HISD STAAR scores show strong gains across multiple grades, subjects, and student groups

Houston Independent School District students showed strong gains that exceeded those made by the state in third- through eighth-grade reading and math, and on end-of-course (EOC) assessments in English I and Algebra I, according to preliminary 2018 State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) scores.

“This year, our students made significant progress on the state-mandated STAAR tests,” Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan said. “We are excited about what these preliminary results mean for our schools labeled by the state as Improvement Required and our district’s accountability ratings. HISD is shifting course and turning schools around. We know that it is critical that we continue our commitment to strengthening the supports in place to further advance our progress in student achievement.”

Overall, the spring administration of the 2018 STAAR grades 3-8 assessment results indicate the district held steady or showed increases in the percentage of students meeting the Approaches Grade Level standard in reading, math, science, and social studies.

Students receive a performance label of Masters Grade Level, Meets Grade Level, Approaches Grade Level, or Did Not Meet Grade Level on each STAAR assessment. The Approaches Grade Level label indicates satisfactory (passing) performance while the Meets and Masters labels indicate higher levels of achievement on assessments.

Reading results increased by three percentage points compared to 2017. Changes ranged from no change in grade seven to a six-percentage point increase in grade five.

Mathematics results increased by three percentage points compared to 2017. Changes ranged from no change in grade seven to a five-percentage point increase in grades four and eight.

District science performance in 2018 increased one percentage point compared to 2017. Grade five had a one percentage point increase, and grade eight stayed the same.

At the high school level, HISD students took nearly 79,000 STAAR spring EOC assessments. Texas students are required to pass five STAAR EOC exams – Algebra I, English I, English II, Biology, and U.S. History – to receive a high school diploma.

Results show the proportion of first-time tested students who performed at or above the Approaches Grade Level Standard increased in four of the five subjects (Algebra I, Biology, English I, and English II) and remained steady in U.S. History. The district’s increases exceed those of the state in Algebra I and English I.

The results also show that the percentages of first-time testers at or above the Meets Grade Level Standard and the Masters Grade Level Standard increased in Algebra I, English II, and U.S. History when compared to last year.

The percentage of students at the Masters Grade Level Standard increased in Biology, while the percentage of students at or above the Meets Grade Level Standard increased in English I.

Performance gaps between White and African-American and White and Hispanic students decreased slightly or remained stable for Algebra I, English I, English II, and U.S. History.

Between 2015 and 2018, the proportion of students performing at or above the Meets Grade Level standard increased for every racial/ethnic group in every subject. These increases range from one percentage point for Asian students on the Biology EOC exam to 15 percentage points for African-American students on the Algebra I and Hispanic students on the U.S. History EOC exams.

More than half of HISD students scored at or above the 50th percentile for the state in Algebra I (52 percent), U.S. History (51 percent), English II (53 percent), and English I (56 percent), and less than half in Biology (44 percent).

All reported STAAR scores include results for students impacted by Hurricane Harvey. In December 2017, Texas Education Agency Commissioner Mike Morath removed the requirements for state promotion standards which would require STAAR retests in fifth and eighth grade reading or math in June 2018 for students who had not yet passed both subjects for districts within the Presidential Disaster Declaration for Hurricane Harvey.

On June 6, 2018, Morath announced school districts, campuses and open-enrollment charter schools directly affected by Hurricane Harvey would be eligible for special evaluation in this year’s state accountability system if they meet one of four criteria.

Under the agency’s Hurricane Harvey Provision, 2018 accountability ratings will be generated for eligible districts, charter schools, and campuses using available data. If a campus meeting at least one of the Hurricane Harvey criteria receives an “Improvement Required” rating, the campus would be labeled “Not Rated.” Districts can appeal any accountability-related decision, including the issuance of waivers. Appeals would likely be decided in late 2018.

Under House Bill 22, school districts will get their first A-F letter ratings in August 2018. However, schools will still be rated as Met Standard or Improvement Required. Schools will be given an A-F rating for the first time in August 2019.

HISD 2018 STAAR Results (English and Spanish Test Versions Combined)

Percentage indicates percent of students who met state’s current satisfactory passing standard of Approaches Grade Level.

 Reading

Grade 3: 69 percent

Grade 4: 62 percent

Grade 5: 70 percent

Grade 6: 61 percent

Grade 7: 65 percent

Grade 8: 70 percent

Math

Grade 3: 73 percent

Grade 4: 74 percent

Grade 5: 78 percent

Grade 6: 71 percent

Grade 7: 64 percent

Grade 8: 70 percent

Writing

Grade 4: 55 percent

Grade 7: 58 percent

 Science

Grade 5: 68 percent

Grade 8: 66 percent

 Social Studies

Grade 8: 54 percent

HISD 2018 STAAR End-of-Course Exam Results

Percentage indicates percent of first-time tested students who met state’s current satisfactory passing standard of Approaches Grade Level.

Algebra I:  81 percent

Biology:  82 percent

English I:  64 percent

English II:  65 percent

U.S. History:  89 percent

HISD’s data shows that strategies implemented to reverse a decade-long downward trajectory in STAAR scores are working. The district will continue to bring together effective teachers, strong leadership, and an environment of high expectations to transform the learning environment at each school and continue to show strong gains on STAAR assessments.

 

 

HISD campus and district leaders learning new ways to help students succeed at PLS 2018

HISD campus and district leaders will prepare during the summer for the start of the new school year during the district’s annual Professional Learning Series (PLS). This year’s theme is: “Children First: Building Strong Systems of Support.”

School leadership teams will attend these professional development sessions June 20-21 at Kingdom Builders’ Center (6011 West Orem, Houston, 88085) starting at 8 a.m. Leaders will learn essential skills on how to manage the social and emotional well-being of all students proactively on their campuses.

PLS provides a platform for HISD’s leaders to learn about connections between adult behaviors and positive school/community culture. Learning and development opportunities for leaders will be grounded in instructional leadership focused on data-driven instruction and literacy; social and emotional learning; and wraparound services.

“Our students are dealing with more than any of us could have imagined when we were their age, and the responsibility of the school community has expanded far beyond reading, writing, and arithmetic,” HISD Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan said. “It’s up to us as a district to meet them where they are so we can address their needs and we can push them to new levels of success – despite their circumstances.”

During the session entitled “Trauma and the Healing Power of Empathy,” participants will learn about the different types of trauma and the impact they can have on students in classrooms and in schools. During a separate session entitled “Creating an Awesomesauce Day: Integrating Empathy into the Classroom,” participants will explore why empathy is a vital component to improving school culture and climate and reducing high-risk student behaviors while increasing attendance, engagement, academic performance, and graduation rates.

As the district works to expand access to pre-K, participants will also enjoy a session entitled “It STAARts in Pre-K! HISD High-Quality Prekindergarten Standards,” during which they’ll receive timely information regarding the standards of implementing high-quality prekindergarten. They will leave with a plan to align their prekindergarten program with the district’s standards. Pre-K enrollment throughout the district is underway now.

Click here for an entire list of sessions.

Lawson MS hosts ‘Walk to Remember’ before building demolition

Music echoed throughout the Lawson Middle School gym as community members gathered with former students and staff to catch up with old friends, flip through old yearbooks, and dance the afternoon away.

Led by current students and staff, the stroll down memory lane was part of a “Walk to Remember” — an event held to let stakeholders bid their final farewells to the building before it is demolished later this summer.

“It’s important to preserve the memories,” Lawson Principal Kasey Bailey said. “There’s a lot of history with this school, but we’re very excited to move into the new building.”

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Erika Kimble named new principal of Hilliard Elementary School

Erika Kimble poses for a photograph, April 4, 2016. (Houston ISD/Dave Einsel)Erika Kimble has been selected as the new principal of Hilliard Elementary School. Kimble began her career in education as a teacher and teacher specialist at Bonham Elementary School. In 2013, she joined Shadydale Elementary School, where she served as a teacher specialist and assistant principal. Most recently, Kimble has served as the principal of Henderson Elementary School. Kimble earned her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of St. Thomas and completed graduate studies in Special Education at Prairie View A&M University and Educational Administration and Supervision at the University of Houston.

Alana Holloway named new principal of Henderson Elementary School

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Connie Smith named new principal of North Forest High School

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Alvaro Montelongo Jr. named new principal of Looscan Elementary School

Alvaro Montelongo, Jr. poses for a photograph, April 4, 2016. (Houston ISD/Dave Einsel)Alvaro Montelongo Jr. has been selected as the new principal of Looscan Elementary School. Montelongo has been an educator for 11 years and has served in HISD as a math coach, instructional specialist, and assistant principal. Montelongo began his career at Santa Fe High School before joining HISD. Since 2015, Montelongo has served as an assistant principal at Lewis Elementary School. Montelongo earned his bachelor’s degree in history with a minor in Mexican-American Studies from the University of Houston and master’s degree in Educational Leadership from University of Texas at Tyler.

Vernitra Shivers named new principal of Thomas Middle School

Vernitra Shivers has been selected as the new principal of Thomas Middle School. Shivers has more than 15 years of experience in public education. She began her career as an elementary teacher in Orleans Parish Schools in New Orleans. In 2004, Shivers joined Team HISD as an ELA teacher at Williams Middle School. Shivers has worked as a literacy coach at Jane Long Middle School and assistant principal at Patrick Henry and Deady middle schools. For the past three years, Shivers has served as assistant principal and dean of instruction at Madison High School. Shivers earned her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Xavier University of Louisiana and master’s degree in Educational Administration from Prairie View A&M University.

Amanda Rodgers named new principal of Braeburn Elementary School

Amanda Rodgers poses for a photograph, November 7, 2016. (Dave Einsel)Amanda Rodgers has been selected as the new principal of Braeburn Elementary School. Rodgers has served as assistant principal of Braeburn for the last five years. Previously, she taught at Pat Neff Elementary School in HISD for six years. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Education from the University of St. Thomas and her master’s in Business Administration from Rice University. She received her principal certificate through the Rice Education Entrepreneurship Program (REEP).

Shani Wyllie named new principal of Attucks Middle School

Shani Wyllie has been selected as the new principal of Attucks Middle school. Wyllie joined HISD in 2010, where she has served students at Navarro, Jackson, and Deady middle schools. Wyllie currently is the assistant principal at Edison Middle School, where she oversees both the math and science departments. Wyllie received both her undergraduate and master’s degrees from the University of Maryland.