The Texas Rising Star program includes three levels of quality designation—2-star, 3-star, and 4-star. Prior to 2015, Texas Rising Star used a metric of “met/not met” to determine star level ratings. Based on the recommendations of the TRS workgroup, the 2015 TRS guidelines establish:
- “met” or “not met” measures required at the 2-star level; and
- points-based measures scored on a scale of 0–3 points that may lift a provider to the 3- and 4-star levels.
If a provider meets all the required measures for the 2-star level, the score of the points-based measures will determine the star level for each category. Points-based measures are scored, and points awarded for them, through on-site assessments.
Each category of the certification criteria is given a star level rating based on the average score across all points-based measures in that category (see on the following page). A provider’s overall star designation is based on the lowest star level achieved across the five categories. The rationale for this scoring protocol is to ensure the provider meets higher quality standards across measures in all categories.
Example: If a provider scores at a 4-star level in two categories, a 3-star level in one category, and a 2-star level in two categories, the provider would be certified as a 2-star provider.
Exception: However, a provider that achieves 4-star scores in four of the five categories, but a 2-star score in one category, will be certified as a 3-star program provider.
The score for a points-based measure in which multiple classrooms are assessed is based on the median score of the classrooms. The methodology for determining the star level of a category is based on the provider’s average score across all measures of a category:
- 3-Star – average score is 1.80 to 2.39 (60–79.9 percent of total points)
- 4-Star – average score is 2.4 or greater than 2.4 (80 percent of total points)
Finally, if a single classroom scores below the threshold for a 3-star level, the provider cannot be certified as a 4-star provider.
Enhanced Reimbursements for Star Level Rating
Texas Government Code §2308.315 mandates that the minimum reimbursement rate for a TRS provider must be greater than the maximum rate established for a provider that is not TRS certified for the same category of care, i.e., at least:
- 5 percent higher for a provider with a 2-star rating;
- 7 percent higher for a provider with a 3-star rating; and
- 9 percent higher for a provider with a 4-star rating.
Further, to expand local flexibility, the Commission adds new §809.20(d) to allow Boards to establish a higher enhanced reimbursement rate for TRS providers than those provided in §809.20(c)(1) – (3), so long as a minimum 2 percentage point difference between each star level is maintained.