Aug 18, 2023 - Education

HISD STAAR results: reading dips, math steady

Illustration of a standardized test in the shape of the U.S. flag with a pencil drawing in a downward trend line

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Houston ISD students overall sustained their performance on the annual statewide standardized tests this year, with a slight decline in reading performance.

Driving the news: The Texas Education Agency released the 2023 results for the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) test that students from grades three through eight take each year.

What they found: While students across the state generally improved on the redesigned, all-online STAAR test, students in HISD lagged behind.

  • Statewide, math scores improved from last year, but they have not returned to pre-pandemic levels. Reading performance remained steady and higher than pre-pandemic numbers.

By the numbers: In 2023, 29% of HISD students in grades three through eight "did not meet" the reading requirements, up from 27.4% last year.

  • Meanwhile, about 36% of HISD students in grades three through eight fell into the "did not meet" category for math in 2022 and 2023.
  • Statewide, 21.6% of students did not meet requirements in reading, and 28.1% did not meet requirements in math.

What they're saying: "This is not a surprise," state-appointed HISD superintendent Mike Miles said at a press conference Thursday.

  • "It confirms what I've been talking about for the last two and a half months. We're challenged with low proficiency. We're challenged with the inability to change that state of affairs for over two decades. We're challenged by a large achievement gap."

What we're watching: The STAAR results hint at a likely low district rating, based on the state's accountability system, a report of which will be released next month.

Between the lines: 35% of a teacher's evaluation is based on student performance — 10% is related to STAAR results, according to Miles.

The bottom line: These results provide a measuring stick for the success of the state's HISD takeover.


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