STAAR Test scores show need for change in some local districts

STAAR Test scores show need for change in some local districts

(KYTX) - Preliminary STAAR test scores across the State of Texas are pretty stagnant, not showing much improvement from last year, and some numbers even dropped.  Some East Texas districts rose above those state scores, and some followed suit.  

In this report, we focus on  middle school scores, which have been low state-wide in the past. We saw some mixed results locally.

Several local school districts, like Lindale and Whitehouse, were much higher than the state average in sixth through eighth grade in every subject.  

Two of the districts that showed some lower preliminary scores were Tyler ISD and Longview ISD. These two districts scored lower than the state average in every subject for sixth, seventh, and eighth grades.  

"We have trended with the state," says Kim Tunnell, Tyler ISD's Chief Leadership and Performance Officer.

She acknowledges that TISD scores, along with several other local districts, still remain lower than the state average.
"We're not happy with that," Tunnell says. "We saw some declines in our science and social studies. Our bright spot is that our 6th grade scores are up."

Math and reading scores are still lower than the state average, but they have gotten better from last year.  
We spoke to many TISD  parents off camera today who say their children did well on the STAAR test. Those parents want the public to know that since numbers are averaged together, several struggling students can bring down the overall percentage.
One parent mentions that Moore Middle School did better than the state average in all grades.  She also mentions that this is a relatively new test for students.  She says a lot of this is a "learn and see" situation, as these students and teachers continue transitioning from the TAKS test to the STARR test.  
"The STAAR test is only one measure of how successful students are in school," Tunnell says.

Still, Tunnell says she and other administrators are taking the STAAR scores seriously, and are looking at what changes need to be made inside the classrooms.

"The scope and sequence of the year, or the pacing, and when we teach specific things could be adjusted, or maybe we have a shortage of resources and materials to adjust that," she says.

Longview ISD, which also fell below the state average in all middle school grade levels, is ready to make changes too.

In a statement an LISD coordinator says, "While we are more concerned about the whole child at Longview ISD, we're disappointed in these passing percentages. We are already at work to help our students realize more success on future state-mandated exams."

The students that struggled a lot in these specific areas are getting some extra attention.  There will be summer classes that these students will be asked to take so they can get caught up by next year.  

Administrators suggest getting involved as a parent.  Take a look at your child's scores, which come home with their report cards. If there are any questions or concerns, look over them with a counselor and see what can be improved for your student.  


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