The 84th legislative session ended on June 1, 2015. See the bills that have become law.

Reforming public school accountability

Curated by Morgan Smith

Near the top of Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick’s education agenda for the 2015 legislative session was a plan to change how the state rates public schools, replacing the current system with an A-F grading method.

Supporters of the proposal say such an accountability system would make a school’s performance easier to understand, would help more parents become involved in their children's education and would allow the state to target failing schools effectively. 

Critics of the plan, however, argued that giving a school a low grade would unfairly stigmatize the school and its students. They also letter grades wouldn’t take into account factors like funding problems.

House members folded in legislation enacting the A-F system into a broader education measure, which passed both chambers. 

More changes came to the accountability system with House Bill 1842, which allows the state to impose sanctions and changes in schools that have been failing for at least two consecutive years. It also permits higher performing school districts to create “multiple-campus innovation zones” exempt from certain state and local requirements.

Updated: June 2, 2015

See all the topics we’re following.

Questions, suggestions or concerns? Let us know.

The Texas Legislative Guide was designed and developed by Becca Aaronson, Emily Albracht, Daniel Craigmile, Annie Daniel, Ben Hasson and Ryan Murphy for The Texas Tribune. The Tribune is a nonpartisan, nonprofit media organization that promotes civic engagement and discourse on public policy, politics, government and other matters of statewide concern.