STAAR shows some positive results

Recently released results in fifth- and eighth-grade STAAR tests show some positive news for Ector County Independent School District, a news release states.
Students took the first round April 9 and April 10 in reading and math.
The initial set of results represents four of 22 STAAR tests that will be given this spring across content areas and in grades three through 11. Fifth and eighth grade students who did not meet the minimum passing standard of Approaches Grade Level will have the opportunity to retake these assessments this month during the second of three administrations, the release detailed.
Compared to last year, ECISD saw increases in eighth grade math and fifth grade reading. Eighth-grade math increased from 50 percent in 2018 to 55 percent in 2019.
Fifth-grade reading increased by one point from 63 percent in 2018 to 64 percent this year.
Eighth-grade reading stayed the same at 59 percent while fifth-grade math fell two points from 74 percent in 2018 to 72 percent in 2019.
In a comparison of the performance of the same group of students from one year to the next (referred to as a cohort) the results show growth in all four areas. Eighth-grade math rose to 55 percent — an increase of 9 percent — compared to how the students performed in seventh grade in 2018.
Eighth-grade reading rose to 59 percent, an increase of 8 percent, compared to their seventh-grade scores, and fifth-graders increased by 6 percent in both math (73 percent) and reading (64 percent) from their fourth-grade scores in 2018, the release detailed.
An area that is particularly pleasing to district officials is the increase in the percentage of students reaching the Meets Grade Level and Masters Grade Level performance standards.
One of the district and school board goals is to increase the percentage of students scoring Meets Grade Level to meet or exceed state averages by 2024, the release said.
In eighth-grade math the percentage of students reaching Meets Grade Level grew from 16 percent to 22 percent.
Eighth-grade reading grew from 26 percent to 32 percent.
Fifth-grade math increased from 41 percent to 42 percent.
Fifth-grade reading held steady at 36 percent.
In terms of the Masters Grade Level standard, fifth-grade math increased from 17 percent to 23 percent.
Fifth-grade reading grew from 13 percent to 16 percent.
Eighth-grade reading went up from 11 percent to 14 percent.
Eighth-grade math stayed at 2 percent.
In regards to the eighth-grade math test, almost 20 percent of ECISD eighth-graders’ results are not calculated in the eighth grade math test because they are taking Algebra I and the corresponding Algebra I End of Course exam instead of the eighth-grade math test.
Fifth and eighth grade students are part of the Student Success Initiative requiring them to pass their reading and math tests to be promoted to the next grade.
Those who did not pass the STAAR have two retest opportunities.
The first is this month, and the second is in June. While students have three opportunities to test, the state only uses the first and second administration results (the tests taken in April and May) for accountability purposes, Communications Officer Mike Adkins said.