Fort Worth

Texas, local students’ STAAR scores decline, spring results show

Texas parents can dig deep into STAAR results with new report card

Texas Education Agency launches new parent-friendly STAAR report cards that drill deeply into individual student performance.
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Texas Education Agency launches new parent-friendly STAAR report cards that drill deeply into individual student performance.

Texas students’ scores dropped in reading, science and social studies on the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, preliminary results from spring show, and Fort Worth school district students were no different.

Both locally and statewide, students made gains in math on the spring STAAR test.

In the Keller district, scores improved in math, science and social studies while reading and writing scores showed slight drops. Grapevine-Colleyville district students outperformed state and regional averages, said Shannon Tovar, director of continuous improvement and accountability for the district, but showed a slight dip in writing.

Other area districts had not released preliminary scores.

Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath is analyzing the results and will continue to focus on reading and math, Texas Education Agency spokeswoman Lauren Callahan said.

“These results that we are seeing today are somewhat of a mixed bag,” Callahan said. “Many of our students did very well, but some of these results show that our work must continue.”

In the Fort Worth district, 59 percent of fourth-grade students met the reading standard, down from 63 percent last year. Statewide, 70 percent of students met the standard.

Fort Worth district fourth-grade students’ writing performance dropped from 62 percent passing to 56 percent last year. Statewide, 63 percent met standard.

Across Texas, the biggest declines were on reading tests for fourth graders, who dropped seven points to 70 percent passing, and eighth grade, where scores dropped six points to 76 percent passing.

Fort Worth sixth-grade students didn’t meet the passing standard in reading. In seventh grade, students didn’t meet the passing standard in writing.

The struggle with literacy was also reflected in Fort Worth’s STAAR End of Course exams taken by high school students. The results for English I and English II were below the passing standard with just 49 percent and 53 percent meeting the benchmark, respectively.

Overall in Texas, high school students saw declines on four of the five end-of-course tests. Algebra I passing rates went up one point to 82 percent passing.

Fort Worth elementary students’ strongest results were in math, including a three-point gain in fourth grade. Middle school math performance improved with strong gains in sixth and eighth grades. Even though seventh-grade students didn’t meet the passing rate, they still improved from a 38 percent passing rate last year to 42 percent this year.

“We told the community that we would focus more narrowly on what really matters: early literacy, middle years’ math, and college and career readiness,’ Superintendent Kent Scribner said. “While there is still much work to be done, I am encouraged to see some early payoff in these three areas: a four-point increase in third-graders’ reading on grade level, strong increases in middle school math scores, and an increased number of students performing at the college and career readiness level.”

Keller schools

Keller students’ test results were about what district administrators expected, said Jennifer Price, the school district’s director of assessment and accountability.

Scores showed gains in math, science and social studies while reading and writing scores showed slight drops.

“We were very pleased with the student growth we had,” Price said. “And we were pleased our scores were above region and state averages.”

Some parents were confused about new terminology. For 2017, Texas Education Agency officials replaced the old Level I, II and III with four categories: “Does not approach grade level, approaches grade level, meets grade level and masters grade level.”

Parents asked if “approaching grade level” still meant passing, Price said.

“Approaches grade level” is currently a passing score, but the goal in several years is to bump the score needed up to the “meets grade level” score. “Masters grade level” is the previous commended or advanced designation.

Grapevine-Colleyville schools

Tovar said that the percentage of students who reached “masters grade level” increased in 14 of 22 tested areas and remained strong in five additional areas.

Scores dipped in writing, Tovar said. The test was made shorter, so fourth-graders wrote only one composition instead of two and answered fewer questions. While shortening the test is a positive move, it may give kids less of a chance to demonstrate how much they have learned, she said.

The maze of numbers that confronts Texas parents as they look at STAAR test results is getting a redo this year, with clearer presentation and new tools showing test answers and offering resources that include recommendations for grade-appropriate books.

“We want to demystify this process,” said Morath, who has been meeting with communities across Texas to promote the new tool.

Texas Education Agency’s new parent-friendly STAAR report card allows parents to drill down into results using an interactive website. A section on the new report card shows how a student has progressed from the previous year on STAAR, which is administered to students in grades three through eight in reading, writing, math, science and social studies. End of Course exams are given to high school students in Algebra I, Biology, English I, English II and U.S. History.

The new STAAR report card gives parents one place where they can log in and see their child’s score along with what questions were missed.

Tovar said, “Now, they’re going to see more about student growth and better understand how the state measures growth.”

This report contains material from wire services and the Star-Telegram archives.

Diane A. Smith: 817-390-7675, @dianeasmith1

Sandra J. Engelland: 817-390-7323, @SandraEngelland

Spring 2017 STAAR preliminary results

Fort Worth

Grade 3

Reading-English: 60 percent met standard

Reading-Spanish: 58 percent met standard

Math: 62 percent met standard

Grade 4

Reading-English: 59 percent met standard

Reading-Spanish: 56 percent met standard

Math: 62 percent met standard

Writing-English:53 percent met standard

Writing-Spanish: 63 percent met standard

Grade 5

Reading (cumulative): 72 percent met standard

Math (cumulative): 77 percent met standard

Science-English: 60 percent met standard

Science-Spanish: 44 percent met standard

Grade 6

Reading: 57 percent met standard

Math: 60 percent met standard

Grade 7

Reading: 61 percent met standard

Math:40 percent met standard

Writing: 55 percent met standard

Grade 8

Reading (cumulative): 73 percent met standard

Math (cumulative): 76 percent met standard

Science: 64 percent met standard

Social Studies: 51 percent met standard

Fort Worth End of Course Exams

Algebra I: 76 percent met standard

English I:48 percent met standard

English II: 52 percent met standard

Biology: 81 percent met standard

U.S. History: 90 percent met standard

Keller schools

Grade 3

Reading: 84 percent met standard

Math: 86 percent met standard

Grade 4

Reading: 81 percent met standard

Math: 84 percent met standard

Writing: 74 percent met standard

Grade 5

Reading: 88 percent met standard

Math: 91 percent met standard

Science: 81 percent met standard

Grade 6

Reading: 83 percent met standard

Math: 88 percent met standard

Grade 7

Reading: 88 percent met standard

Math: 85 percent met standard

Writing: 83 percent met standard

Grade 8

Reading: 94 percent met standard

Math: 90 percent met standard

Science: 84 percent met standard

Social Studies: 77 percent met standard

Keller End of Course exams

Algebra I: 93 percent met standard

English I: 83 percent met standard

English II: 83 percent met standard

Biology: 95 percent met standard

U.S. History: 98 percent met standard

Grapevine-Colleyville

Grade 3

Reading: 85 percent met standard

Math: 86 percent met standard

Grade 4

Reading: 83 percent met standard

Math: 85 percent met standard

Writing: 76 percent met standard

Grade 5

Reading: 91 percent met standard

Math: 95 percent met standard

Science: 84 percent met standard

Grade 6

Reading: 82 percent met standard

Math: 87 percent met standard

Grade 7

Reading: 86 percent met standard

Math: 75 percent met standard

Writing: 84 percent met standard

Grade 8

Reading: 95 percent met standard

Math: 92 percent met standard

Science: 88 percent met standard

Social Studies: 76 percent met standard

Grapevine-Colleyville End of Course exams

Algebra I: 90 percent met standard

English I: 82 percent met standard

English II: 84 percent met standard

Biology: 93 percent met standard

U.S. History: 97 percent met standard

To learn more

To find out more about the new STAAR report card, go online to tea.texas.gov/studentreport/

Parents are encouraged to “Log In, Learn More” at www.texasassessment.com

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