STAAR results show HISD is closing the achievement gap for all grade levels

Preliminary results for the 2023-2024 STAAR Exams show Houston Independent School District students made substantial gains in most tested subjects and grade levels.

For the STAAR Algebra I, English I, English II, Biology, and US History End of Course Exams, HISD students made substantial gains in four of five tested subjects, and in some cases far exceeded pre-COVID proficiency levels.

For grades 3-8, the most significant increases are in the number of students proficient in math and reading. Reading proficiency in all tested grades has surpassed pre-COVID levels, and HISD improved on the number of students proficient in math at every grade level.

See the full results here.

“HISD students and teachers did exceptional work this school year,” said Superintendent Mike Miles. “Now that all results are in, I want to congratulate every teacher, principal, and student on their outstanding effort. More HISD students are proficient in core subjects across the District, and that is an accomplishment to celebrate.” 

While meaningful gains were made across the District, growth in student proficiency at HISD’s New Education System (NES) campuses exceeded Districtwide growth in most subjects. 

High school NES campuses grew at least five points in every tested subject. In Algebra I and Biology, these campuses achieved explosive double-digit growth in the number of students proficient.

The growth in reading proficiency in NES schools saw incredible 8- and10- point gains in 5th and 6th grade.NES schools also saw double-digit gains in the number of students proficient in math in 5th and 8th grade.

The STAAR exams are the State of Texas indicator of how proficient students are in a given subject area. The assessment is administered only one time a year and while it is only a snapshot of proficiency, HISD’s results indicate that many more students are meeting or exceeding grade level standards in most tested subjects. Typically, one to two points in proficiency growth on STAAR is acceptable growth. At the District level, an increase of three or more percentage points over the previous year’s score is strong growth.

HISD is focusing on the “Meets or Exceeds” score to gauge success. While HISD will report the “Approaches” data when available, it is a lower bar than Meets or Exceeds, and HISD school leaders focus on the higher standard, which represents proficiency.

“HISD still has much work to do to increase proficiency for all students, but STAAR tells us that we are headed in the right direction,” said Miles. “This data shows we are improving struggling schools and closing achievement gaps that have been too big for too long.”