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TEA releases statewide STAAR passing rates
The Texas Education Agency released statewide passing rates for the first round of STAAR testing on Tuesday.
The results covered tests taking by grades 3-8 in 2012.
Eighth-grade students provided the test's highest and lowest passing rates, turning in an 80 percent passing rate on the reading section and a 59 percent passing rate in social studies. The reading test had the highest passing rate when averaged across age groups.
The TEA said the social studies scores may be explained by the inclusion of new curriculum and more primary source test questions than were featured in the TAKS test, the state's previous end-of-course exam.
“We have set the bar higher with a more rigorous test, and our students and teachers are already on a path to meeting those higher expectations,” Michael Williams, commissioner of education, said in a press release. “I have no doubt results in future years will continue to improve but only if our state elects to keep the focus on educating every child in every classroom in every district across Texas.”
Students passed most sections of the test at a 70 percent passing rate or greater. The three sections that fell below that mark were the eighth-grade social studies and third- and fourth-grade mathematics, both of which came in at 68 percent.
Allen ISD received its scores during the weekend and is in the process of sifting through the data and preparing it to be presented at a school board meeting next month. Beth Nicholas, assistant superintendent of learner services, said the district's scores are much higher than the state average.
Nicholas said that during the last round of end-of-course exams, Allen ISD scored about 20 points higher than the state average by subject, and that she expects similar STAAR results. She said the new state test is longer and more difficult than the TAKS.
“They've designed it differently,” she said. “It's a different blueprint. About two-thirds of each test is on what they call readiness standards, which would be the more difficult standards, the ones that you would really need to know to be able to go to the next grade level and be successful.”