HISD fifth- and eighth-graders see significant mathematics gains on STAAR

HISD’s fifth- and eighth-grade students made significant gains in mathematics on the first administration of the STAAR test in March.

Overall, passing rates for district fifth-graders in math increased 6 percentage points from last year, and rates for district eighth-graders rose 5 percentage points. In state results, both fifth- and eighth-grade scores rose 5 percentage points.

Among economically disadvantaged students, passing rates in math increased for fifth- and eighth-graders by 7 percentage points and 6 percentage points, respectively.

In reading, district results mirrored trends statewide. In fifth-grade reading, district scores remained flat, while state scores dipped 1 percentage point from the previous year. In eighth-grade reading, district scores dipped by 3 percentage points, as did state scores.

The results come as the Texas Education Agency implements new labels for how a student performs on STAAR: Masters Grade Level (previously Advanced), Meets Grade Level (previously Postsecondary Ready), Approaches Grade Level (previously Satisfactory), and Does Not Meet Grade Level (previously Unsatisfactory).  Learn more about the changes here.

The district also saw progress on closing the achievement gap in both fifth and eighth grades. In fifth grade, passing rates for African-American students increased 10 and 2 percentage points in math and reading, respectively, and for Hispanic students, passing rates in math increased 5 percentage points.

In eighth grade, African-American and Hispanic students both showed an increase of 6 percentage points in math from the previous year.

The district saw greater increases among fifth-grade English-language learners than the overall student population in both reading and math at the Meets Grade Level and Masters Grade Level standards, demonstrating that bilingual and ESL programs are gradually closing the achievement gap among English-language learners.

“I am proud of our students and teachers for making such strides in math districtwide, ” said HISD Superintendent Richard Carranza. “We are analyzing and strenghtening our efforts around reading and will be working to provide appropriate support and interventions for our students. We want to be sure every child in every school is getting the high level of instruction needed to make sure they are ready for career and college, in addition to receiving a well-rounded education that includes fine arts and emotional and social support.”

Under state law, students in grades 5 and 8 must pass the STAAR reading and math tests to be promoted to the next grade unless a local, campus-based grade placement committee unanimously agrees to promote them. Students who did not pass the first administration will have two more opportunities in mid-May and June.

For more information on STAAR testing dates, promotion standards and resources for parents, visit HoustonISD.org/STAAR.