ACT annually requests state assessment data from the Texas Education Agency (TEA) using its Public Information Request (PIR) system. In the past, TEA provided data sets on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS). In Spring 2012, the TAKS was replaced with the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR™). It is expected that the data on the 2012 STAAR exam will not be available for request until early 2013. As soon as data are available, ACT will match individual student scores to the same students' EXPLORE scores. Using these matched individual student scores, ACT will identify the STAAR scale score Targets linked to research-based indicators of a student's post-secondary success—College and Career Readiness (CCR) Targets.
ACT will use the previous two years of TAKS data and the 2012 STAAR data to identify higher performing schools in Texas that meet one or both of the following criteria over the most recent three years: 1) students experience above-predicted growth based on a value-added analysis, or 2) an above-predicted percentage of continuously enrolled students score at the Exceeds level on the state assessment. As the measures identify schools that outperform their peers that serve similar student populations, we refer to them as "higher performing" to emphasize these schools' comparative achievement.