ECISD board votes to enter lawsuit against Texas Education Agency

Published: Sep. 5, 2023 at 9:51 PM CDT
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ODESSA, Texas (KOSA) - The Ector county independent school district board voted 6-1 at a special meeting tonight to join a lawsuit against the Texas Education Agency.

The administrative recommendation was approval to enter litigation.

“Happy and excited about new standards, higher standards, glad that we’re gonna be held accountable. That’s a good thing but let us know the rules before the game begins,” said Superintendent Dr. Scott Muri.

The litigation challenges lack of transparency in the calculation of schools district accountability ratings.

“We started a school year and had a school year without knowing how we would be held accountable by the State of Texas and that’s an unfair advantage. The law requires that the agency release that information in advance,” said Dr. Muri.

ECISD is joining a number of districts across the state, using the Thompson Horton firm, as a group of interveners.

The districts are asking a judge to block the A through F accountability ratings from being released at the end of September, saying the commissioner and TEA unlawfully changed the guidelines without giving districts adequate time to adjust.

“The students that were most heavily affected in a negative way by what we’re seeing are students of poverty. 67% of our students live in poverty and so the majority of our kids are going to be negatively affected by this new system,” said Dr. Muri.

Last year ECISD received a B rating, they’re college career military readiness score is now a D.

“40% of a school district grade is the college career military readiness score and last year a 60 when you received a 60 or higher that was an A. Well in the new system the new A is 88 so that singular change is now applied to a group of kids that already graduated,” said Dr. Muri.

Muri says the decline in their rating could be seen as confusing for parents due to recent high performance on the STAAR testing. They still don’t know all the TEA rules.