Initial STAAR Passing Rates Not Spectacular for HISD

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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. 

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