Denton upbeat about STAAR

Comments () A Text Size

District passing rates on new standardized tests exceed statewide figures

Denton’s elementary and middle school students exceeded state passing rates in each STAAR category last spring.

School district officials told the school board last week that Denton students earned their highest scores in reading — more than 80 percent of third- through eighth-graders passed. At least 70 percent passed in each other subject.

Statewide, according to the Texas Education Agency, more than 70 percent of students passed each test with three exceptions: 68 percent of Texas third- and fourth-graders passed the math test, while 59 percent of eighth-graders passed in social studies.

“In every category, we exceeded the state average,” Superintendent Jamie Wilson said. “In some areas, we exceeded the state average in excess of 10 percentage points. The work of our teachers and the work of our students need to be acknowledged.”

Ninth-graders were administered STAAR end-of-course exams last spring, then had two opportunities to retake exams in the summer and last semester. According to the state, the cumulative percentage of students passing the end-of-course exams improved after two retakes.

The Denton school district recently released its spring scores from the end-of-course exams. The district’s cumulative scores for end-of-course exams were not readily available.

According to district officials, students who took the end-of-course exams last spring exceeded the state passing rate on all but one exam. The percentage of Denton students passing the Algebra I test was 83 percent, the same as the statewide result.

Individual students’ STAAR results were sent home to families Feb. 7 and 8, according to district officials. The results included information explaining the student’s performance on the assessment tests.

Last spring, the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, or STAAR, replaced the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS), which had served as the state’s standardized test since 2003. The exams test students in third through eighth grade. At the high school level, students take 15 course-specific assessments, known as end-of-course exams. Students who are now in the 10th grade began taking end-of course exams last spring.

Students must pass each of those tests, even if they have to retake them, in order to graduate.

A student earns one of three levels on a STAAR exam: Level I, or unsatisfactory academic performance, which represents a student’s performance to be below passing; Level II, or satisfactory performance, which indicates a student passed or met the standard; and Level III, which represents advanced performance, known on the TAKS exam as a “commended” score.

Students now in the 11th grade will graduate under the TAKS exam, which will be completely phased out next school year.

Unlike the TAKS test, STAAR exams are timed. Also new to state assessments are scale scores, which show a student’s performance on a test and compares whether it’s above or below a satisfactory academic performance or advanced academic performance.

Student promotion requirements, which would generally hold a student back for failing a state assessment, were deferred last year as passing standards for third- through eighth-grade exams were finalized. Passing standards for the end-of-course exams were established last spring, and passing standards for the lower grade levels were created later to align with that of the end-of-course exams.

According to TEA officials, results for the STAAR tests being taken this spring will be released by the end of the school year.

Also deferred last year was a provision requiring end-of-course exams to count as 15 percent of a student’s final course grade in each tested subject area. State education Commissioner Michael L. Williams announced in November that deferral would continue through this school year.

Since the 82nd Legislature, district officials say Denton schools have seen a decrease in state funding totaling about $17 million. The funding cuts were a result of the $5.4 billion slashed to public education and education grant programs by the state in 2011. Wilson said those funding cuts left some students lagging behind.

“If we still had those resources … our student performance would have been even higher,” he said.

The state did not release information about passing standards and the percentage of students who passed until Jan. 29.

Because the recently released STAAR results are now nearly a year old, Mike Mattingly, the district’s assistant superintendent for curriculum, instruction and staff development, said it’s historical data to the district.

At Tuesday’s board meeting, he likened the results to an autopsy report: They provide the history of what occurred, but there is no going back to correct it, Mattingly said.

While the information is good to reflect on, he said, it comes too late to help the district prepare students for the STAAR assessments this spring.

“We won’t really adjust much of what we’re doing … based on the age of these assessments,” he said.

Mattingly said that once the district receives the 2013 scores, the curriculum department and campus leaders would align the curriculum around the results. Those tests are based on state-mandated curriculum known as the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills, or TEKS.

No academic accountability ratings were released for the 2011-12 school year because of the state’s transition into the new STAAR system.

“While there’s no accountability ratings from the state, we are accountable to each and every member of the community. That’s how we view it,” Wilson said. “When [students are] not successful, we want to have the resources to make sure they are successful.

School board President Mia Price said she was encouraged with students’ improvements in all areas on last spring’s STAAR assessments.

“I only hope future results will be more timely so that we can use them to assess and help our students,” she said.

The STAAR assessments for the current school year start within the next couple months.

BRITNEY TABOR can be reached at 940-566-6876. Her e-mail address is btabor@dentonrc.com.

 

DENTON ISD STAAR RESULTS

The Denton school district recently released cumulative information about how many students passed State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) tests and end-of-course exams administered last spring.

ASSESSMENT

NUMBER TESTED

MET STANDARD

ABOVE STANDARD

Third grade

 

 

 

Reading

1,817

84%

27%

Math

1,824

72%

16%

Fourth grade

 

 

 

Reading

1,838

85%

22%

Math

1,880

73%

13%

Writing

1,814

79%

7%

Fifth grade

 

 

 

Reading

1,744

86%

23%

Math

1,771

82%

21%

Science

1,786

80%

12%

Sixth grade

 

 

 

Reading

1,752

82%

24%

Math

1,739

84%

23%

Seventh grade

 

 

 

Reading

1,666

84%

22%

Math

1,646

81%

12%

Writing

1,669

78%

8%

Eighth grade

 

 

 

Reading

1,632

85%

28%

Math

1,613

84%

10%

Social studies

1,609

71%

20%

Science

1,613

76%

12%

Ninth-graders’ end-of-course exams*

 

 

 

Algebra I

1,636

83%

14%

Biology

1,613

89%

9%

English I reading

1,638

73%

8%

English I writing

1,638

62%

3%

World geography

1,612

82%

15%

* This data reflects end-of-course exams taken last spring. Students who did not pass had two opportunities to retake the exams, but this chart does not include that cumulative data.

SOURCE: Denton ISD

 

STATEWIDE STAAR RESULTS

The Texas Education Agency recently released cumulative information about how many Texas students passed State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) tests and end-of-course exams administered last spring.

ASSESSMENT

NUMBER TESTED

MET STANDARD

ABOVE STANDARD

Third grade

 

 

 

Reading

327,936

76%

21%

Math

337,305

68%

15%

Fourth grade

 

 

 

Reading

334,484

77%

19%

Math

346,249

68%

13%

Writing

332,417

71%

7%

Fifth grade

 

 

 

Reading

348,806

77%

17%

Math

353,030

77%

19%

Science

354,628

73%

12%

Sixth grade

 

 

 

Reading

354,387

75%

17%

Math

344,977

77%

19%

Seventh grade

 

 

 

Reading

347,911

76%

18%

Math

323,015

71%

11%

Writing

347,294

71%

7%

Eighth grade

 

 

 

Reading

340,860

80%

19%

Math

312,342

76%

7%

Social studies

336,762

59%

12%

Science

336,661

70%

12%

Ninth-graders’ end-of-course exams*

 

 

 

Algebra I

333,589

83%

17%

Biology

319,072

87%

9%

English I reading

334,828

68%

8%

English I writing

334,944

55%

3%

World geography

320,971

81%

13%

* This data reflects end-of-course exams taken last spring. Students who did not pass had two opportunities to retake the exams, but this chart does not include that cumulative data.

SOURCE: Texas Education Agency

 


Comments
DentonRC.com is now using Facebook Comments. To post a comment, log into Facebook and then add your comment below. Your comment is subject to Facebook's Privacy Policy and Terms of Service on data use. If you don't want your comment to appear on Facebook, uncheck the 'Post to Facebook' box. To find out more, read the FAQ .
Copyright 2011 Denton Record-Chronicle. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.