The FAST Methodology
The 2009 Texas Legislature directed the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts to “identify school districts and campuses that use resource allocation practices that contribute to high academic achievement and cost-effective operations.” In response, the Comptroller’s office released the Financial Allocation Study for Texas (FAST) in December 2010.
The FAST report examined both school finances and student progress to evaluate the effectiveness of educational spending. In conjunction with expert consultants from the University of Texas at Dallas, Texas A&M University and the University of Texas at Austin, the FAST research team developed the FAST rating, a one- to five-star measure incorporating an academic progress rating and a spending index.
The FAST rating allows for fair and meaningful comparisons among Texas school districts and campuses. The rating is a simple average of an academic component (the FAST composite academic progress score) and a financial component (the FAST spending index). For additional information about how the FAST rating, academic progress score and spending index are calculated, please consult the FAST Methodology (PDF, 935K).
The 2012 FAST ratings now incorporate Texas Education Agency (TEA) data from the 2010-11 school year. In addition, the updated Web reporting tool includes 2010-11 data from TEA’s 2010-11 AEIS report as well as 2011 accountability ratings.