Tougher exams measure whether students are on track for college and career readiness
Most Houston Independent School District students showed they are on track to graduate high school prepared for college and rewarding careers, according to preliminary 2013 State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) results released today.
Reflecting a statewide trend, HISD student performance was strongest in math and science, while students struggled most with reading and writing.
“We are encouraged that our principals’ and teachers’ work to help students meet these more rigorous standards is paying off for so many of Houston’s children,” said HISD Superintendent Terry Grier. “However, we know that even more must be done if Houston schools are to consistently deliver the high level of instruction that every parent and student should expect, regardless of which school they choose to attend.”
New legislation signed into law today by Gov. Rick Perry reduces the number of STAAR End of Course exams that high school students must pass in order to graduate from 15 down to 5 in the subjects of Algebra I, English (reading and writing) I and II, biology, and U.S. History.
Preliminary STAAR End-of-Course Exam Results
Algebra I: 75 percent passing
Geometry: 82 percent passing
Algebra II: 94 percent passing
Reading I: 59 percent passing
Writing I: 42 percent passing
Reading II: 71 percent passing
Writing II: 45 percent passing
Biology: 82 percent passing
Chemistry: 76 percent passing
World Geography: 71 percent passing
World History: 62 percent passing
Other Preliminary STAAR Exam Results
Students in grades 3 through 8 took STAAR exams this spring as well. Passing rates by grade level and subject are as follows:
Grade 3 Reading: 74 percent; Math: 64 percent
Grade 3 (Spanish-language test takers) Reading: 73 percent; Math: 67 percent
Grade 4 Reading: 64 percent; Math: 64 percent; Writing: 67 percent
Grade 4 (Spanish-language test takers) Reading: 65 percent; Math: 65 percent; Writing: 70 percent
Grade 5 Reading: 81 percent*; Math: 82 percent*; Science: 66 percent
Grade 5 (Spanish-language test takers) Reading: 59 percent; Math 21 percent; Science: 20 percent
Grade 6 Reading: 64 percent; Math: 70 percent
Grade 7 Reading: 72 percent; Math: 56 percent; Writing: 64 percent;
Grade 8 Reading: 83 percent*; Math: 83 percent*; Science: 68 percent; Social Studies: 57 percent
*Note: Grades 5 and 8 reading and math scores include first and second test administrations for all students.
HISD has undertaken several initiatives to raise the level of achievement for all students. This school year, the district implemented a revamped new reading curriculum that has an intensive focus on students in the sixth and ninth grades. HISD is also partnering with local universities to train teachers, giving them the skills and resources they need to help students meet the tougher standards required by STAAR.
Other initiatives that make up HISD’s multi-pronged effort to bring consistently rigorous teaching to every student include:
- Moving more special education students to more inclusive classroom settings, and providing these students with assistive technology supplementary aids;
- Strengthening Spanish Language Arts instruction in the lower grades to increase literacy development;
- Aligning curriculum to ensure that English language development is taught through science, starting in kindergarten;
- Daily, targeted small group instruction.