyond standardized tests.
BISD will develop a comprehensive district report card that we provide to the community in several ways. Our CBAS committee will determine how often we report our progress on the identified indicators. We will utilize mass media, social media, our website, School messenger, and the local paper to communicate our results to our community.
Working together as a unified educational community, we can better serve our students and prepare them for their futures, and not our past.