Local News

Texas Middle School Standardized Test Scores Are Falling

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Middle school students who took the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) test in the spring of this year didn’t fare as well as students did last year. On the whole, Texas students did worse in all subjects except for math. My Statesman writes, “Students struggled the most on reading and English tests, with the statewide passing rate for fourth-graders dropping 7 percentage points to 70 percent.”

As a group, students in Austin didn’t excel on the math exam. In fact, almost half of the middle schoolers failed, and the reading test only resulted in a 66 percent passing rate.

KSAT points out that efforts are being made by groups such as the Texans Advocating for Meaningful Student Assessment who hope to see the STAAR testing change to something more “grade-appropriate” and not result in holding students back a grade. “This has me concerned that we are testing how well a student takes a test rather than the knowledge that they know, and that’s been our concern all along with the STAAR test,” Treviño told My Statemen. KSAT adds that Policy consultant Sandy Kress wants to see an increase in resources in order to bring testing grades up.

The STAAR test is meant to get progressively more difficult as years go on, but My Statesman says that this year’s exam didn’t increase in difficulty from last year.