AUSTIN (AP) – Texas Education Commissioner Michael Williams is set to speak as the state Senate Education Committee discusses several bills affecting classrooms.

Williams will likely address school accountability ratings during his appearance Tuesday.

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He plans to soon announce changes to how the state rates schools. Williams has said he’d like to place extra emphasis on how well districts are closing achievement gaps between white and minority students.

Presently, schools and districts are rated according to students’ results on state-mandated standardized tests.

Education officials complain it’s an all-or-nothing proposition and if schools fail in one area, they are labeled “academically unacceptable.”

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Sen. Dan Patrick, a Houston Republican who chairs the committee, has proposed overhauling what constitutes acceptable and unacceptable ratings.

That is one of 10 measures his committee plans to discuss.

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