District 5th-, 8th-grade students see gains on STAAR mathematics test

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Dallas ISD fifth- and eighth-grade students achieved significant gains on the first administration of the STAAR mathematics test.

The results follow new measurement standards set by the Texas Education Agency. The new performance levels are noted as Approaches Grade Level (formerly Level 2), Meets Grade Level (formerly Level 2 final), Masters Grade Level (formerly Level 3), and Does Not Meet Grade Level.

Overall, the passing rates in fifth- and eighth-grade math each increased by 6.3 and 11.8 percentage points, up 2.3 and 0.5 percent, respectively. Of particular note, African-American eighth-graders achieved a 15.7 percent increase in math performance over the previous year, and nearly every Dallas ISD student group posted double-digit gains in mathematics.

In reading, district passing rates remained consistent with state scores. In fifth-grade reading, district scores increased 3 percent over the prior year, while eighth-grade scores dipped by 5 percent. However, English Language Learners in fifth grade improved greatly in reading, showing an 8 percent growth from last year.

“The continuing rise in districtwide math scores is very encouraging,” said Superintendent Michael Hinojosa. “However, scores in eighth-grade reading reflect the need to strengthen our efforts. Working with School Leadership, we will analyze these results and provide the needed support and interventions for students.”

This is the second year Dallas ISD students posted strong math results, leading administration to expect some multi-year improvement required schools will meet standards when the results from the final administration are posted.

“Our students and staff should be commended for this great effort. They have dedicated a tremendous amount of work to improving student achievement and can be proud of what they were able to accomplish,” Hinojosa said.

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