STAAR test results released to schools statewide - KXXV Central Texas News Now

STAAR test results released to schools statewide

CENTRAL TEXAS (KXXV) -

On Tuesday, districts in Texas received the results of the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) from grades 3-8th grade given earlier this year.

Student performance is one of the indicators of the district accountability ratings the Texas Education Agency takes into account to determine whether a district met standards. The preliminary accountability ratings will be released in August.

The test results at Marlin Independent School District, which was at risk of being closed by the state last school year, showed improvement, according to Superintendent Dr. Michael Seabolt.   

The district must meet accountability and financial accountability ratings, to keep the same school board and remain open.  

According to Seabolt, almost every test score in the district was higher compared to last year.

Eleven out of 12 tests Seabolt said the state rates districts on for improvement met or exceeded the improvement expectations.

The weakest test results were for 4th grade mathematics and the strongest test results included subjects, such as 4th, 5th, 7th and 8th grade reading. Students also made strides on 5th and 7th grade math tests, according to Seabolt

He credits the improvement to professional development and a focus on teaching methods in the classroom.                                                               

“Where the instruction was strong, the scores came back with improvement because of the teachers,” Seabolt. “Where there is very little improvement low scores is because of the teachers."

He said some teachers have been let go in part due to student performance, which includes test results and student progress measured every three weeks with local exams written by teachers.

"That is Marlin's new philosophy. We are going to recruit on potential and retain them on performance," Seabolt said.

The starting salary for teachers in the district has also increased to $50,000 to make it competitive with other schools in Central Texas.

“That has helped us get an application pool that Marlin has not enjoyed in the past. We were filling very critical positions like math and science in April rather than last year, which was August,” Seabolt said.

The superintendent remains said the district, which will be compared to others similar to it, has a possibility of meeting standards this year.

 “There is 75 percent chance that we make it. Marlin almost made it last year when the scores weren’t this strong,” Seabolt said.

Officials at other districts in our area that have received distinctions in the past for academic performance, such as Midway ISD, are pleased with the results of their students.

"We are very satisfied with the results districtwide. There are some areas that we are really thrilled about and some areas that we need some work on. But overall we are very excited about the results,” Midway ISD Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Brent Merritt said.

Some of the accomplishment included, 5th and 6th grade students scoring above 90th percentile in passing in every subject. 

The district was also satisfied with the performance for advanced level tests and tests at the elementary schools.

Writing is an area the district would like to improve to reach scores at the 90th percentile.

A Waco Independent and School District spokesman told News Channel 25, the scores show the district is moving in the right direction but they realize there is still work that needs to be done.

Temple ISD had not received the test results when News Channel 25 reached to the district on Tuesday afternoon. On Wednesday morning, a spokesman said the district received the test scores late Tuesday.  An email sent to Killeen ISD officials resulted in an automatic reply indicating district offices will remain closed until July 11.

The districts were supposed to receive the test results earlier. However, the TEA said it asked the testing contractors to do data quality checks on the results to ensure they were reported appropriately and they were correct.

Copyright 2016 KXXV. All Rights Reserved.

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