Public schools in Texas must meet the requirements of two accountability systems that differ. The state system is under the oversight of the Texas Education Agency. The federal system falls under a division of the Department of Education known as No Child Left Behind (NCLB).
The Texas Education Agency is charged with assessing public school students on what they have learned and determining district and school accountability ratings. Beginning in 2013, the ratings are based on a system that uses various indicators to provide detailed information about the performance of a district and each of its campuses. The performance index framework includes the four areas described below. Districts and campuses with students in Grade 9 or above must meet targets on all four indexes. Districts and campuses with students in Grade 8 or lower must meet targets on the first three indexes excluding Postsecondary Readiness.
- Student Achievement - Represents a snapshot of performance of all students across all subjects, on both general and alternative assessments, at an established performance standard.
- Student Progress - Provides an opportunity for diverse campuses to show improvements made independent of overall achievement levels. Growth is evaluated by subject and student group.
- Closing Performance Gaps - Emphasizes improving academic achievement of the economically disadvantaged student group and the lowest performing race/ethnicity student groups at each campus or district.
- Postsecondary Readiness - Includes measures of high school completion, and beginning in 2014, State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR®) performance at the postsecondary readiness standard.
The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) was first passed by Congress in 1965 as part of President Lyndon B. Johnson's War on Poverty. The most recent reauthorization of this legislation is the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB). The primary function of NCLB is to close the achievement gap between groups of students by requiring greater accountability and offering increased flexibility and choice. The NCLB Act affects almost every school district and charter in the State.