Almost half of the Houston ISD's fifth and eighth graders didn't pass the state's assessment tests in reading and math, respectively, in preliminary figures just released by the Texas Education Agency today.
In addition, more than a quarter of the fifth graders could not pass math and more than a quarter of the eighth graders didn't pass reading on the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (better known as the STAAR).
By state law, a student who doesn't pass these tests cannot be promoted to the next grade. Students will have two more chances to pass, in mid-May and June. Those who still can't pass can appeal to a campus-based committee, which needs to unanimously agree to the promotion.
Here are the results and percentages of students passing the tests:
Fifth grade reading: 64 percent
Fifth grade math: 72 percent
Eighth grade reading: 73 percent
Eighth grade math: 64 percent
In a press release from the district, it was pointed out that "HISD has joined with other Houston-region districts raising concerns about this year's administration of the STAAR. Earlier this month, HISD was among 50 school districts in the region to report issues with shipping and receiving of testing materials, online testing and document coding causd by the private testing company that Texas has hired to administer STAAR."
A data analysis by HISD discovered that there were about 1,600 reading and 1,400 math records missing from the district score summary for eighth graders and another 200 records missing in reading and math for fifth graders.
TEA is supposed to post complete files for all districts by May 5.
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.