Dallas ISD joins lawsuit against TEA's evaluation changes; Fort Worth could join next week

The largest school district in North Texas, Dallas ISD, announced it is joining a lawsuit against the Texas Education Agency for changes to the way schools are evaluated.

The second-largest district, Fort Worth ISD, plans to meet next week to decide whether it will join the lawsuit.

Dallas ISD is not against changing the accountability ratings system. What it’s against is not having adequate time to prepare for the changes.

That’s why the Dallas ISD School Board voted unanimously to join a growing number of Texas school districts in a lawsuit against the TEA.

"This board believes in accountability, believes in equity, and believes in transparency. This process is not equitable, nor is it transparent," DISD Trustee Maxie Johnson said.

In a special meeting Thursday night, the Dallas ISD School Board discussed the Texas Education Agency’s changes in the accountability rating system.

"At this time, the Texas Education Agency has expressed its intent to evaluate schools with different rules than previously utilized, and has not completed their communication with school districts regarding these changes," Dallas ISD Superintendent Stephanie Elizalde explained.

The rating system assigns districts and their schools an A-F grade based on tests results, academic growth, graduation rates, and how well students are prepared for college or a career after high school.


Texas Education Agency delays release of annual school ratings

The Texas Education Agency announced Tuesday it would delay the release of its annual school ratings to account for scoring changes that could negatively impact schools under a revamped version of the agency’s accountability system.

Earlier this year, the TEA announced changes to the rating system since students are back in the classroom full-time.

In Thursday night's meeting, school board members agreed raising standards for students is a good thing, but it should happen gradually, not retroactively.

"The A-F refresh, if applied to the 2022-23 year, would be changing the rules of the game after the game has been played," DISD Trustee Dan Micciche said.

Trustees voted unanimously to join a lawsuit against the TEA to slow down the changes.

Fort Worth ISD could be next.

The district is holding a special board meeting Tuesday, September 19, to discuss joining the lawsuit.

"We’ve had time before, benchmarks and what have you, get things in place to get our students ready," DISD Trustee Camile D. White said. "Our students can perform, and they do perform, and we do have great teachers and we have a great public school system that I feel needs this time to adjust."

On Tuesday, the TEA announced it is delaying the results of the 2023 ratings until next month.

FOX 4 reached out to the TEA for comment, but they said they can't comment on legal matters.