Ninth graders who failed the STAAR end-of-course standardized tests in their initial go around did better during retakes, the Texas Education Agency announced.
Here's a link to an Associated Press report.An excerpt: "Students who retook those tests as 10th-graders this year saw their scores in all subject areas improve dramatically, according to Education Commissioner Michael Williams.
The English I writing passing rate jumped from 54.4 percent last spring to 72.6 percent after retesting. English I reading jumped from 67.7 percent to 81.2 percent; world geography climbed to 84.8 percent from 79.7 percent; and 91 percent of students passed biology exams, up from 86.4 percent."
And here's Tuesday's news release from the Texas Education Agency.
The majority of Texas students who took the state’s new standardized exams last year passed it, results show.
Texas Education Commissioner Michael Williams released results Tuesday from elementary and middle schoolers who took the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) tests in spring 2012.
In a news release, Williams said the passing rates for most of the tests were 70 percent or higher. Third and fourth graders posted passing rates of 68 percent on the math test.
And eighth graders posted a 59 percent passing rate on the social studies test. Education officials attributed that to new curriculum content and use of more primary sources in test questions. Eighth graders posted the highest passing percentage on the tests, with 80 percent passing the reading exam.
The new tests are designed to be harder than the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) exam. That program is being phased out. (r: 9th grader works in STAAR end of course remedial class in June 2012. ST/Ron Jenkins)
Students took STAAR tests in the same subjects that were tested on the TAKS. For grades 3 through 8, students must take tests in math and reading. Students are also tested in writing at grades 4 and 7, science at grades 5 and 8, and social studies at grade 8.
“I recognize there has been a lot of anxiety surrounding STAAR tests, but I believe these are encouraging passing rates for the first year of a new more rigorous test,” Williams said in a statement. “Clearly, we still have work to do, but I remain optimistic that passing rates will rise this spring in the second administration of the STAAR, just as they have traditionally done in the second year of a new testing program.”
Several greater Tarrant County school districts, including Fort Worth, Mansfield, Arlington and Grapevine-Colleyville, did not release scores for their students on Tuesday. Some officials said administrators want to share the scores with school trustees before releasing the data.
Fort Worth schools officials received the last of their scores from the state on Saturday, said Clint Bond, a spokesman.
“They haven’t been reviewed or analyzed. We just got some of them. The superintendent hasn’t seen them and the board hasn’t seen them,” Bond said.
This year, exam results will be used to create accountability performance ratings for school districts and campuses. No ratings were issued in 2012 as the state made the transition to the new test.
High school students must get a passing average on 15 end-of-course STAAR tests to graduate. There are three exams each in math, science, social studies, reading and writing. This year, ninth and 10th graders took the tests. Other students continue to take the TAKS. Williams has suspended a requirement that the scores count as 15 percent of the course grade.