Texas HS students show improvement in STAAR end-of-course results

Texas HS students show improvement in STAAR end-of-course results
The School Yard

POSTED: Wednesday, June 4, 2014 - 1:17pm

UPDATED: Thursday, June 5, 2014 - 8:50am

High school students posted strong passing rates for the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR®) end-of-course exams in Biology, Algebra I and U.S. History, according to preliminary statewide results released today by the Texas Education Agency. The results reflect passing rates for the spring 2014 administration of STAAR and STAAR L.

“It’s encouraging to see ongoing improvement in core subjects such as Algebra I and Biology as students and teachers adapt to the higher rigor of STAAR,” said Commissioner of Education Michael Williams. “Academic success for our students today strengthens the Texas of tomorrow.”

Texas students are required to pass five end-of-course exams – Algebra I, English I, English II, Biology and U.S. History – in order to receive a high school diploma. In preliminary statewide results for the 2013–2014 school year for first-time testers, Texas students posted the highest statewide passing rate in Biology. The 93 percent passing rate also represented the largest increase (six percentage points) over results from the previous school year. 

The 2013–2014 school year represented the first time the STAAR U.S. History end-of-course exam was administered statewide. Students posted a passing rate of 92 percent.

The next highest passing rate was seen among students taking the STAAR Algebra I end-of-course exam. Eighty-six percent successfully passed this exam, which was four percentage points above the results from the previous school year. 

The 2013–2014 school year marked the initial use of a combined STAAR Reading and Writing end-of-course exam for English I and English II. Reading and writing had been tested separately in previous years. Passing rates in these two English Language Arts areas continued to lag behind other core subjects.
For students taking the English I end-of-course exam, seventy-two percent passed. For the English II end-of-course exam, seventy-three percent of students passed.

“Regardless of what a student plans to do after high school, reading and writing are fundamental elements of any job or career,” said Commissioner Williams. “We must work together to assure our students are in a position to express themselves beyond 140 characters after they leave high school.”

The Class of 2014 also represented the last group of students to take the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) as part of their graduation requirements. Of the 301,013 students who first took the TAKS Exit-Level assessments in spring 2013 and are still in Texas public schools today, 97 percent have met their assessment requirement for graduation. Only three percent (or 8,939 students statewide) still have one or more subject-area assessments left to pass.

Students who did not pass required STAAR end-of-course exams or TAKS tests will have the opportunity to retake the tests July 7–11.

Please note that TEA does not have district-level test results at this time. Those results are available from your local school districts and charters.

Comparison charts of statewide results and summary charts provide greater detail on all STAAR results. To review state-level reports, visit the Texas Education Agency website at http://www.tea.state.tx.us/staar/rpt/sum/. 

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In order to pass the STAAR Algebra I Exam students must get 20 questions correct out of 54.

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