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FAST Findings

FAST Stars Across Texas

The FAST Tool is updated with the latest data when it becomes available from the Texas Education Agency.

To view the latest 5 star districts and campuses, or obtain a detailed profile of any district or campus use the Run a Report feature. You can also find the most up-to-date information to download in .csv format.

Visit our Smart Practices section to see new ways school districts across Texas are controlling costs and improving student achievement.

The Comptroller’s Financial Allocation Study for Texas (FAST) examines both academic progress and spending at Texas’ school districts and individual school campuses.

Each district and campus is assigned a FAST rating of one to five stars, indicating its success in combining cost-effective spending with the achievement of measurable student academic progress. Five stars reflects the strongest relative progress combined with the lowest relative spending.

For a detailed look at the methodology and calculations used to produce the FAST ratings, view the FAST Appendix. (PDF, 4.7M)

Five-Star Districts as of December 2010

The research team evaluated the FAST study results to identify districts that have improved student achievement while keeping expenditures relatively low. The five-star districts are:

Angleton ISD Keller ISD
Anna ISD Lindsay ISD
Arlington Classics Academy* Maypearl ISD
Aubrey ISD McKinney ISD
Canton ISD Mesquite ISD
Cedar Hill ISD Mumford ISD
Children First Academy Of Dallas* North Hills Preparatory School*
Children First Academy of Houston* Peak Preparatory School*
Clear Creek ISD Pearland ISD
Conroe ISD Pilot Point ISD
Cypress-Fairbanks ISD Raul Yzaguirre School For Success*
Dripping Springs ISD Red Lick ISD
Era ISD Ripley House Charter School*
Fort Worth Academy Of Fine Arts* Sam Rayburn ISD
Friendswood ISD Star Charter School*
Frisco ISD Sunnyvale ISD
Garland ISD Two Dimensions Preparatory Academy*
Harleton ISD Vanguard Academy*
Hudson ISD Veribest ISD
Irving ISD Windthorst ISD
Jacksonville ISD Wylie ISD
Katy ISD

* Denotes a charter operator. Like independent school districts, some charter operators run only one campus, while others run multiple campuses. All charter operators are considered school districts for the purposes of the FAST analysis.

Five stars reflects the strongest relative progress combined with the lowest relative spending.

The FAST study results identify districts that have improved student achievement while keeping expenditures relatively low.

District Ratings

To find out how a district was rated on spending, progress and overall:

  • For a detailed profile of a district, use the Run a Report feature. District is automatically selected.
  • Run a Report also lets you compare specific districts or find districts that have things in common.

The Help Section has tips and tutorials on how to use Run a Report.

Campus Ratings

To find out how a campus was rated on spending, progress and overall:

  • For a detailed profile of a campus, use the Run a Report feature. Select Campus on the left side of the page.
  • For a detailed profile of a campus, use the Run a Report feature. Select Campus on the left side of the page.
  • Run a Report also lets you compare specific campuses or find campuses that have things in common.

The Help Section has tips and tutorials on how to use Run a Report.

Fiscal Peers

In light of the widely varying cost environments in which school districts function, direct financial comparisons among Texas districts would not be fair or appropriate. Instead, this study evaluates each district and campus against those identified as “fiscal peers,” districts and campuses that operate in a similar cost environment, are of similar size and serve similar students. Many factors influence the costs that a district faces:

  • Cost of Living (Comparable Wage Index)
  • School District Size
  • Student Demographics

Read more about fiscal peers in the FAST Study Appendix.

You can view all districts and their fiscal peers. This page is over 1MB in size so it will take awhile to load.

You can also download fiscal peers tables in .csv format.

  • District Fiscal Peers (CSV, 913K)
  • Campus Fiscal Peers (CSV, 9.6M)

You can also look up fiscal peers by using the Run a Report feature.

  • Select any campus or district and click Submit.
  • On the profile, at the bottom of the page you’ll see a link: “View comparable districts (fiscal peers.)”
  • Click on the link and you will get a listing of the fiscal peers for that district/campus.

Conclusion

The FAST report accomplishes the House Bill 3 charge to “identify school districts and campuses that use resource allocation practices that contribute to high academic achievement and cost-effective operations.” It identifies school districts that spend less than their peers while producing exceptional academic progress. The FAST project, however, goes beyond these requirements to offer educators, policymakers and the public a significant research tool. The report recommends ways to improve efficiency at the school district level, while the FAST website will allow districts to see just how they compare to similar districts across a range of spending and academic indicators.

The Comptroller hopes that all Texas school districts can learn from the examples in this report, and use the FAST website to help them achieve the highest academic performance efficiently, slowing the ever-increasing burden on taxpayers without sacrificing student success.

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