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2013-02-14

STAAR testing results released

Contributed

Long awaited STAAR testing results, the state's new accountability test for grades 3-8, were released to school districts in late January. These results are based on newly designed subject area tests given to students in the spring of 2012. Preliminary comparison data shows that Bandera students' passing rates were higher on the reading test but lagged marginally on the math test. This first administration of the STAAR test has been widely held as a significant step up in rigor from the TAKS tests administered for the previous 10 years.
The Texas Education Agency is poised to implement a new accountability system to evaluate STAAR performance for campuses and districts. A phase-in period of three years to evaluate student scores is expected. At this time, no accountability standard or rating is set using the scores provided.
Initial passing percentages for BISD show that in third grade reading, 78 percent of the students passed the STAAR test, while in third grade math, 56 percent passed. Bandera fourth graders showed a passing rate of 81percent in reading, while in math 65 percent passed the STAAR. Fourth grade writing scores indicate that 72 percent of the students passed that test. The new fourth grade writing test is composed of two writing prompts as well as questions over editing and usage.
BISD fifth grade reading passing rates came in at 83 percent, and fifth grade math at 78 percent. Science results for BISD fifth graders showed that 76 percent of those students passed the STAAR test.
Scores for Bandera sixth graders in reading and math both reported in at 76 percent. Seventh grade reading STAAR scores show that 84 percent of the students passed, while seventh grade math scores showed that 86 percent of the students passed. In seventh grade writing, 79 percent of the students passed the test. Eighth grade STAAR reading passing rates showed that 89 percent passed. Eighth grade math scores came in at 79 percent. The science passing rate at eighth grade was 77 percent and social studies came in at 68 percent, nine percentage points above the state average.
Bandera ISD exceeded the state average passing rate in 14 out of the 17 tests given to third through eighth graders. While test results have just come in from the 2012 spring testing, Bandera ISD students are preparing to begin the 2013 testing window in February.
"The district and campus administration is actively guiding their campus teams in reviewing the data from latest results for the STAAR 3-8 grade. The main focus in looking at the data will be student learning and finding solutions that will increase results in all contents and grades," said BISD Director of Curriculum and Instruction Reneé Cadena.
Passing rates on the STAAR reading test statewide ranged from 75 to 80 percent from third through eighth grade. State passing rates on the STAAR math test for those same grades ranged from 68 to 76 percent. Science STAAR passing rates at the state level were 73 percent for fifth grade and 70 percent for eighth grade. Students statewide fared worse on the eighth grade Social Studies test with only 59 percent passing. This is attributed to the inclusion of new social studies curriculum content as well as the use of more primary sources in test questions than used on the prior TAKS eighth grade Social Studies test. Only statewide averages were released to the public.