Texas Education Agency

Prosper, Red Oak school districts join lawsuit against Texas Education Agency

The districts join dozens statewide suing the TEA

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More school districts are pushing back against the Texas Education Agency over changes in the TEA’s accountability ratings.

Dallas and Frisco ISDs have already joined a lawsuit that includes more than 50 districts across the state.

Monday, Prosper ISD and Red Oak ISD joined them. It revolves around the TEA report cards that schools get, giving the campus an A-F letter grade based on their teaching.

The TEA says they're changing the way they grade, something they do every year. But the changes are more drastic this year and retroactive to the last school year.

So much so that Dallas ISD estimates it will cause 42 schools in the district to drop two letter grades despite improving metrics on STARR and other measures of growth.

The lawsuit claims the drastic changes were not properly communicated to districts ahead of time so that they could prepare.

A major concern for Prosper ISD Superintendent Dr. Holly Ferguson is that the new ratings may cause the district to lose teachers.

“I hate to say it because many of my neighbors are struggling more so to try to find teachers more than we are, but we're also struggling and we're a destination district. So just think about what this could do if teacher then is deemed by the State of Texas as not being good enough because that's in essence what they're saying,” said Dr. Ferguson.

The Prosper ISD school board voted unanimously to join the lawsuit. Tuesday, the Fort Worth ISD will decide whether to join it, too.

Mike Morath, commissioner of the TEA, told NBC 5 earlier this year that the state normally makes small tweaks to the test each year, but superintendents are the ones who asked to do them all at once, and that's what he's doing.

Morath is expected to be in north Texas on Tuesday as a keynote speaker for the Dallas Regional Chamber's "State of Public Education" luncheon.

Leaders from some of the districts suing him or who plan to sue him will be there.

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